Thursday, October 30, 2008

All the Sins of Sodom (1968)

This was the second part of the Joe Sarno double feature, and it's a film that was thought to have been lost for 30 years. Apparently, the negatives were discovered recently and this digital transfer was made, and then screened to a sold out Weird Wednesday audience. There's something humbling about watching a film that hasn't been seen by anyone else in 30 years, or in some cases, ever. It was definitely more of what I'm used to from Sarno, exceptionally photographed Black & White sequences with iconic imagery, somewhat choppy editing, and performances that range from vibrant to cardboard.

The plot centers around a big city photographer looking to catch his big break in the world of model photography. Throughout the film he has a handful of muses, some innocent and coy, at least one of them is pure evil (well, sort of), but they all give themselves over to the photographer, both in front of the camera and behind it. When the photographer gets what he wants from both his innocent and evil muses, at what cost will he have to pay?

To be honest, I was completely conscience during this movie, but because of the slow pace and limited plot, it's hard for me to recall specific details that stood out to me. I remember thinking that the evil muse was not really my type, but that she was so wonderfully filmed that I understood why she was the catalyst in the movie. I also remember thinking that the male lead, the photographer, was not up to the challenge of acting against the female cast. His exclamations of frustration to his model; “No, no, it's not evil enough,” induced more laughter in the theater than understanding. I remember the goofy faces the elevator operator made in the background of his shots, which I think is funny now, since he's the only male in the movie that got a film credit on IMDB.

After the movie, I went out into the lobby and met Joe Sarno. I watched his trembling hand scribble out an inscription on my copy of “The Love Merchant.” The young man next to him asked Sarno if he remembered that picture, and he replied with fondness for it. I wonder what that night at the Alamo was like Sarno? I remember during the screening of “Abigail Lesley,” looking down the row of seats and seeing Joe's face as he watched the screen. I wonder what it was like to watch it in theater with an audience, after all these years?

The inscription on my dvd said: “Hey Popkoff! Enjoy the Sex! - Joe Sarno.”

Here's is a bit of one of the Q & A's from that night:

All the Sins of Sodom” screened at midnight on 10/1/08 at the Alamo Ritz and was presented by Weird Wednesday.

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