Video Nasties (part 2)

Posted: February 5, 2009 in Films, The Horror
Tags: , , , ,

In an attempt to vanquish evil from 1980s society, there was much talk of blowing up Russian cities. However, a more immediate threat was posed by video cassettes of obscure horror films. 39 of them were banned, but like Russian cities, they survived, many now standing proud on DVD. But are they really shocking filth or just tedious bollocks? Find out in…nasties2top-revision

 Notoriety 

Tastefully known as SS Experiment Camp (1976) in the UK, this has become the best known exponent of the Naziploitation (Nazi exploitation) genre, and outraged newspaper articles coupled with half-decent marketing and distribution made this a must-see for 80s schoolchildren. However, the smoke and mirrors of outrage dissolved to see an uncut UK DVD release in 2006. 8/10

Gestapo’s Last Orgy (1977) remains theoretically banned in the UK as no company has tried to release it for 25 years, thus avoiding reclassification. It is little known despite the bonkers title. 5/10

DVD Editions

Both films are reviewed here are US R1 releases on Exploitation Digital label. SS Experiment Camp boasts a reasonable transfer of the film with a bare minimum of extras. The short interview with director Serge Garrone reveals an affable gentleman whose opinions on World War Two would suggest this work to be a low budget precursor to Schindler’s List. Which isn’t quite the case. 4/10

Respect to anyone with the tenacity to restore a film like Gestapo’s Last Orgy, but the post-production is quite shoddy, especially the audio which could have easily been cleaned up. English or Italian languages are offered, but no subtitles which again could have been cheaply done. Otherwise, only a few lobby cards and trailers are present. One of the trails (for Convent of Sinners) fades out and repeats itself, but another, for Porno Holocaust, features hardcore sex,  just to make up for it. 3/10

The Films

The Naziploitation genre was tiny, with around ten films slithering their way from Italy in the mid-70’s, some may know of it through Rob Zombie’s spoof  trailer Werewolf Women of the SS, part of Grindhouse (2007). SS Experiment Camp is quite typical, with a microscopic budget the shocks are derived from nudity, gurning reaction shots and poorly written dialogue which constantly reminds the viewer how terrible the whole thing is. The tortures on offer are claimed to be based on reality, but appear to be constructed from scrapped household appliances and wallpaper paste. Snail paced, the story is pretty non-existent, but the boredom is relented late on when the Commandant attempts an operation to steal a subordinates’ testical. Camp indeed. 2/10

There aren’t actually any members of the Gestapo in Gestapo’s Last Orgy, with the Nazi secret police force replaced by the usual SS costume rentals. Any further attempts to take the film seriously are thwarted early on with a grand line up of the usual nubile concentration camp inmates and their Nazi guards indulging in a scene of mass Reichsrape, complete with ridiculous “for the Fatherland” voiceovers, as the naked actors visibly strain to keep from touching genitals. The sequence brings to mind The Producers, had the protagonists opted for an X-certificate film rather than a stage play. The film lurches direction to contain a long section aping George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, and its study of power between the Smith and O’Brian characters. The Room 101 scene is copied, only here part of the rats is played by an elite infantry of…gerbils! Anyone with a passing knowledge of rodents will find it hilarious, as the Commandant strokes the cute furry pets and talks of their love of human blood, eyeballs and brains. Camper still… 3/10

Gore content

With budgets this low, special FX are wisely kept to minimum but are very poor when present, with implausible make-up showing unlikely body functions punctuated by confusing edits. 2/10 apiece.

Resultnasties2lower-revision

It wasn’t much of a war, but SS Experiment Camp wins by virtue of reputation. However, I found Gestapo’s Last Orgy to be marginally more crass and ill-conceived making it the less boring watch of the two. I supposed with a shed load of beers and a couple of mates with an interest in exploitation flicks and film censorship, a Naziploitation viewing session might make for quite a fun evening – Reichsgerbils and all. But be prepared for the biggest disappointment about both films: ZEE LAK OV KOMEDY GERMAN AKKSENTS!!! NINE GOOT!!! DAS IST KAPPUT!!!

ssgerbil2

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