27 April, 2010

Joseph Sarno (1921-2010)

A somewhat fuzzy, dark image of Marie Liljedahl from Joseph W. Sarno's 1968 INGA, which nonetheless telegraphs some of the downbeat, serious mood of this vintage Swedish lensed erotica. Sarno died yesterday in New York City. He was 89.
A prolific director of over 100 sexploitation/erotic features from 1961 to 2004, Sarno had a singular visual style. His films ranged from soft to hardcore and some were credited to his various beards. I've only managed to see INGA and his lurid, German lensed gothic, DIE FLUCH DER SCHWARZEN SCHWESTERN aka VAMPIRE ECSTASY aka THE DEVIL'S PLAYTHING aka VEIL OF BLOOD (1973). The former, of course, launched Ms. Liljedahl into a career which would include Jess Franco's EUGENIE... THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION (1970). I always thought that VEIL OF BLOOD makes an interesting double bill with Franco's LA COMTESSE NOIRE [FEMALE VAMPIRE], also made in 1973.
Considering the genre in which he worked, he had a rather high critical reputation, which grew over the years. I would like to see more of his work, especially such vintage 1960s titles as SIN IN THE SUBURBS.


dfordoom said...

Sarno was a great film-maker. I've seen lots of his 1960s sexploitation movies. They're more like dark psychological studies than mere sexploitation. I recommend any of the Something Weird Sarno double-features.

Swedish Wildcats is a favourite of mine, although it isn't typical Sarno. It's an offbeat love story.

I'd rate him as one of the key cult movie-makers.

Virgile said...

Sin is definitely a great film. You should also get to see Passion in Hot Hollows, which has a very special mood to it. And it's 70's dramas. Gorgeous actress for some of them. Joe will be missed.