Henry Kenneth Alfred "Ken" Russell (3 July 1927 27 November 2011) was a flamboyant British film director, noted for his often-controversial films, including:
- Women in Love (1969)
- The Devils (1971)
- The Boy Friend (1971)
- Tommy (1975)
- Lisztomania (1975)
- Altered States (1980)
- Gothic (1986)
- The Lair of the White Worm (1988)
- Salome's Last Dance (1988)
- Whore (1991)
Provides examples of
- Animal Motifs: He uses snakes and snake-related imagery in all of his films.
- Author Appeal: Nudity. It's not a Ken Russell film unless people get their kit off.
- Corrupt Church: A frequent theme in his entire oeuvre. It should be noted that Ken Russell converted to Catholicism and continued to identify himself as one for several decades, even when he made The Devils.
- Show Within a Show: He uses this structure to frame his adaptations of The Boy Friend and Salome. The former has a rundown theatre company trying to impress a big producer with their show, and the latter has the staff of a London brothel performing the play for Oscar Wilde himself.
- Something Completely Different: The Boy Friend is a G-rated musical comedy styled after Golden Age of Hollywood musicals.
- Soundtrack Dissonance
- Spiritual Predecessor: Some see Russell's works like Altered States to share similarities with horror maestro Clive Barker of the Hellraiser fame, except without the gothic macabre horror aspect. Even one of taglines for Barker's Hellraiser, "He'll tear your soul apart" on the original poster could may have referenced to Russell's 1975 film adaptation of Tommy, which features the same poster tagline in exactly the same font.
- Surreal Horror