and Sin in the Suburbs, he shone a focused
(and sometimes unnervingly strong) spotlight on women’s libidos and the power
His first film in more than two decades, Suburban Secrets trades in all the usual
Sarno brands, wrapping a story of off-the-rails lust and betrayal around the rather
basic and soapy template of what might be the latest rejected small screen UPN
(sorry… CW) pilot. The picture centers around Laura (red-haired looker Isadora
Edison, above), a young
woman who makes a living through nude modeling. Upon discovering that an
ex-lover, Nelson (John Samuel Jordan), is having an affair with her Aunt Cynthia
(Tina Tyler), however, Laura returns to her suburban hometown in an effort to
stir up the status quo. Naturally, she succeeds.
Laura’s return and her penchant for sexual experimentation jointly
ignite both the thinly concealed jealousies and dormant passions of family
members, friends and associates. A quadrangle of uninhibited lust and taboo desires
between Laura, Nelson, Cynthia and Nelson’s sister Judith (Kay Kirtland) — a high-powered
lawyer with an unwholesome hold on her brother — quickly boils over.
Well, maybe not quite
so quickly. Sarno’s film clocks in at distended 153 minutes, which is somewhat
of a trial even given its copious nudity. The performances are solid for the
genre and Sarno’s evocative frames and emphasis on character are certainly
things that many workaday hacks could stand to go school on. Still, this is a
bit of a curio; the wheelhouse modern audience for this type of picture will
find its length a bit of a mitigating factor, if not quite a deal-breaker.
Seduction Cinema’s double-disc release of the film contains
a telecine transfer supervised and approved by Sarno in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio
enhanced for 16×9 televisions. The first disc contains the aforementioned unexpurgated
director’s cut of the movie and a mini-documentary on its making, while the
second disc contains the “TV cut” of the film, footage from its placement at
the Lake Placid Film Festival and a plethora of additional behind-the-scenes footage.
There’s also a booklet with liner notes, rounding out a quite nice presentation.
B- (Movie) B (Disc)