British directors are generally regarded as more "expressive" and "colorful" (should that be "colourful?") than their blockbusting American counterparts. But one Brit stands alone in his cinemagraphic perversity and overt symbolic displays: Ken Russell, whose mark on moving pictures will linger like a greasy lipstick stain on a martini glass. For outstanding visceral vulgarity, the Mercury hereby proclaims Ken Russell to be the most garish of the British directors.

- Tommy (1975)--Based on the Who's rock opera of the same name, Tommy chronicles a boy's rise from debased isolation to messiah, allowing Ken Russell to step in and visually bombard the viewer with all manner of trippy lenscrafting. Roger Daltrey adequately plays Tommy, the iconic pinball god, and is supported by a winky parade of famous supporters, including Tina Turner (hot!), Ann-Margret (MILF!), Keith Moon (nuts!), and Oliver Reed (ham!).

- The Devils (1971)--Originally deemed too blasphemous for mainstream release, The Devils' original rating was an emphatic "X" for sex and weirdness. Oliver Reed plays Father Grandier, whose superiors want control of his uncorrupted flock--so they frame him as a warlock in control of a devil-possessed nunnery. The situation's exacerbated by Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave), whose sexual obsession with the father and whose unholy fantasies about him literally stoke the fires of Hell.

- The Boyfriend (1971)--This whimsical, G-rated musical starring '60s supermodel Twiggy was likely Ken Russell's self-prescribed antacid for The Devils. Largely a parody of '30s musicals, The Boyfriend has the same stylistic tweakiness of a Coen brothers genre study.

- Altered States (1980)--William Hurt stars as Prof. Jessup, whose experimentation with hallucinogens and an isolation tank cause him to evolutionarily regress both physically and mentally. (Whose haven't?) This leaves the door wide open to the horrifying magicks of Russell, whose deft hand in the visual interpretation of the Id leaves the viewer shaky, and in dire need of a cigarette.