- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: The Sarnos: A Life in Dirty Movies

Also known as:

Year: 2013

Genre: Documentary

Language: English

Runtime: 79 min

Director: Wiktor Ericsson

Writer: Wiktor Ericsson


A documentary about Joseph W. Sarno, his wife, his life in making porn and sexploitation and his attempt in making one last film.

Our thoughts:
Thanks to Klubb Super 8 we've had quite a few Joseph W. Sarno movies reviewed. As a Swede I find him to be quite a cult figure, having made the most iconic Swedish porno of all time ("Fäbodjäntan"). But unfortunately, despite having several cult titles under his belt, he hasn't been getting enough light shed on him. He's not exactly ignored, but considering his importance to a genre - even though that genre is pornography - he should be much more talked about than he is. Luckily, "The Sarnos: A Life in Dirty Movies" gives him a warm goodbye.

The subject of the documentary focuses as much on Sarno himself, as his does his wife Peggy who carries on the documentary without him in the end. The two of them had quite a connection and this documentary gives you a glimpse into their life as it was spent when they stayed in their apartment in Sweden. I don't want this review to read as a biography about the man, so I will simply say that anyone with an interest in his work or classic smut in general needs to watch this documentary. If you watch this hoping to see some of his most hardcore work, then you are probably not gonna be pleased - but if you have an interest in who he was, then this is perfect.

One of the best parts of the documentary is that you get some wonderful trivia about the films they made, from small things happening on set while shooting, to how the world reacted to the movies when they came out. This isn't the first documentary to shed a light on how people have looked at porn through the times, but this is told from a very intriguing perspective that makes this one worthy addition to the porn documentary subgenre. The documentary also has the subplot of them attempting to make one last film, but this is never the main attraction for me - but it does add some bittersweet moments.

In the documentary you get to meet some of Sarno's big fans (some which you might know very well from other rather dirty or depraved movies) as they give him some huge compliments, comparing him to the greats of Hollywood (and often thinking even higher of him than they do of them). Whatever you might think of pornography, he was an auteur and a very prolific one at that.

There isn't much more I can say about it. You should watch it if you have a slight interest in the subjects, and you will most likely be pleased with it. I'm happy that Klubb Super 8 got to release this one, as they are the distributor of a huge amount of his movies, and you really should support them and pick this one up. It's a really entertaining documentary.

Note: I've taken out the ratings being as it's a documentary.

Positive things:
- Gives some attention to a very important pornographer.
- Entertaining, much thanks to Peggy.

Negative things:
- There's nothing bad about it.

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