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Ken Russell's Whore


It's weird what movies will effect you when you are in your formative years. I saw a lot of movies, from classics like Gone With The Wind, to weird family movies like Waterbabies, to just outright prurient trash. And it was one of these last that had a larger impact on shaping me and my taste than maybe it should have. Ken Russell had made some very artistic films in his time, but was never known for his subtlety or necessarily for his highbrow taste. When he saw Pretty Woman he thought it was kind of sick that it glamorized and romanticized prostitution. So he decided to make hi own movie about a prostitute, showing the real dangers and conditions that hookers have to deal with. He made the movie Whore.
Whore follows prostitute Liz as she tries to make money and recounts how she got into her current situation. She recounts her abusive marriage, how she fled and tried to support herself. Failing that, she finally started having sex for money. It wasn't long before she was back in another abusive relationship, this time with her pimp who she is trying to escape. She recounts the dangers of her job, and the time she tried to get out with help from a friend. And it all culminates of course in a showdown with the abusive pimp.
I was 15 when the movie came out. I did not see it in theaters, no theater where I lived would ever show a movie like that. But it did not take long for it to show up at the local video store on VHS. And of course, horny little teenager that I was, I rented it the first time I spotted it. It was not the soft core pornapolooza I was hoping for when I rented it, but it had a weird humor to it that I enjoyed. And I thought Theresa Russell was incredibly hot, and there was sex in it. Enough that it imprinted in my developing little brain and if it did not form fetishes it at least solidified some.
First, I've always been attracted to women wearing "trashy" clothes. If it is shiny and too tight, I probably drooled. So of course Theresa Russell in her red animal print jacket with only a shiny silver bra underneath and a short red skirt really did it for me. I had also developed a smoking fetish, so seeing her smoke throughout the movie, including while giving a handjob and having sex, also really got my motor running. One new twist that the movie added to my fetish list, she seemed uninterested and even bored while she performed her sexual acts. So now to this day I love getting a handie from a woman who is smoking and looks bored. 
I don't know that the movie had the hard hitting social impact that Ken Russell was going for. But I can say that the image of Theresa Russell riding a john with a cigarette hanging from her lips, or a pair of high heels protruding from a bathroom stall where a woman is blowing her customer definitely had an impact on me and the visual aesthetic that turns me on. Is it a good movie? No. Would I suggest that anyone watch it? Not really. But it turned me on and made me laugh as a kid. Watching it now I realize that it is much tamer in it's content than I remember. One highlight of the movie is an appearance by future star Danny Trejo as a tattoo artist, but it's a blink and you'll miss it moment that doesn't justify sitting through the entire movie. No the only reason I can give to watch this is if you enjoy trash, and want to see the kind of thing that pervy little kids like me were jerking off to in the early 90's when we couldn't score any real porn.


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