Saturday, March 5, 2011

Love Camp 7 (1969)

Director: Lee Frost

Starring: Bob Cresse, Maria Lease, Kathy Williams, Bruce Kimball

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A Place of Total Despair. All the youthful beauty of Europe enslaved for the pleasure of the 3rd Reich.

Plot: Two female Army agents go undercover at a Nazi prison camp to get information from a scientist being held there.Two young WAC officers go undercover as POW's in the prison camp hoping to get some information from a scientist that's being held there, before being sprung out by the French resistance. Unfortunately things go wrong with the break out and they end up overstaying their welcome and being subjected to the same indignities as the other inmates.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? I doubt it

Nazisploitation is a genre I've been curious about for many years. Literally, the day I discovered it and saw the trailer for ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1974), I bought the DVD (sadly, it's now out of print). For years I showed that trailer to everyone I knew. I watched it dozens of times before I finally sat down and watched the damn thing...and I liked it! It was that rare exploitation that fully delivered what it promised...and then. In the few times I tried to delve into this genre I got bored quickly and moved onto something else. This month I'm going to finish watching the 30 I have. I'm sure that by April I will be Nazisploited out but we'll see how I feel after getting to BLITKRIEG: ESCAPE FROM STALAG 69 (2008). Initially I was just going to watch them randomly and then it seemed more interesting to see how this unusual sub genre evolved, so now I'm going to watch them in chronological order.

Well, well, well. So this is where the Nazisploitation genre America and from one of my most curious directors, too. I just LOVED his SURFTIDE 77 (1962)!

After some pretty good opening titles with some really fun, ominous music, we get one of those great voice overs, "The story you are about to see is true!". That statement is probably 95% horseshit but who cares. The next 8 or so minutes are LOADED with fun and quick exposition. They don't waste any time with the setup and then we're at the titular location!

....and thus, Nazisploitation was born!

There's a bit of sleaze but not nearly as much as ILSA but then ILSA is a special film that I feel will be the highlight of this genre. Nevertheless, LOVE CAMP 7 makes great use of women who will get naked in front of a camera. In addition to the gratuitous nudity we get a small taste of torture...

Oh, the humanity!

and a whiz bang finale with lots of action, violence and naked girls with corkscrews...

...and guns!

Frost makes great use of a stock music library and the sound effects for simple things like slaps. For some reason a lot of bad low budget film makers don't understand the importance of a good sound effect. It's an easy and inexpensive way to punch up the quality of your picture. Fortunately Frost understood that and this is a better film for it.

The accents are all over the place with most everyone speaking in their own American English accent. The biggest problem, of course, is when someone tries for the German or French accent and they usually don't succeed. Woof.

It's interesting to note that the girls are specifically mentioned to be Jewish prisoners. From the several Nazisploitation flicks I've seen so far, this is the only one that goes that far to point that out. The others are either not mentioned or they're called "political prisoners". Hmmmm...

Overall, I kind of enjoyed it because everyone seemed to be having a good time but what kept me from going past a 5/10 is that it's 92 minutes long, probably about 15 minutes too much. The whole subplot of the camp commander being visited by his commanding officer and everything that entailed could have been cut without anyone caring. If it were tightened up a bit in the last hour that would have helped. It's a worthy Nazisploitation start and it gives me a little hope that this genre might not be so bad after all...but I know better than that. I have a feeling I've seen the best this genre has to offer (ILSA) and that the worst is yet to come. I feel sad now...say, can we see some more naked chicks with guns?


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