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Award Winning Sexploitation Director Passes Away

Director of over 100 Sexploitation & Adult movies, Joseph Sarno passed away last week at the age of 89.

From   Sarno’s first hardcore feature was Sleepy Head (1973) featuring Georgina Spelvin and Tina Russell. Reluctant to be associated with the hardcore genre, Sarno began directing explicit films under various pseudonyms. He also acknowledges being the uncredited director of such adult features as Inside Jennifer Welles (1977) starring Jennifer Welles and Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle (1981) starring Annie Sprinkle. Over the course of his hardcore career, Sarno also worked with such adult film stars as Harry Reems, Eric Edwards, Jamie Gillis, Marc Stevens, Marlene Willoughby, Gloria Leonard, Sonny Landham, Seka, and Ron Jeremy.

Bio from

Joe Sarno is one of the pioneering directors of the 1960s sex-exploitation or “sexploitation” film genre. Known for a distinctly economic style and an abiding interest in tense, psycho-sexual character development, Sarno has also come to be recognized as one of the true geniuses to emerge from the sexploitation form. He continued to direct under various pseudonyms in the hardcore feature genre of the 1970s and ’80s, but is best remembered for such pre-pornographic classics as Sin in the Suburbs, Moonlighting Wives, The Bed and How to Make It and Inga. Along with Russ Meyer and Radley Metzger, Sarno is one of the few sex-exploitation auteurs to receive critical attention. In recent years, his work has been the subject of retrospectives at the New York Underground Film Festival, the Torino Film Festival in Turin, Italy and the Cinémathèque française in Paris.

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