SIN IN THE SUBURBS (1964) – The Dungeon Review!
Joseph W. Sarno piqued my interest after watching a collage of clips from his sixties films. The one title in particular that caught my attention was All the Sins of Sodom which I found online and has been saved in my favourites menu for months. I probably have forty or more movies saved in my favourites to watch online, never mind the tremendous amount of movies I have queued that are not online! Long story short I just hadn’t gotten around to watching All the Sins of Sodom yet. I was thrilled when I started investigating the films in Something Weird Video’s library and found they had a number of titles from Joe Sarno. Unfortunately zip, my dvd rental outlet only had the double feature The Love Merchant with The Layout which has been queued since I added it almost two months ago! I still haven’t seen it! I could wait no longer. I had decided I was going to purchase several Something Weird titles and I would take a chance on some blind buys so I bought two Sarno double features; Sin in the Suburbs with The Swap and How They Make it as well as Flesh and Lace with Passion in Hot Hollows. I could not be more pleased with these purchases! I will certainly be adding more sixties Sarno to my collection post haste! Sin in the Suburbs with The Swap and How they Make It is a serious contender for my very favourite of all of Something Weird Video’s double features! Both are beautifully filmed melodrama’s full of steamy, sordid details and feature a parade of exploitation superstars that are becoming as familiar to me as old friends. Both films are delicious beyond belief but today I am going to review my absolute numero uno of the quartet; Sin in the Suburbs. “Olga meets Ilsa — in suburbia!” It was these words alone in the Something Weird Video description for the film that provoked me to purchase this one. The film stars Audrey Campbell who played Olga in Joseph P. Mawra’s Olga series (Olga’s House of Shame, White Slaves of Chinatown, Olga’s Girls) and Dyanne Thorne who has played Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS three times including the Don Edmonds 1975 original. The two women play housewives living in Suburbia. Both are pretty damn naughty too; they’ve just traded the whips and torture implements for pots and pans and satin robes and linen masks.
Sin in the Suburbs opens with Yvette Talman (Dyanne Thorne) who is expecting someone from the furniture store to come by. The furniture store to which she owes some money. She answers the door in her negligee.
“Mrs. Talman I’m here about the bill for furniture.”
“Two-hundred and twenty dollars, that’s the balance. You haven’t made a payment in over four months.”
A peek inside another home in suburbia sees Lisa (Marla Ellis) and Henry Francis (Joseph Garri). Lisa is clearly unhappy with her marriage and her husband’s long absences. Lisa pleads with him to stay home this day but in his new position he can not afford time off. Like most of the men in the neighborhood he takes transportation to work and there is only one chance to catch the overly crowded 7:21.
“Gotta make that 7:21.”
In another suburban household Geraldine (Audrey Campbell) and Scott Lewis (Derek Crane) eat breakfast with their cheerleader daughter Kathy (Judy Young) and make polite small talk.
The exceedingly horny Lisa says good-bye to her husband and minutes later she is peering out the window at Roy the Mason. Roy (Richard Tatro) shows Lisa some of his handiwork.
“Jimmy Reed, Kathy’s already gone to school. You better hurry or you’ll be late.”
“I’m not going to school today Mrs. Lewis. I’ve decided to cut.
Geraldine Lewis invites Jimmy (Wayne Roberts) in for coffee and fresh Danish pastry. Than they do the twist in the living room.
Yvette Talman with her “brother” Louis Muse (W.B. Parker); at least that is what they are telling the neighbors.
“Boy! When Al moved out did they twitter.”
“Who are they?”
“The women in the streets; with their husbands. Oh they get so smug and condesending. Oh! And when you moved in! Ha! Did the eyebrows raise!”
Kathy lets Jimmy convince her to leave the party they are at so they can be alone to talk. Of course talking is not what Jimmy wants and he ends up striking Kathy which sends her running home.
Kathy runs home to find her mother is in bed with a man that is not her father. The sight sickens her and again she is sent running.
Kathy ends up in the company of neighbor Yvette Talman who straightens her out about womanhood.
Louis comes up with a way to make money that would cash in on the suburban neighborhood’s promiscuity. He starts the ball rolling with Geraldine Lewis by sending her a note to meet with him.
“A club, made up of people who like things that are different and exciting. Initiation fee one-hundred dollars. Dues, one-hundred dollars a month.”
“That’s a lot of money. What does it buy?”
“A satin cloak and a linen mask.”
“Couple hundred dollars doesn’t go far these days does it?”
“Awwww, but in addition it buys untold pleasures.”
“You’re panting. Maybe you’d like a drink?”
Yvette gets a visit from Kathy.
“Yvette, what are we going to do today?”
Louis and Yvette discuss “The Club”.
“But suppose little Geraldine and the others decide to back out after they get a look?”
“Back out? With the show we are going to give them? They won’t be able to resist. They’ll be anonymous and safe behind masks, safe with partners who can’t identify and who can’t be identified. And chances are there’ll be different partners each week.”
“Kathy! Where were you yesterday when you were supposed to be at school? Answer me! Where were you? And why did you wear heels today? You aren’t involved with a boy? That Jimmy?”
“No mama. I’m not involved with a boy.”
Louis and Yvette ready themselves for “The Club’s” debut evening.
“To all you anonymous, faceless souls … I bid welcome.”
“Ladies, the catalyst. Inside your cloak in a hidden pocket over your heart you will find a key with a number tag. But this number you will keep secret for it is also the number of a room in this inn. A room to which the key belongs. A room to which you belong.
Lisa is not coping well with her husband’s continuing absense; she drunk dials Roy the Mason.
“Ask mother why she would like me to stop seeing Mrs. Talman.”
A perfect and most fitting finale.
I so very much loved the finale to Sin in the Suburbs. I could not have written it better myself. The film is well-written across the board. The dialog is sharp and the performances are all good with a few particularly outstanding turns. Audrey Campbell is excellent as Geraldine Lewis; oozing with confidence, poise and sexuality. Dyanne Thorne also gives a helluva show as the schemeing and provocative neighborhood’s divorcee Yvette Talman. The real showstopper among the ladies is Judy Young who plays Kathy Lewis. Young was featured alongside Audrey Campbell in Olga’s House of Shame as Elaine; House of Shame’s most interesting and memorable character outside of Olga herself. I wonder what became of this talented gal? She was only in a handful of films including another Sarno flick I mentioned in my introduction Flesh and Lace; another wonderful performance. Young is amiable and sweet as Kathy and it is a lot of fun seeing her taste the fruits of sensuality and transform into womanhood over the course of the film. W.B. Parker who plays Louis Muse is a fascination to watch; his tenacity and wryness was as sharp as his features and his gravelly voice stayed with me for several days. Sin in the Suburbs is a nice looking film full of interesting shots. I am a big fan of mirror shots and there is a lenghty one of Louis and Yvette getting ready for “The Club’s” debut evening which I thought was especially attractive. I also adore Mr. Sarno’s use of masks which have been featured now in three of the five flicks I have watched of his. The matching satin robes and linen masks of the members give the scenes in which they appear a cult-like vibe that is delectable, dreamy and a little bit kinky. The Something Weird Video print of Sin in the Suburbs was in decent condition; there were a few lines here and there and some jumps in the editing but minor and it certainly did not spoil my enjoyment of the film any. I have already seen five Joe Sarno titles through Something Weird Video and I fully intend on lapping up every Sarno title they have available. I am out of my mind with excitement to check out every sixties and early seventies Sarno flick I can get my little paws on, Something Weird Video or otherwise. Sin in the Suburbs is a sexy, sinful, well-acted, captivating melodrama that gets my highest of recommendations; a perfect score.
Dungeon Rating: 5/5
Directed by: Joseph W. Sarno
Starring: Judy Young, W.B. Parker, Audrey Campbell, Dyanne Thorne, Marla Ellis, Richard Tatro, Derek Crane, Ella Daphni, Charles Clements, Wayne Roberts, John Aristedes, William Donaldson, Joseph Garri, Mari Kiselle