July 03, 2006

SIN AND SWASTIKA; S.S GIRLS (A.K.A CASA PRIVATA PER LE SS) (1977) – REVIEW 22




“What you’re doing is top secret; you will be highly trained into individual love machines. By the time you complete your training you’ll be able to couple with anyone and most importantly under any condition – whether its’ normal sex or abnormal it doesn’t matter. You will be ready!”


Christ on a bike my living rooms like the Nuremberg Rallies at the moment with all this goose step viewing. The show must go on however……

In complete antithesis to Matteis’ exercise in despair ‘Women’s Camp 119’ we here have a piece of vaudeville theatre with a Nazi theme; with more emphasis on soft core than medical mishappenings.


This is simply a poor mans ‘Salon Kitty’ and Matteis' attempts at trying to capture the decadence of an S.S bordello is a brave attempt but just doesn’t quite seem to have the ‘sheen’ of Tinto Brass’ movie.

One of the biggest faux-pas is the choices of actors for the main roles. The main protagonist ‘Hans Schellenberg’ (played with absolute hysterics by Gabriele Carrara (Ohlendorph in Camp 119 too?) comes over as a comical character than anything remotely disturbing.

He has a deviancy and kinkiness in the character but this falls flat due to his performance of ‘foppishness and ham’. I would love to see this movie in its’ native language as the terrible dubbing really mars this in my opinion and some of Schllenbergs' rants may have been ‘lost’ in translation diluting the potency.

S.S Girls plays as a straight forward soft-core romp with Nazi motif; the plot is neither original nor inspirational but it is never the less a bold attempt at doing something grand on the ‘cheap’.

The grimness on display is really at its’ most repugnant in the training scenes where the whores have to endure all manner of twisted perversions in preparation for the real thing.

The tone is light despite how sadistic the treatment, these are only used as intercuts anyway and could not be considered prolonged.

The whipping/bondage scenes are ‘staged’ theatrically and hark back to Grand Guignol, they aren’t on long enough to cause discomfort and also seem to ‘comic-strip’ to be taken serious.


We also get the chance to see Sal Boris in ‘ape-rape’ action again this time chasing a women round the room, he gurns whilst she laughs hysterically at the farce of it all.

All these sequences occur in ‘lab-peephole-watch’ conditions thus again reminiscent of Tinto Brass’ similar style of ‘freak on parade’.

We also get the ‘forbidden pleasures’ of a woman making it with a severely deformed man and a bit of bestiality with an Alsatian. This by the way is worse in text than in view.

Between such depravities we see the harsh exercises of the women too, such as jumping around in blue leotards for no reason at all really, the lifting of polystyrene dumb bells and the passing of a ball from one another. These scenes remind me of the ‘Wonder Women’ Amazonian exercises in the hit TV series. The girls also get to be seen using firearms and a bit of fencing all in the name of the third Reich.

The Bordello is soon opened and the S.S elite turn up to indulge in their deviant whims. Even Kurt the loon from ‘Women’s Camp 119’ shows up for a spot of flagellation.

The scenes of s/m are typical soft-core savoir-faire of this kind, genre and age; they do come across as mildly titillating but on the whole are very tame indeed.

This is Nazi-Porn at its’ most ‘safest’ as I feel ‘decent’ would not be the most appropriate term. Despite Mattei showing us the same subject matter it couldn't be as further away from his other slice of 'Sadiconazista'.

The musical score by Gianni Marchetti lifts certain moments and plumps for famous classical pieces renditioned, for example ‘Tocata and Fugue’, this is unfortunately not all the time and we do hear some excruciatingly bad Muzak trying to imitate 30’s/40’s style especially during the daft orgy sequences. This unfortunately only dates the movie and does very little else.

The Plot

Demented Corporal Hans Schellenberg is ordered to recruit the best whores in Europe as it has reached the Fuhrers ears that some of the S.S Elite have been traitors.

The objective is to run an ‘anything goes’ S.S bordello where as well as their comforts the S.S elite could volunteer their hatred of the Fuhrer and the Third Reich condemning themselves as traitors.

Hans asks the help of Madam Eva (played by Beast in Heats' Macha Magell) to scout for the best whores in Europe and to assist their trainings into becoming the ultimate ‘sex-machines’.

With the assistance of Professor.Jurgens , the obligatory creepy Nazi medic and the supersexy beauty Frau Inge - the Private House of the S.S goes into business.

The first batch indulges in wild orgies and makes the mistake of slagging of Adolph and his part in the looming downfall of the third Reich, some holding him fully responsible.

Hans goes demented and creates a kangaroo court where he plays judge, jury and executioner to the handful of S.S traitors. They all think it’s a laugh as Hans ‘drags’ up and wears an inflatable bishops hat on his head as he rants and raves over such traitorship against their supreme leader.

An execution squad appears lead by a Nazi who looks similar to ‘Odd-Bod’ in Carry on Screaming, he laughs maniacally before the Elite are wiped out.

The next group of generals are far tougher nuts to crack and consist of a ‘sewn’ eyed general, a hippy nutter with a ‘Nazi’ headband and another who looks like a rough Cossack. These three ‘despicables’ are given the same treatment as their predecessors.

As further orgies takes place and the usual double crossings and ‘romances’ occur to plod out the running time it is announced Hitler is dead and the predictable apocalyptic ending we have now become accustomed too takes place.

Some trivial highlights are on show if you can be bothered to look for them but overall this is a weak entry to be taken or left.


The Film: S.S Girls

(also known as; Casa Privata per le S.S / Private House of the S.S / Hôtel du plaisir pour le SS.)

The Year; 1977

The Country; Italy

The Director; Bruno Mattei

The Players;

Gabriele Carrara ……………………………………………..[Hans Schellenberg]

Marina Daunia ……………………………………………......[Frau Inge]

Macha Magall ………………………………………………....[Madame Eva]

Lucic Bogoliub Benny ……………………………………….[Dirlewanger]

Alan Collins( real name: Luciano Pigozzi)……………[Professor Jürgen]


SIN AND SWASTIKA; THE BEAST IN HEAT (A.K.A LA BESTIA IN CALORE) (1977) – REVIEW 21




"Horrifying Experiments of the S.S Last Days !"


‘La Bestia in Calore’, also made the video nasties list like SS Experiment Camp, SS Girls and Red Nights of the Gestapo, when released pre-VRA and is a crude, cheap entry in the 'Sadiconazista' stable of film making. All ‘offence’ caused is lost due to the unintentionally camp milieu, the cobbled direction and inept dialogue – an obvious cult classic then.

Part War film, part medi-camp horror, director Luigi Batzella (credited here as Ivan Katansky) flits between the two styles with non-inspiring ‘textbook’ direction.


The ‘action’ sequences are spliced in from Batzellas' 1970 WW2 piece of turd ‘When the Bell Tolls’. These sequences are notably inter-cut and are washed out in comparison to the rest. It really seems the last lira was used here to resort to such poor ‘padding’.


Naturally the ‘controversial’ elements are the Nazi torture episodes but because of the poor taste factor, the crude execution and the atrocious over the top burlesque performances become laughable. A woman is having her fingernails extracted ‘ouch! Stop it you’re hurting me’ she deadpanly states in a mismatched dub.


The ‘Beast’ of the title is played by exploitation stalwart Salvatore Baccaro (a.k.a Sal Boris); Baccaro often played the ‘ghoul’ as he has the physiognomy and face of a Neanderthal man. No make up is needed, so his affliction is being exploited but he looks like he’s having a wail of a time and no doubt gets paid for dong it so who cares? – He obviously doesn’t. Bacarro reprises two similar roles Tinto Brass' ‘Salon Kitty’ and Matteis’ highly inferior ‘SS Girls’.

The evil commandant is a fox-like female played by Macha Magell who also performs a similar but less ‘sadistic’ role in ‘S.S Girls’ too. She takes delight in playing ‘Dr.Katsch’ and mingles stylish sexuality and sadism equally but, at times, rather clumsily and ventures into pure vaudeville.

Brigitte Skay (Bay of Blood ) pops up as the 1940’s beauty dressed in 1970’s style and is the ‘phwoarrr!’ of this scuzzy little movie.

Luigi Batzella has made a woeful piece of cheap theatre where the direction is flat and the whole ‘feel’ bargain basement (possibly where the torture sequences take place!).

Other things to see are the reflection of the camera crew ‘shadowed’ on a big plastic red swastika on the lawn of ‘Dr.Katsch’ chateau.

If the people could act the ‘ape-rape’ sequences could have been offensive but Sal Boris’ constant gurning (shown close up in intervals) with noises that sound like a husky ‘Charlie Says’ cat raises a smile and a pops out a chuckle.

The most nefarious instance is where he tears a women’s pubic hair off and chomps on it in shameless close-up, but because of the hilarious ropey instances before all this becomes is pure exploitational bad taste in its’ basic, sensationalised, gutter form. Sal Boris also constantly guns as his munches on his furry snack and thus again takes away all potential offence.

Cute little gerbils are re-invented as fearsomely hungry rats as they are revealed from under a bowl on top of a victim’s stomach. Dr.Katsch laughs with Machiavellian pleasure, the victim looks as though she is still awaiting her cue. Fabulously ropey.

Despite the negative factors it is also highly watchable; for all the wrong reasons. Not one of the most memorable filmatic experiences but never the less a bloody good laugh and a prime demonstration of a cash-in achieved on the smallest of budgets.

The Plot

Dr. Katsch is an SS Doctor conducting some grim experiments in her Chateau. Her prime concern is creating a super being and it seems she has been making progress with her creature she keeps locked in a wobbly cage. To observe the virility of the super human beast she throws in the odd girl and witnesses her being raped to death.

Near to the chateau there appears to be a successful partisan uprising and the partisans are fighting back against the German occupation.

The main partisan ‘Drago’ successfully spearheads the blow up of a bridge imperative to the German defence against the allies.

The men, women and children are gathered for questioning and are roughed up to make them reveal the identities of the key partisans. When all attempts fail Dr.Katsch volunteers her services. Cue much torture, a willy chop and the beast doing his ‘thing’ in heat!!!

Meanwhile we get see lots of dull bickering between the partisans that seems turgidly endless and stock footage signifying a powerful Wehrmacht unit is heading back towards the village retreating from the allies.

They find a roadblock erected by the Partisans who then plan a major attack en masse; lots of shoot outs, no squibs but much ketchup.

With the shit fight is enraging; Partisans Lupo and Drago advance on Chateau Katsch, free the victims of her despicable experiments and give her a taste of her own medicine at the hands of her creation.

The allies win the war by the way.

*The movie was first available in England on the JVI label and became the most rarest of the nasties due to its’ limited release and notoriety; now in 2006 on Region 1 we have a super disc from Exploitation Digital/Kitty Media that even makes the ‘stock footage’ less hackneyed, making the movie ‘flow’ a hell of a lot better.

The Film; The Beast in Heat

(also known as; La Bestia in Calore / Horrifying Experiments of the S.S Last Days / SS Experiment Part 2 / SS Hell Camp/ La Bestia en Calor / Djaevelen fra Gestapo / Holocauste Nazi [Armes secrètes du III Reich] / Quand explose la dernière grenade. )

The Director; Luigi Batzella

The Year; 1977

The Country; Italy

The Players;

Brad Harris ……………………. [Don Lorenzo]

Sal Boris (Salvatore Baccaro)…. [The Beast]

Kim Gatti ………………………. [Drago]

Macha Magall…………………. [Dr Krast]

Alfredo Rizzo……………………[Moreno - uncredited]

Brigitte Skay…………………… [Dorina - uncredited]

July 02, 2006

SIN AND SWASTIKA; WOMANS CAMP 119 (A.K.A KZ9 - LAGER DE STERMINIO) (1977) – REVIEW 20




"Lesbians! Communists ! Pig-Whores! we'll show you! You'll wipe the asses of everyone of us till you turn purple with fatigue!"

In my humblest opinion and from what I’ve seen so far of this genre, Woman’s' Camp 119 is possibly the harshest and grimmest example of its breed.

Bruno Mattei, the director, uses differing techniques in his production that makes this wholly believable than what has been reviewed on the teapot. Campness, crap dialogue and hysterical acting is thrown out completely for a more ‘visual’ document than perverted s/m fantasy.

Woman’s’ Camp 119, at times if not the majority of the time makes for uncomfortable viewing even rivalling Ilsa for medic-horror, but the reduction in morbid ‘burlesque’ makes it seems a hell of a lot worse.

The trademark ‘out of time’ Muzak stock has been sacrificed for an actual score. Alessandro Alesandroni creates a melancholic ‘doom’ beated theme that notches up the atrophied milieu and it is exquisitely orchestrated. I wish this theme was available to buy it really is haunting and lurks in the mind for several days after.

We also see actors using their native dialogue Nazis’ speak German; Dutch is spoken and French another piece of forethought that works remarkably well showing Matteis' skill as a director and his intellectuality in doing so.

The whole thing appears as if it has been filmed in a real death camp and whether lab, laundry, washroom or surgery we cannot escape the sinister, apocalyptic situation like the incarcerated.

There are also some truly disturbing sequences such as when Maria (played expertly by Lorraine de Salle) is suffering sleep depravation caused by the perpetual screaming pain of the slow deaths of the guinea pigs for which she can do nothing about.


This truly is nightmare stuff. Despair reigns supreme as seemingly endless whipping and degradation is inter-cut with suffering from the moment the women arrive at Camp Rosenhausen through to the apocalyptic ending.


Twisted and unsavoury pleasures on display are botched up uterus transplants (this time explicitly demonstrated as well as the aftermath) reflecting upon there 100% unsuccess rate the camp commander coldly rationales that it is due to using an inferior species nothing to do with the medical and operational precision nor the craftsmanship of the Nazi doctors.

Women are exposed to dangerously high levels of x-rays and gratuitous gassings (where in one instance Mattei inter-cuts with the Nazis having a gluttonous wild feast to superlative disgusting juxtaposing effect).

A Polish priest is also frozen almost to death in an altitude experiment to be revived by the warm bodies of prostitutes; this priest is used as his faith to god would be similar to the faith of Nazi pilots to the Fuhrer.

Whereas the other movies were made for the Lira and jaded thrill seeker it seems as though Mattei is doing this but not doing this exclusively. It’s as though Mattei is also trying to get to the nearest representation of actual event with liberal doses of exploitation chucked in for good measure.

Even at the premise of the film we open at Ravensbruck concentration camp (a real factual death camp) before their transfer to Rosenhausen (the fictional) so we witness a first attempt of blending factuality with ‘sadiconazista’ fable.

Mattei zooms in on icons of factory mass-death such as the crematorium chimneys silhouetted against a grey sky and in one of the most repugnant sequences Camp Commandant Weiker enjoys real atrocity footage projected in a viewing room while he smugly grins at the successes of genocide.

Even hairstyles are spot on - with two blonde Kappo officers wearing the traditional plats associated with Aryan idealism.

Mattei steers clear of short, sharp, shock tortures to long, protracted sequences of unbridled sadism. One episode features the commandant visiting his ‘experiments’ we hear a weary weeping as the Commander looks approvingly down at the victim. As the camera pans back with see a severe ‘open’ gangrenous wound that has rotted to the point that the bone is showing.

One prisoner is shot with a ‘poison’ bullet by the Commander she writhes and screams in agony, the film progresses, we return quite a time later and witness the girl in her final death throws. It is revealed it has taken her two hours to die- her body lies motionless as she apparently seems to have bled from every orifice.

All the actors, supporting cast or not are so credible too and never let the side down long enough for it to venture into ‘ham’category.

Two other commendations are the endings handled with disturbing finesse. As Maria (Lorraine de Selle) and her male counterpart David are lead to their fate the women are already on their knees about to be executed. They all begin to sing ‘Israel’ as one by one they are executed mercilessly.

Fucking hell is this ever so harrowing but so well done, it could have completely made a mockery of the whole affair but in fact does exactly the opposite – so powerful.

Another stand out sequence is when de Salle is raped by Nazi nutcase Ohlendorffs' pet ‘imbecile’ Kurt. As Ohlendorf holds David down by boot and the violation takes place the Nazis and Alsatians form a circle of ‘approval’ around the ugly scene.

This is sickeningly iconic and really sums up what the Nasty Nazi cycle of films represented in one harrowing sequence of event.

There is also a twist offered at the end of the movie, however highly implausible, is another flawed piece of ingenuity.

This is not a movie to be approached likely and runs like an Italian ‘Man Behind the Sun’, a hidden masterpiece of its’ kind that really is one of the most finest examples of how far you can go in exploitation but still the results work remarkably well.

The version I was privileged to view is the VHS to DVD semi-legal bootleg from Network DVD. I think they also are behind two other similar titles ‘Holocaust 2’ and ‘Achtung! Desert War Tigers’..

It is very bare bones with a menu chapter and movie. I feel it would be justified for a bells and whistles release, for once extreme cinema could be released worthy of the hyperbole if this is movie.

I feel that it would be good to see the film as audiences viewed it first time around- no matter how gruelling it would be. The extras would also be an absolute bonus as much obscurity surrounds this movie and I feel it has more to offer than is currently available.

One of Matteis finest works………………………

THE PLOT

Maria Black is transferred with other prisoners of war from Ravensbruck to Rosehausen a notorious extermination camp run by Nazi sadist, Commander Wieker.

Due to Maria’s medical degree she is teamed with Dr. David Meisel to assist in the experiments carried out on the prisoners.

They meet Weiker who is clearly the quintessentially brainwashed Nazi beyond redemption who equates Mein-Kamp to the bible, but of course believing the latter to be infinitely inferior.

In one tense moment it is revealed that Maria has never read Mein-Kampf but is spared any anticipated barbarism - for the time being anyway.

The other women witness the flagellation to death of two misbehaved inmates as their welcoming package to demonstrate what would happen if they misbehave.

They live in fear too of the obligatory Nazi lesbian, Kappo Officer Marta; she is sometimes accompanied by Captain Ohlendorf where he subjects the inmates to sexual assaults courtesy of his pet retard Kurt - a lunatic, who seems the unfortunate victim of some lobotomy atrocity.

After witnessing cod-science and failing eugenics that is costing the lives of so many Maria seeks solitude in David and they form a strong bond.

As the experiments continue and become even more sadistic, Meisel meets an old friend from the forced labour camp.

They clandestinely meet and agree to bust out leaving the nightmare behind them. The Russian allies are also closing in and edging further towards Rosenhausen. David, Maria, a young girlfriend of Maria’s’ from Ravensbruck and a few of the labour camp men choose their moment and make a break for it into the surrounding woodland and lakes.

Enraged Weiker instructs Ohlendorf and a Nazi posse to pursue the escapees with Alsatians and gurning Kurt.

Unfortunately the escape plan fails and costs the lives of many. Maria and David after being severely ruffed up are lead to their destiny.

It appears all evidence is to be destroyed as the Russians are rapidly closing in. Maria and David are to be hung whilst all the inmates are to be gunned down; even this though is the not the end of the nightmare.


As the film ends real life photographs of perpetrators and architects of the holocaust are displayed with their ultimate outcome revealed in text - some are as shocking as the contents of this movie and for all the wrong reasons. Some of the bastards did get away with it after all…..


OUTSTANDING MOMENTS

I would praise Matteis' direction overall and the way he captures fascistic decay so well.

Most of the highlights have been previously discussed before but I also, rightly or wrong, must also comment on the successful way fact and fiction has been blended.

Definitely not a general masterpiece by any means but a definite masterpiece in its’ own sub genre and a definitive example of it’s' trashy kind. Very strong stuff indeed.


The Film ; Women's Camp 119 (a.k.a KZ9 - Lager di Stermino/ S.S. Extermination Love Camp / SS campo de sexo y violencia / SS campo extermination /S.S Extermination Camp)


The year; 1977


The Country; Italy


The Music; Alessandro Alessandroni

The Players;

Maria Black (Lorraine de Selle)
Commander Weiker (Ivano Staccioli)

Marta ( Ria de Simone)


with:
Nello Riviè / Gabriele Carrara/ Giovanni Attanasio/ Sonia Viviani/ Marina D'Aunia