Whore

1991, R, 85 min. Directed by Ken Russell. Starring Theresa Russell, Benjamin Mouton, Antonio Fargas.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Nov. 8, 1991

It's hard to come up with a director as rigorously bizarre as Ken Russell. It seems as though this particular auteur has made it his sacred mission to subvert the accepted filmmaking stylebooks and forge his own, new rules (often with exceeding mixed results). So it is with Russell's newest film, Whore, which follows the exploits and sex-maddened foibles of a modern day “working girl.” It should be noted as quickly as possible that this film is about as far away from the recent Pretty Woman as possible. Russell has never been one to shy away from the grotesque, nor does he do so here. There's several overdone scenes of people vomiting, blood jetting, and assorted other gag-fests, but Russell manages to keep them all in context without letting such things seem too… um, exploitative. Most of the film is narrated straight into the camera by The Whore (Theresa Russell), who explains (at great length occasionally) the whys and wherefores of her chosen profession. Also on hand is her dreaded pimp (Mouton), a ruthless, conniving S.O.B. who conjures up images of a hellish Yuppie Gone Wrong. The problem here is hardly the grim, ruthless nature of the story (which is only natural, considering the subject), but the cloying, annoying delivery from Russell's whore, and the squalid predictablity of the tale in general. Haven't we seen this all before somewhere? Of course. Director Russell is gifted with an eye for the extreme, but sometimes he gets ahead of himself, thinking that odd camera angles and crude delivery will save a threadbare plot. He's wrong. It doesn't.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Whore, Ken Russell, Theresa Russell, Benjamin Mouton, Antonio Fargas

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