July 09, 2006

SIN AND SWASTIKA! – NAZI LOVE CAMP 27 (A.K.A LA SVASTICA NEL VENTRE) (1977) – REVIEW 23



“What is the worst act a woman can be forced to commit... again and again and again...”

PLOT

Hannah Meyer (Sirpa Lane) is engaged to her sweetheart Hans, prior to the outbreak of WW2. When the war finally does start Hans goes off to battle and becomes one of the prestigious heroes of the third Reich. Things for Hannah worsen.

One night her village is storm trooped, this is a well directed piece of action where real actors are used instead of ‘stock footage splice’.

As the Nazis burst into her parents home she shoots the first , a little behind the others demand to know who performed the deed when they enter the apartment. Hannah’s’ mother takes the blame where she is promptly put to death via machine gunning.

Hannah and her father are then deported where they are separated at the camps. This being the very last time Hannah sees her father.

Hannah arrives at a notorious Love Camp for female prisoners of war, there she is gang raped, abused, humiliated and degraded at the whims of the perverted camp commanders.

Hannah is then forced into military prostitution, where her dehumanisation reaches numbness but still she perseveres.

No matter how deplorable the torture Hannah becomes determined to survive to one day reveal the horrors she had seen in internment.

Due to her ‘feisty’ reaction to camp bully Frau Grueber, Hannah has the admiration of the head of the camp Captain Von Stein.

In order to survive Hannah forms a bizarre s/m orientated relationship with him. Von Stein falls in love with Hannah and arranges a new identity for her eliminating trace of her Jewish origins. She then becomes the head of an S.S bordello.

As climbs to the top of the fascist slagheap her sweetheart returns from the frontline and is told she is dead but eventually they meet causing a chain reaction of tragedy……

I SAY

Despite the sensationalist title and some gruelling ‘episodes’ the film avoids the raunch and depravity just for sadean entertainments sakes.

It plays as an enthralling drama which seems to ‘bother’ about detail, plot and acting ability; all suitably accomplished.

Where as it’s’ other contemporaries would focus on torture en-masse where the lead roles gets swallowed into the pool of supporting roles; this film roles out a different kettle of fish entirely.

The plot focuses on one woman’s plight and due to Sirpa Lanes’ excellent performance the viewer cannot help themselves but not to care for her character. Her versatility in the varied demanding situations is exceptionally good for a movie of this ilk.

The director manages to capture the decadent milieu of Nazi Germany without being overtly sleazy. Despite the subject matter, the potential ‘genre’ which this could be classified under and a tight budget the film works as an engrossing drama and well accomplished it is too.

One flaw I did however think was the inclusion of XXX hardcore penetration shots. Personally it didn’t worry me for any moral reason but just seemed to be unnecessary. As in the more recent Baise-Moi a penetration shot is shown, in greater length, during the gang-rape, making the whole thing even uglier.

It is well acted too making this part of the storyline really ‘brutal’ and the resulting suicidal electrocution of the other violated girl is a really exceptional well-handled piece of melodrama.

There is also a close up penetration/semi-violation of a bordello prostitute and a rhino horn this is also a vicious moment that is a bolt out the blue due to the seemingly high production values.

Another delight is de Masis’ film score, moving and powerful a match made in heaven regarding the visual coupling.

Like ‘Women’s Camp 119’ this movie doesn’t follow the ‘Sadiconazista’ whole heartedly and is all the better for it. It also has a kind-of lump in the throat ending.

Well worth seeking out but is at this moment an exceptionally rare breed to hunt down; I am also surprised that this decent piece of exploitation hasn’t been released yet on an exquisite Region 1 transfer. It would really do with a polish so that Caianos’ directional opulence could really shine through.

This is definitely not your lewdness, fetishism and profligacy for the sake of the Lira alone as we are also treated to an intriguing sub-plot with so much going for it.

It runs as both a non-syrupy tale of love and separation in war torn Europe and at times highly accomplished brutal exploitation.

Like other similar films this can be interpreted on many, many levels and is one of a kind that you will never see the like of again.

The Film; Nazi Love Camp 27

(A.k.a La Svastica nel Ventre , Living Nightmare, As Mulheres de Prazer dos Campos Nazis, Nazistdockorna, Campo Nazista 27)

The Year; 1977

The Director; Mario Caiano

The Country; Italy

The Music; Francesco de Masi

The Players;

Hannah Meyer …. (Sirpa Lane)

Klaus Von Stein ... (Giancarlo Sisti)

Hannah’s’ Mother … (Margherita Horowitz)

With; Christiana Borghi, Piero Lulli, Roberto Posse, Gianfilippo Carcano

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