'All the Sins of 'Sodom' & 'Vibrations' BD: '60s Sexplotation Double Feature by 'Chekov of Soft-Core' Jospeh Sarno
Fans of Indie film god Film Movement (and of Unreal TV) already know of '60s and '70s artistic soft-core pornography god Joe Sarno through prior Movement releases. This relationship with the man dubbed "The Ingmar Bergman of 42nd Street" begins with the (reviewed) Movement September 2014 DVD release of the documentary "My Life in Dirty Movie" about "Sarno." Movement follows this up with the (also reviewed) Film Movement Classics October 2016 Blu-ray double feature of the Sarno films "Vampire Ecstasy" and "Sin You Sinners."
The double-feature is the first release in the Movement Joseph W. Sarno Retrospective Series; a Classics September 26, 2017 Blu-ray release of a double feature consisting of the shot back-to-back Sarno '68 films "All the Sins of Sodom" and "Vibrations" is the second in this series.
Watching the black-and-white "Sodom" and "Vibrations" reinforces the aforementioned comparison to Begrman and a reference to Woody Allen in the "Movies" review. "Sodom" centers around the studio of photographer Henning, who specializes in sensually erotic images of women; the very hirsute Dan Machuen who plays Henning also is aptly billed as "hairy man" in "Vibrations."
Henning happily spends his days photographing nude and nearly nude women and his nights having sex with them only to discard them in both regards the morning after; this pattern changes in both regards in the 24 hours following model Leslie showing up for a layout. Maria Lease plays both Leslie and trouble-making sister Julie in "Vibrations."
Newly homeless model Joyce showing up the morning after Henning and Leslie seal their deal contributes the Sodom element to the sins that occur in the studio/home of Henning. Joyce portrayor Sue Akers does not appear in "Vibrations."
Morris Kaplan, who is the real-life still photographer for both "Sodom" and "Vibrations," also deserves a shout out for his roles in "Sodom" and "Vibrations." The performance of Kaplan as "Carlton the Doorman" style "elevator operator" in "Sodom" proves the adage that there are no small parts. He does even better in in the larger part of dreamy aspiring novelist Dick Parrish in "Vibrations."
Joyce the nymph in "Sodom" evolves from being a wildly self-pleasuring voyeur as Henning and Leslie have sex on the other side of a thin divider to being much more bold. Her overt adventures begin with seducing a reluctant female model, move on to actively striving to create the bad kind of friction between Henning and Leslie, and ultimately showing that three's company.
"Vibrations" centers around mid-west girl Barbara (Marianne Prevost who plays "Actress" in "Sodom") in New York to make it big as a writer but types manuscripts to pay the rent on her run-down apartment. This time, Barbara is the voyeur who hears her rich party-girl neighbor use her vibrator to pleasure herself and her friends in the apartment that this heiress rents solely for this purpose.
The trouble-making interloper this time is Barbara sister Julie, who forces her sibling to shelter her in the wake of Julie ending the latest in a long string of failed heterosexual relationships. Julie looking to live a highly irresponsible life on the limited income of Barbara is only part of the problem.
These sisters having the same names as the mid-west Cooper siblings in the Norman Lear '70s sitcom "One Day at a Time," and that Julie being the wild child to good girl Barbara makes one wonder if Sarno inspires Lear.
Julie is very aggressive regarding her desire to relive old times with Barbara, to join in the fun next door with the heiress and "hairy man" (and to get Barbara to be more neighborly in that regard), and to get a man of her own. That third desire particularly hinders Barbara and Parrish living happily ever after.
The incredibly erotic bondagastic final scene in "Vibrations" screams for making the obvious reference to it being climatic. It further should prompt every adult female viewer to shout "Alexa, order a vibrator" and every man to wish that he could experience the intense pleasure that such a device apparently provides.
The effective smoking a cigarette after watching "Vibrations" is in the form of a interview with Sarno. A time constraint that required a virtual walk of shame at the end of "Vibrations" required postponing that pleasure for another day. "Movies," "Sodom," and "Vibrations" strongly indicate that that discourse is highly satisfying.
The "parting gift" from Movement, which always calls the next day, is a booklet that features liner notes by film expert Tim Lucas. The clear expertise of Lucas regarding both Sarno makes one look forward to the upcoming book by that author about that auteur.