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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Ken Russell
USA 1991

 

Betrayed by her husband, Liz (Theresa Russell) is trapped by poverty and struggling to support her baby. After taking cash to go on a date she begins her life on the street, but falls victim to a brutal assault. After becoming increasingly dependent on a pimp, she realizes she must find a way out, but her pimp has other ideas.

Ken Russell’s Whore is the confronting story of a jaded L.A. prostitute told through flashbacks of her past brutal marriage, inhumane abuse and her time on the streets.

Directed by Ken Russell and starring Theresa Russell, Benjamin Mouton, Elizabeth Morehead & Antonio Fargas. Screenplay by Ken Russell and Deborah Dalton and is based on David Hines’ monologue, Bondage.

***

Released in a version cut by 7 minutes, one part downbeat docudrama and two parts Russell rant, this adaptation of David Hines' play Bondage lacks the visual imagination and cutting edge of the director's earlier Crimes of Passion. He seems constrained by the seedy naturalism as low-rent hooker Liz (Theresa Russell) walks the streets, keeping one eye out for the vicious pimp she fled earlier. Delivering most of her lines direct to camera, the foul-mouthed Liz lectures the audience on the routine abuse and humiliations she suffers in her line of work. Bullied, beaten and branded by her sadistic pimp (Mouton), Liz has a sneaking affection for some of her older clients, but knows that most of them 'don't want sex, they want revenge'. Flashbacks to a broken marriage and a son taken into care bespeak an equally unhappy past, but there are occasional, fleeting moments of human tenderness. What is most depressing, given the hectoring tone of Liz's monologues, is the way the film comes alive when her hateful pimp usurps the voice-over to brag about his entrepreneurial skills.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 21st, 1991

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Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:22.117         
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,005,881,121 bytes

Feature: 24,879,685,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Imprint

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,005,881,121 bytes

Feature: 24,879,685,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio commentary by film critics Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson
• NEW Interview with actress Theresa Russell (13:14)
• NEW Interview with actress Ginger Lynn Allen (8:04)
• NEW Interview with writer Deborah Dalton (12:09)
• NEW An appreciation of Ken Russell and WHORE from X-rated auteur Bruce LaBruce (12;13)
• NEW Video Essay author and critic Kat Ellinger (28:41)
• Theatrical Trailer (0:55)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 5th, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase (see below)

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (August 2022): Imprint have transferred Ken Russell's Whore to Blu-ray. It is in 1080P in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, transferred with a high bitrate. I wouldn't say it looks particularly dynamic - although a notable bump over SD. Colors are consistent with reds gaining some depth, there isn't much depth or texture. It looks pleasing enough if contrast remains faint.

NOTE: We have added 70 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. Whore has few aggressive moments - often told in flashback -  that come through with modest depth. The score is credited to Michael Gibbs (Housekeeping, Close My Eyes) as well as music sampling by Frankie Laine, Nerissa, Velma Wright, Bill Kelly and The House of Cards and later in the film Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 'Pastoral', Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite and Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain. It sounds clean and consistent in the uncompressed. Imprint offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Australians Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (author of Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study) and Joshua Nelson academic and film critic based in New York. They discuss a lot, initially, on 'feminism', citing Gloria Steinem, and 'pornography' agreeing that both have subjective definitions. The name of the film is also talked about, the protagonist breaking down the fourth wall, the negative critical response and a lot on Ken Russell. 'Sex workers', assault, abuse and many more topics are examined within the context of "Whore". Imprint also stack the disc with new interviews; firstly, for 1/4 hour with actress Theresa Russell who states she enjoys doing films that were 'challenging' even if the monetary rewards were more meager. She describes the evolution of her career. There is also a new 8-minute interview with former porn-star Ginger Lynn Allen who states that her definition of "whore" is someone, a man or a woman, who does something for money that they don't want to do. She talks about working with Ken Russell, her enjoinment of exhibitionism, and taking acting lessons, her transition from pornography - she plays "Wounded Girl" in Whore. There is also a new dozen-minute interview with writer Deborah Dalton discussing how Ken wanted to do a realistic portrayal of a prostitute that haven't been done before. She relates her career and working with some of the cast/crew. I enjoyed the new 12-minute appreciation of Ken Russell and Whore by X-rated auteur Bruce LaBruce discusses his life as a provocateur - and its connotation to Ken Russell. Lastly, is a wonderful new video essay author and critic Kat Ellinger who analysis why the film confuses some viewers and how it is still pure Ken Russell if channeled in a slightly different way. It's very informative. There is also a short theatrical trailer and the package has a limited edition slipcase (see below.)

Ken Russell's Whore has a strong voyeuristic quality without being titillating or sexploitive. Theresa Russell is fabulous. Whore was based on the play Bondage written by David Hines who penned prize-winning monologue focused on a night in the life of a prostitute who he drove in his London taxi cab. It has an documentary feel, somewhat detached from vérité, interspersed with graphic, even vulgar, but honest dialogue but remains fascinating entertainment. Many have been waiting for this Imprint Blu-ray which is 40% off on Amazon at the writing of this review.

Gary Tooze

 

Package - Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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