'Whore' is cheap, but it's no thrill

The producers of "Whore" are planning to release the film in three different lengths as a cassette. One is the NC-17 version that is showing at the Rotunda. It is about 82 minutes long. A

second cassette version will be R-rated. A third will have added footage, but it is unlikely that adding material to "Whore" is going to make it any better than it is.


It is very tired movie making. Theresa Russell is the lady of the title, and she tells us all about her life as she looks toward the



We also meet some of her johns, but there is no one you haven't seen in other movies about prostitutes: the man who dies during copulation, the man who wants to be scolded by his "mommy," the men who mix sex with brutality.

Ken Russell did the direction. Russell has done some provocative movies ("The Music Lovers"), but there is nothing unusual about this one. It looks, in fact, like some of the movies that used to play the skin houses. It also sounds like those movies. It has that tinny sound that is the mark of the cheap skin flick.

Liz (Russell) does have friends. One is a street person who likes to play with broken glass. Another is an Indian biker who boasts about his equipment.

There is very little action in "Whore." There is a killing, but we are prepared for it from the start. We sit and wait for it to happen. When it does, it is anticlimactic and clumsily executed.

"Whore" is lacking on many levels, beginning with the acting. Russell, who has given some interesting performances in films far more intriguing than this, is miscast. She is more the mischievous debutante than she is a hooker, and some of her big scenes, including one that takes place in a restaurant, fall flat.

Benjamin Mouton is the pimp, a white pimp, which is the only distinction this film has. In all other prostitution movies, the pimps are black.

"Whore" is less, not more.



* The life and times of a prostitute.

CAST: Theresa Russell, Benjamin Mouton, Antonio Fargas, Sanjay

DIRECTOR: Ken Russell

RATING: NC-17 (sex, language, nudity, violence)

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes