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  • This middle-period Sarno opus concentrates more than usual on the erotic scenes and heaving breasts, and for once probably satisfied the raincoat crowd as much as puzzling them. For fans of the auteur, there's plenty of psychological intensity and moral irony, as well as a neat jazzy organ score -- like Fassbinder, Sarno was continually recombining his major themes and stylistic tropes in clever new variations. Quite uncharacteristically, a nosy Brooklyn-accented cleaning lady is used as a comic Greek chorus, punctuating the action with her inquisitions. (The SWV video box gives the date as 1969, whereas the 1967 date given by IMDB and other sources seems correct.)
  • Maria Lease plays Barbara, the aspiring writer and squeamish sister. Marianne Prevost plays the outgoing sister. This is confirmed by Maria Lease crying out "Julie!" when she finds Marianne Prevost in bed with a man. IMDb and the reviewers seem to have them interchanged.
  • Vibrations (1968)

    *** (out of 4)

    Joseph W. Sarno wrote and directed this better-than-average softcore flick about a struggling writer named Barbara (Marianne Prevost) who is trying to get her career going. She moves into an apartment building but when her sister sexually adventurous Julia (Maria Lease) shows she begins to feel jealous of what acts are going on in the next room.

    If you're familiar with this period of sexploitation pictures then you're probably aware that many of these films were made just so the raincoat crowd could go into dark theaters and see nudity. I recently saw an interview with Sarno where he said his only inspiration was the work of Ingmar Bergman and that's easy to see because it appears he always tried to do more story than just your typical skin flick. This one here deals with the issues between these two sisters, some of which go back to their days of children. I thought Sarno did a very good job in telling this story and managing to keep it entertaining even though at times the 75-minute running time had some repeat stories going on.

    What really impressed me the most here were the performances. I thought both Lease and Prevost were extremely believable in their roles of the sisters and you can honestly say that they delivered performances and didn't just stand around delivering lines and waiting to be naked. Another wonderful thing is the lighting, which is just flawless and you can see the influence from the Bergman pictures. For such a low-budget movie Sarno at least makes you feel as if you're watching a more professional picture. VIBRATIONS is certainly one of the better films from the genre.
  • Far from being top notch Sarno, this remains worth watching because it is just so idiosyncratic. I suppose sex noir might be an appropriate term for the director's best work with the keen use of black and white photography and usually a very strange central character and a tendency as here to have our sense of morality challenged by just who or what is good and bad. Just a little too much groping in bed here for me, especially with the censorship of the time restricting just what the camera could show, that and men with hairy backs! Two sisters, one more pushy and keen to repeat the sexual games of their childhood, the other an aspiring poet. Next door is a box room of earthly delights where a busty blonde holds court and with an adventurous couple and an antique looking vibrator, tempt first the elder and eventually the younger into their den. Interspersed with exterior shots of the elder walking around in New York. These shots were clearly all shot on the same day because the streets look a dismal grey and the roads wet in every shot, still they add to the air of discontent running through this strange little film and almost make us keen to get back to he of the hairy back.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Timid frustrated writer Barbara (a solid and appealing performance by the pretty Marianne Prevost) moves into a new apartment in Manhattan. Things heat up when Barbara's brazen and promiscuous sister Julie (sharply played to the predatory and calculating hilt by the sultry Maria Lease) shows up and becomes involved in a kinky sex cult in the neighboring flat run by the insatiable mistress Georgia (some incredibly hot and busty brunette knockout). Once again, acclaimed soft-core auteur Joe Sarno explores the bold trademark themes of incest and sexual repression in a smart, thoughtful, and provocative manner. Moreover, Sarno adeptly crafts a heady erotic mood. The fierce sibling rivalry between the two main characters delivers a potent emotional punch, with one real doozy of a surprise bummer ending. The fairly explicit sex scenes and abundant tasty distaff nudity give this one plenty of sizzle. Morris Kaplan contributes an engaging turn as amiable fellow struggling scribe Dick Parrish while Sarno's wife Peggy Steffen is an absolute hoot as a snoopy landlady with a thick borough accent. Steve Silverman's exceptionally well composed high contrast black and white cinematography rates as another significant asset. Ditto Michael Colicchio's smooth jazzy score. Some choice footage of New York City in its seedy 1960's splendor, too. Recommended viewing for Sarno fans.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The emphasis is on sisterly incest in Joe Sarno's VIBRATIONS, cranked out in NYC during a very busy period in 1968 when he was shooting movies all over the place, in Florida, Sweden and upstate New York.

    Actors are not credited, and it's mainly a no-name cast plus Mrs. Sarno as a grumpy cleaning lady/comic relief character. Film was made probably back-to-back with the recently unearthed ALL THE SINS OF SODOM, featuring an overlapping cast and same location.

    Corny gimmick (a porn staple) is the sisters Julie and Barbara listening to sex through the building's thin walls. Masturbation and soft-X simulated sex scenes do not feature full frontal nudity, but are arousing nonetheless. Shooting in 1968 is established by a Times Sq. theatre marquee advertising GRAND SLAM, released in NYC early that year.

    Femme cast (Mrs. Sarno is in a non-sex role) boasts big tits, the calling card of this particular film, and they are spotlighted in high-contrasted b&w visuals. There is less plot than in the usual '60s Sarno soap opera, indicating this was a quickie. In fact, a lesbian orgy over at the neighbors' apartment is shot as pure porn.

    SPOILERS ALERT:

    The lady using Sarno's patented oversize vibrator resembles a Diane Keaton with big breasts. The prudish & mousy one of the two sisters (Barbara) eventually breaks down and joins in a climactic orgy.

    Surprise is a scene of bondage and sexual torture (too much vibrator action) at the orgy. Twist has Barbara falling in love with a stud she encounters at the orgy. The main suspense revolves around how the sisters will resolve their incestuous behavior.

    Cheaply presaging a device he used in dozens of his lousy '80s XXX videos, Sarno has random footage of sister Julie wandering around Manhattan to inject exterior transitions. The nasty ending consists of Barbara running off with the stud, leaving sis Julie in the lurch. Julie becomes a full-fledged lesbian, addicted to too much orgasms.

    As the dialog quoted in IMDb (rather insulting I would contend) implies, this is substandard work. But Sarno has acquired a relatively loyal following thanks to his repetitiousness which coalesces into such a distinctive style -nearly essential for anyone to achieve status as an "auteur".