LOST SARNO MOVIE THE NAKED FOG Expands Sarno Archive and Joe Sarno Retrospect Series

Film preservation organization Film Media announced today it has begun restoration on a 35mm print of Joseph W. Sarno’s 1966 film THE NAKED FOG.  Once restored, HD assets for THE NAKED FOG will be scheduled for theatrical screenings, DVD / Blu-Ray and Digital release as part of the Joseph W. Sarno Retrospect Series under the Film Movement Classics label.  

Previously considered a “lost” film, little information about THE NAKED FOG is available online.  What is known, is that THE NAKED FOG was produced the same year as Sarno’s seminal MOONLIGHTING WIVES and shares several cast and crew members including leads Tammy Latour and Gretchen Rudolph.  A rare THE NAKED FOG pressbook reveals the movie was marketed as “A Picture that Dares to Reveal the Truth about Sin!” Film Media owner Michael Raso sheds further light on the discovery and film...  

"Lisa Vraney of Something Weird Video sent me an e-mail with a link to an ebay film lot auction that included a 35mm print of THE NAKED FOG. Having assumed all prints were destroyed or lost years ago, the print is in surprisingly good condition, and I believe fans of Joe’s movies and exploitation in general will be very pleased with the post-restoration results.  Although THE NAKED FOG shares some situations and themes with Joe’s other films of that era – middle class prostitution rings, swinging suburbanites - the lead Marge, played by Tammy Latour, exhibits much less agency than is typical in a Sarno heroine.  She claims to be a writer, but we never see her write.  Instead, she drifts from one city and one man to another, always seeking, never satisfied.  As we journey with her, we meet a variety of characters grappling with their own psycho-sexual impulses, and it’s in these complicated interactions we see Joe’s deft hand. All in all, it’s an exciting discovery and one I’m thrilled to be able to share with fans soon." 

NAKED FOG is the newest addition to the Film Media archive of movies by noted exploitation director Joe Sarno.  Working with the Sarno Estate, Film Media continues its mission to collect and preserve as many Sarno films as possible under one roof.

Volume 1 of the Joe Sarno Retrospect (Vampire Ecstasy / Sin You Sinners) was released on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital on October 25, 2016. Details on the 2017 release schedule is forthcoming.

 

Film Movement is partnering with Film Media to release HD restorations of Sarno's films under the Film Movement Classics label

Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Streaming of VAMPIRE ECSTASY and SIN YOU SINNERS Kicks Off the Series This October

September 1, 2016 (New York, NY) – Film Movement, the New York-based film distributor of first-run, award-winning foreign and independent films, announced today its acquisition of classic titles by noted sexploitation and erotica filmmaker Joe Sarno. In 2014, Film Movement released A LIFE IN DIRTY MOVIES, a documentary about Sarno and his wife Peggy and their attempt to make one last film. Because of the overwhelming response to the documentary and to his films in general, Film Movement is partnering with Film Media to release HD restorations of Sarno's films under the Film Movement Classics label. Two films, VAMPIRE ECSTASY (1973) and the seminal SIN YOU SINNERS (1963), will be the first titles to be released on October 25th.

Series 1 Blu-Ray from the Joe sarno retrospect - Vampire Ecstasy/Sin You Sinners

Series 1 Blu-Ray from the Joe sarno retrospect - Vampire Ecstasy/Sin You Sinners

Through Film Movement’s partnership with Film Media, new 2K theatrical masters will be created for each film for the first time ever. For years, only poorly-preserved prints were available for retrospective screenings. Film Movement has acquired all rights to the Sarno library and will make all of the films available for theatrical retrospectives as the new masters become available. In addition, all of the films will be re-released on Blu-ray and DVD over the next few years and will feature new essays by film critic Tim Lucas. Michael E. Rosenberg, President of Film Movement, brokered the deal with Michael Raso and Paige Davis of Film Media.

“Joe Sarno was a master of erotic cinema whose career spanned and embraced the changing sexual mores of the latter mid-20th century,” said Raso. “We are delighted the Sarno Retrospect series, featuring many of Joe’s most critically and commercially acclaimed films, has found a home with Film Movement Classics, a brand synonymous with outstanding and culturally significant cinema.”

“Film Media has worked diligently to find and restore these films, and after releasing A LIFE IN DIRTY MOVIES, we're thrilled to re-introduce audiences to these classic films, as well as introduce new audiences to Joe Sarno,” said Rosenberg.

Joe and Peggy Sarno in Torino 2006

Joe and Peggy Sarno in Torino 2006

A pioneer of sexploitation cinema, American film director and screenwriter Joseph W. Sarno’s (1921-2010) prolific career spans the evolution of the genre. His early black and white films are praised for their chiaroscuro lighting and their complex psycho-sexual plots, but it was his more explicit art-house film, INGA, shot in Sweden in 1968, that brought him international attention and catapulted its young star, Marie Liljedahl, to fame. Never a fan of explicit triple-X filmmaking, Sarno nonetheless continued to write and direct adult films through the 1970s and ‘80s, often working under a pseudonym or offering his director’s credit to the film’s female lead. Among his most noted films are SIN IN THE SUBURBS, INGA, ABIGAIL LESLIE IS BACK IN TOWN, CONFESSIONS OF A YOUNG AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE and BUTTERFLIES – all of which will be released as part of the series.

Recently, Sarno’s work has been the subject of retrospectives at several noted institutions and festivals, including Anthology Film Archives in New York which called him “…one of the true pioneers of celluloid erotica and one of sexploitation’s most sincere and critically-celebrated stylists.” The British Film Institute (BFI) observed that “…in the films of Joe Sarno, sex is never simply sex,” while The Alamo Drafthouse notes that because Sarno was “a psychology major in college, he directed erotic movies with strong moral and archetypal underpinnings. His films are full of mind games, secret rituals, role playing, masks and strong, often dominant female characters.” Sarno retrospectives were also held at the New York Underground Film Festival, the Lake Placid Film Festival, the Vienna Filmmuseum, The Cinemateque Français, The Turin Film Festival, and the Warhol Museum.

Actress  Nadia Henkowa  plays the leader of the "black sisters" in Vampire Ecstasy

Actress  Nadia Henkowa  plays the leader of the "black sisters" in Vampire Ecstasy

Dripping with gothic atmosphere, VAMPIRE ECSTASY (aka THE DEVIL’S PLAYTHING, 1973, 103 minutes) is Sarno’s mesmerizing foray into the horror genre. When a trio of beautiful young women journey to their ancestral home to claim an inheritance, they fall prey to a coven of witches, intent on trying to reincarnate their deceased vampire leader. Starring Maria Forsa, Nadia Henkowa, and Anke Syring, VAMPIRE ECSTASY was called “an undercurrent of poetic melancholia and surrealism” by Offscreen.com. 

Sin You Sinners is one of the earliest Joe Sarno feature films.

Sin You Sinners is one of the earliest Joe Sarno feature films.

SIN YOU SINNERS (1963, 73 minutes) is from the first wave of sexploitation films by Sarno, who was also dubbed the “Chekov of soft-core” (Village Voice). The film is a hypnotic noir about a medallion forged in a voodoo ritual that preserves an exotic dancer’s youth and beauty. When her jealous daughter and employer hatch plots to steal the amulet for themselves, it sets off a chain of events ending in murder. “SIN YOU SINNERS….finds (Joe Sarno) already occupying the unconscious position of a genuine grindhouse auteur,” wrote Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog. 

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About Film Movement
Launched in 2002, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films, based in New York City. Film Movement has released more than 250 feature films and shorts from 50 countries on six continents, including the recent Academy Award-nominated film THEEB, and other top prize winners from Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Tribeca and other prestigious festivals. Together with two imprints, Omnibus Entertainment and Film Movement Classics, Film Movement releases its films through numerous distribution channels, including hundreds of art-house cinemas, universities and libraries; home video; television outlets; Cable Video on Demand; In-flight Entertainment; broadband outlets; and its original film subscription club. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com.

SEMINAL SARNO FILMS FROM SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO

THE FILM MEDIA PROJECT GROWS JOSEPH W. SARNO LIBRARY WITH SEMINAL FILMS

FROM SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO

Titles Scheduled for Restoration and HD Remaster in 2016 / 2017

May 6 2016 Fairlawn NJ – The Film Media Project announced a collaboration with Something Weird Video resulting in an additional seven Joseph W. Sarno films scheduled for restoration and HD remaster in 2016 / 2017.  Spanning the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, the Something Weird Video additions include Sin in the Suburbs (1964), Pandora and the Magic Box (1965), Desire Under the Palms (1968), Odd Triangle (1968), Vibrations (1968), Love in the Third Position aka Siv, Anne and Sven (1971), and Young Erotic Fanny Hill (1971).  Together with the existing prints in the Film Media Project archive, they provide a cinematic snapshot of the changing social mores and sexual politics of this important era in American exploitation and sexploitation filmmaking.

Lisa Petrucci of Something Weird Video (SWV) contributed this bio of SWV founder Mike Vraney,

“Mike Vraney (1957-2014) was a true pioneer in the exploitation home video business. As a teenager, Mike worked as a projectionist at drive-ins and later porno theaters, ran a comic-book store, and managed punk bands during the 1980s (Dead Kennedys, TSOL, and The Accused) before starting Something Weird in 1990. He started out as a cult movies fan, recording and collecting obscure VHS tapes for his personal viewing, until he got the idea of actually putting ads in fanzines and selling videos collector-to-collector. Then Mike began finding 35mm film prints of unknown sexploitation films and vintage 16mm girlie arcade loops, and had them transferred to video and released on VHS. This was the birth of Something Weird Video as we know it today. Over the years, Mike acquired and amassed thousands of rare and unusual original film negatives and prints, working closely with such legendary exploiteers as David F. Friedman, Dan Sonney, Harry Novak, Herschell Gordon Lewis; and eventually specializing in the sexploitation genre by releasing the oeuvres of such notables as Doris Wishman, Michael and Roberta Findlay, Barry Mahon, and of course, Joe Sarno. Besides offering an extensive catalog of feature films, Mike also was fanatical about short subjects and singlehandedly put out hundreds of compilations including Nudie Cuties Shorts Loops & Peeps, Bucky Beaver's Stags, as well as countless movie trailer, nostalgic subjects, and educational scare film series. Mike continued to find and release lost films on video up until he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012. We can proudly say that over the years Mike's vision, enthusiasm and influence contributed to the growth of the genre film video business as we know it today. He is greatly missed, but his legacy lives on.”

above: Michael Vraney in the vaults of Something Weird Video

above: Michael Vraney in the vaults of Something Weird Video

And added,

"Something Weird Video is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the Film Media Project on the release and restoration of these seminal sixties exploitation classics from the great master of psycho-sexual cinema, Joe Sarno. We've always believed Sarno's films to be some of the best of this genre and have long considered them precious jewels in the crown of our film archive. It will be a treat to see these brilliant films in high definition, and get the first class treatment and presentation they so well deserve” – Lisa Petrucci, SWV

above: Still from the restored HD version of "Sin in the Suburbs"

above: Still from the restored HD version of "Sin in the Suburbs"

Film Media Project (FMP) founder Michael Raso commented, 

“It is with great pleasure we announce this collaboration with Something Weird Video and confirm our mutual commitment to the preservation and restoration of outstanding independent cinema shot on film – and in particular, the films of Joe Sarno”

Following restoration and remastering to High Definition, the films will be released to Blu-Ray and HD Digital home entertainment as The Joseph Sarno Retrospect series, featuring liner notes by noted author and film critic, Tim Lucas. 

For additional information on the Tim Lucas visit http://videowatchdog.blogspot.com/

For additional information on Something Weird Video visit www.somethingweird.com

FILM MEDIA TO RELEASE VAMPIRE ECSTASY / SIN YOU SINNERS TO BLU-RAY

For Immediate Release

Contact: Paige@PopCinema.com

FILM MEDIA TO RELEASE VAMPIRE ECSTASY / SIN YOU SINNERS

TO BLU-RAY AND HD DIGITAL OCTOBER 4, 2016

 Double Feature Kicks Off Joseph W. Sarno High Definition Release Schedule

 April 26, 2016 Fair Lawn, NJ – Motion picture film preservation and restoration company Film Media announced the October 4, 2016 release of Vampire Ecstasy and Sin You Sinners, two seminal films from director Joseph W. Sarno, to Blu-Ray and HD Digital.  This day-and-date blu-ray and HD digital release is the first in a planned series that will comprise the largest collection of Joseph W. Sarno films under one label.  Also contributing to the series are Tim Lucas, noted film critic and editor of Video Watchdog, who will provide liner notes; and Joe’s widow Peggy Steffans Sarno, who will provide context and invaluable insight into Joe’s process. 

Still from Joe Sarno's 1963 film SIN YOU SINNERS.

Still from Joe Sarno's 1963 film SIN YOU SINNERS.

 About the Vampire Ecstasy / Sin You Sinners Double Feature Blu-Ray

Magic amulets, occult rituals and an undying curse drive tales of sexual jealousy and forbidden desire in Joseph W. Sarno’s Sin You Sinners and Vampire Ecstasy, presented together for the first time in High Definition.

 Sin You Sinners (1963) – an aging exotic dancer uses occult forces in the shape of a magic amulet to maintain her youth and beauty.  Discovering her secret, her jealous daughter and employer hatch plots to steal the amulet for themselves.  When the amulet goes missing, it sets off a chain of events ending in murder.

Still from Joe Sarno's 1973 film VAMPIRE ECSTASY

Still from Joe Sarno's 1973 film VAMPIRE ECSTASY

 Vampire Ecstasy (1973) – Three beautiful young women arrive at a grim and secluded castle, eager to claim their inheritance.  In the castle basement, a coven of witches dance in a wild, orgiastic sex ritual, invoking the spirit of their deceased vampire leader.  That same night, a brother and sister arrive, warning of the castle’s evil curse.  But too soon they also fall under the witches’ spell, and the stage is set for the return of the Baroness Varga, for the vessel has been chosen! 

Writer/Director Joe Sarno and Producer Chris Nebe in Germany 1973.

Writer/Director Joe Sarno and Producer Chris Nebe in Germany 1973.

 Double Feature includes new liner notes by Tim Lucas, film critic and editor of Video Watchdog, director and producer interviews, mini poster, commentary and a trailer vault.

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The Film Media Project is dedicated to preserving, restoring and raising awareness of obscure and outstanding examples of independent cinema shot on motion picture film.  

Tim Lucas' VIDEO WATCHDOG blog -  http://videowatchdog.blogspot.com/

Film Media is Born

Blog by Michael Raso

Joe and Peggy Sarno in 2001. (photo by Sam Sherman)

Joe and Peggy Sarno in 2001. (photo by Sam Sherman)

No better day to launch the Film Media Project than on Joe Sarno's birthday! Our very first press release pasted below. Happy birthday, Joe! I miss ya! So thrilled to be working with Joe's wife Peggy on bringing Joe's films to a new generation!

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The Film Media Project is dedicated to preserving, restoring and raising awareness of obscure and outstanding examples of independent cinema shot on motion picture film.

 Conceived and initiated in 2016, the Film Media Project is the brainchild of company director Michael Raso who has dedicated his life to working with film.  A professional cinematographer, editor and producer, Michael understands all aspects of film media from production through media management and distribution.  Michael personally oversees the restoration and transfer to high definition of all films in the Film Media Project archive.

Joe Sarno and Michael Raso - New York City 2005

Joe Sarno and Michael Raso - New York City 2005

The Joseph W. Sarno Film Library – the Film Media Archive currently includes the largest collection of films by erotic auteur Joseph W. Sarno.  Restoration of the library to high definition media is scheduled to begin Spring of 2016, and will be managed by Michael Raso with assistance from Joe’s widow, Peggy Sarno.

About Joseph W. Sarno (d. 2010) – an American film director and screenwriter, Joe Sarno emerged from the New York sexploitation film scene of the 1950s and 1960s and wrote / directed approximately 75 feature films including the internationally renowned Sin in the Suburbs and Inga.  Often referred to as “the Ingmar Bergman of 42nd street”, the last 12 years of Joe’s life heralded a new appreciation for his body of nuanced and highly stylized erotic dramas, culminating in a series of screenings and awards at the Lake Placid Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Turin Film Festival and the Warhol Museum among others. It was during this time that Joe Sarno and Michael Raso forged the close working relationship that would result in the location, purchase, and restoration of many of his existing films, and the production of Joe’s final feature film in 2004.