Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SS Hell Camp (1977)

Director: Luigi Batzella

Starring: Macha Magall, Gino Turini, Edilio Kim, Xiro Papas, Salvatore Baccaro

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Horrifying experiences in the last days of the S.S.

Plot: After countless experiments with genetic mutation, a sadistic SS officer (Macha Magall) finally creates a sex-crazed man-beast that she can use to torture the terrified female prisoners at a Nazi POW camp during the throes of World War II. As she stuffs her evil creation with massive doses of mega-aphrodisiacs to keep it randy, she's all too aware that Allied forces could land at any minute and destroy everything she's worked for.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? I think I could.

Did you see that trailer? Holy shit! This one looks like a hoot, right? Only partially, really. The film is split between the evil Nazi experiments (led by Dr. Ellen Kratsch, played by the lovely Macha Magall) and the resistance fighting the Jerrys. The fun Dr. Kratsch business only commands about 30% of the picture with the rest going to the standard war business and that's where the problem lies.

Magall was a lot of fun and looks fantastic. Her pride and joy is the man beast she's created to ravage the ladies and impregnate them with his superior seed. He's played by comedian, Salvatore Baccaro, and he's going to town in every scene he's in, even when he's in the background which causes intentional laughter at every turn. If he looks familiar, we previously saw him in SS GIRLS (1977). He also did a few minor spaghetti westerns and he turned up in the bad Italian STAR WARS (1977) rip-off, STARCRASH (1978).

So the fun bits open the film and it's made even more outrageous by having the beast sound like the Bugs Bunny Tasmanian Devil.

Nom nom nom nom nom nom...

The war/sabotage business in between the crazy shit isn't anything special but it is far better than the same type of thing I've seen in the other Nazisploitation flicks so far. It's not dull and lifeless like the others. The film makers are definitely trying to make a good movie. Too bad it's not enough of what people want. You know, the shit you see on the posters - the kind of thing they're selling to get butts in seats. I digress. That's what exploitation does by its very nature. Having one that is thoroughly entertaining is not as commonplace as you would expect.

Cool non-Nazi doctor scene #1 - When the soldiers are rounding up citizens in the village, grandma goes Rambo on one of them with a knife and pays the ultimate sacrifice!

Cool non-Nazi doctor scene #2 - One of the soldiers wrangles a baby away from its mother/grandmother and tosses it up in the air for target practice! That's fucking nasty. If these Nazi guys keep doing shit like this they're likely to get a reputation for being bad people. Geez.

Back to the fun stuff...

The biggest disappointment aside from being too much of a war movie and not enough exploitation is Giuliano Sorgini's score. Not only is it pretty weak, most of the time it doesn't even work. It's as if it were written for a giallo. Hell, they lifted scenes from other Italian war movies, whey couldn't they have lifted the scores? Tarantino does it all the time and he gets praised for it.

I know this is a cool shot and all but how could the crew be so inept in an otherwise well-shot movie?

One soldier who isn't very nice rapes a woman and then assassinates her captive box!

Ooooh! Torture me next! Please?

The beast has a hunger for pubes!

SS HELL CAMP is not a bad exploitation film at all, it's just not nearly as much as I wanted or what the opening minutes seemed to promise. What saddens me is that this could have easily been the best of the Nazisploitation bunch but it missed the mark and slides into second place. When it works that exploitation angle, it bests even ILSA. Too bad Batzella and friends didn't go full out and make that picture instead. Sigh. Maybe the next one, NAZI LOVE CAMP 27 (1977) will make up for it although I doubt it.

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