AN INTRODUCTION - THE NASTY NAZIS
I chose this subject as a first port of call because if I had to produce a true representation of what exploitation is all about then this genre would be one of the truest in the jaded totem.
This 'swept under the carpet' strand of exploitation was termed by the Italians and known as 'sadiconazista'.
For those in the know then this will act as an aide memoire perhaps, for those with little or no knowledge - welcome.
Some sources state that the first movie to be influential on Nasty Nazi cinema was Lilliana Cavanis' 'The Night Porter' (1974).Although we could state that this was heavily influential on the Italian 'sadiconazista' variety I would not say that this is true of the genre as a whole.
Shortly after WW2, several pseudo-documentaries about Hitlers 'Love Camps' were challenging and on rare occasions manage to cross the exploitation borderline. I have not seen these early films and they were circulated under so many different titles I am sure they have, by now faded into obscurity. If the public doesn't really matter either way whether films like this are available or not then the Politically Correct brigade sure as hell will convince that these are despicable representations of tragedy, what do they know anyway apart from how to be brainwashed for a greater good that really doesn't exist and if it did would really never work.
If we move forward to 1968 we have what I will term as a the 1st movie to set the staple trend odd 'Sadiconazista' cinema, this being Lee Frost & Bob Cresses' ''Love Camp 7''.
This 38 year old piece of trash cinema still remains banned and refused classification in England , even with the new 'happy-lefty-blairite-liberal-friendly' BBFC of recent times this still caused cries of moral hysteria.This will definately be reviewed at a later stage.
Another movie in 1969 had it's dalliance with fascism in the mainstream market namely Viscontis' ''The Damned''. This dealt with the collapse of an affluent German family who had made big biccies in industry and how they are enveloped by the sprawl of fascism. Set in a thoroughly decadent 1930's pre war Germany it still manages to pull a few subtle punches. There are also elements on display throughout the movie that could rightly or wrongly be linked to numerous of it's sleazy successors.
Between the years 1969 to 1974, films tended to only touch upon the atrocities of Nazi incarceration (check out 'In The Folds Of The Flesh' and 'The Devils Nightmare' to name but two) but nothing so far in the vein of Love Camp 7.
1974 brought two major milestones to this genre, as featured previously Cavanis' 'The Night Porter' caused a ripple of controversy amongst the cinema viewing public. The story deals with the psychological and psycho-sexual battle between Dirk bogarde and the manly Charlotte Rampling. Soon we learn that Bogarde has become a night porter at the hotel where Rampling is a guest. Previously he was the commandant of a concentration camp where Rampling had been incarcerated as a Nazi captive. Through flashback we learn of the humiliation and sexual abuse suffered by Rampling and others around her. A sado-masochistic bond forms between the two and as the bond strengthens so the flashbacks become more and more grotesque. This was probably thrust upon a pretty unsuspecting audience as to my knowledge nothing had been seen like this , and to your average joe who believes art-house to be all about movies that 'a bit odd and subtitled' must of been quite a revelation. Please read review when this becomes available.
1974 also vomited forth what could be classed as the ultimate Nasty Nazi flick ''Ilsa She Wolf of the SS'', no taboo stone was left unturned. The director was so concerned about the controversy this may generate that he worked under a pseudonyms when making the film and consequently twenty years after it's release. Ilsa was not an Italian hybrid but Canadian. The movie has all the staple ingredients of the definitive exploitational nasty Nazi flick. It was a box office drive-in smash, the public adored it , it created enough money at the box office to spawn two sequels , it's controversy and adaptable plot resulted in numerous spin offs and Dyanne Thorne who played the titular character gained rapturous infamy. She does an absolutely sterling job and attacks the part with such relishness it's joyous to watch. I will be reviewing this and the sequels at some other stage in this websites development.
I guess you could refer to 1975-1978 as the 'belle epoque' of the Nasty Nazi flick. Although the majority of this style of movie came from the underground studios of Italy many other countries attempted to have a stab at this genre. Whether they are as good as the Italians' is highly debatable.
During this period a whole catalogue of sick, twisted, camp and raunchy Nazi Chic hit the cinemas and delighted the majority of cinema going public at the time. I believe the final movie to be made covering this 'style' was Angelo Pannachios 'Holocaust parte seconda: i ricordi, i deliri, la vendetta ' in 1982.
But up until this time some luridly titled gems came thick and fast; SS Experiment Camp, Elsa Fraulein SS , SS Girls, Nazi love Camp 27, Deported Women Of The SS Special Section, Achtung! Desert War Tigers, SS Camp 5 - Womens Hell, Love Train for Hitler, Beast In Heat, The Gestapos Last Orgy and in my opinion the grimmest, Womens Camp 119.
Sadly, unfortunately, ironically, luckily depending on personal choice the genre faded into the exploitative ether only to be stumbled upon by those curiously bothered to look. It's as though it quickly vanished as quickly as it had been thrusted outwards from the thighs of taboo.
However thanks to cult nostalgia and companies who give a fuck about underground cinema, and are not paid thousands by fat cats so they are only allowed to mention mainstream sanitised horror trash , can be viewed in the privacy of ones own home.
In 1994 Ilsa trod the boards bless her, in a Canadian musical about the fiendish Nazi strumpet. I am slos aware that Bruno Mattei is to drag 'sadiconazista' into the noughties with a new 'Love Camp' movie. these are wonderful glimpses into a time where everyone was free to experiment with taboo without fear of oppression or free speech restriction, a modernization may be unnecessary - but we may or may not be the judges of that should Matteis' homage to jack boots and swastikas ever surface.
WHY I LOVE 'EM !!!!!!!!!!!
One of the simple and main reasons I admire these jaded pieces of sleaze is that they simply don't give a fuck.
They do not pretend to be anything else, they feel it unnecessary to hide behind a facade appearing outwardly as one thing when they really are saying something quite differently.
You will at times find yourself burying your head in your hands and saying to yourself ''I can't believe they did that'', which is part of the spectator ritual. There seems to be a lingering ''Wonder how far they'll go'' curiosity that oddly compels you to see what the fuss is/was all about. It is the nature of the human beast that we all strive to obtain and see what we are told we cannot ..
On the flipside you will crease up, if anything like me, at the piss poor dubbing (which is of the Eurotrash variety - English readers will know what I mean ! Splicing in of old WW2 footage to pad out the running time and in some cases to wake you up, choice dialogue that can sound almost surreal as the translation can become quit lost, fluffy gerbils posing as savage rats of torture, sticky tape and ketchup SFX and futurism ( well what else could describe the characters as they are all living in 1940's wartime Europe but the fashions and hairstyles come over as uncannily 1970's).
Remember too that for every ''trash-trash'' you have a ''trash-classic'', there are some noteworthy entries into the cycle that can demonstrate glimpses of a well crafted artistic filmistry despite the ugly subject matter. You will come across these in my review sections currently under development.
Earlier I mentioned and referred to the staple ingredients of the S.S ''sadiconazista'' flick, the recipe is quite simple. Take the blackest, darkest way humans can torture humans, concentrate these victims in one area (predominantly female and well endowed in the chest area), chuck in some Nazi uniforms and ideals, a teaspoon of kitsch , a tablespoon of camp and you wouldn't be far off .
These are oddities of a lost genre and will never be re-made for our lily livered palettes nowadays. They are just there resting a while until you spring on them in your gleaming jackboots and rouse them with a strike of your crop. . . .. . . . . .
Being Created For Your Enjoyment ...................................................
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