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Sunday, June 15, 2014

GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY -- DVD review by porfle



Unlike Blaxploitation, Ozploitation, Canucksploitation, and all the other various 'sploitations that filled video store shelves so wonderfully back in the good old VHS days, Nazisploitation is one area that I've never been able to be fully comfortable with. Even when the film is fairly well-made, as is GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY (1977), you have to wonder if enjoying it in any way is indicative that you may be a little, well, warped.

Oh sure, some examples of the genre are just so outlandishly over-the-top that there's a deliberate "OMG" humor about them. Others, such as ILSA: SHE-WOLF OF THE S.S., have naked Dyanne Thorne in them playing Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S., which pretty much overrides everything else.

But then sometimes you get one like this which is sort of a straight-faced drama laced with horrifically perverse exploitation elements, and you don't really know how to react except to either shun it or give in to your potential warpeditude.




As usual, we find ourselves (vicariously, thank goodness) in one of those Nazi "love camps" where two things are usually going on: (a) soldiers enjoy R-and-R with prison girls whom they can, and are in fact encouraged to, degrade and abuse to their (whatever passes for) hearts' content, and (b) EXPERIMENTS!

As for the former, Commandant Conrad von Starker (Marc Loud, TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME!)--who would rather be fighting gloriously at the front than performing as a glorified pimp--exhorts his beastly soldiers just back from such battle to indulge their worst impulses with the unwilling prisoners in some weird dreamy-steamy softcore sex scenes with lots of naked bodies flailing about, which I assume we're supposed to react to with a sort of perverse fascination.

His eventual downfall will be a growing obsession with the beautiful blonde Jewish prisoner Lise (lovely Daniela Levy), who, as a defense measure, has become coldly desensitized to everything including her own fear of death. Conrad wants to reignite Lise's feelings for romantic reasons (which he, of course, must keep secret); meanwhile, gorgeous Nazi "she-wolf" Alma (Maristella Greco, SAVAGE ISLAND)--whom we first see feeding a menstruating prisoner to the Dobermans--wants Lise to feel terror and pain before killing her. It's a crazy, mixed-up situation.




Lise also gains the sympathy of the camp's young doctor, who has too many scruples for his own good, and they have a strange sexual interlude in which they roll around naked on a bed for five or ten minutes. Lise's fellow inmates don't fare as well, unfortunately, nor does another Nazi soldier who makes the mistake of falling in love with one of them, and the whole sexual ambience of the film is just plain unhealthy.

But this is nothing compared to what the resident mad scientist has going on--during an elegant dinner party for the camp's vaulted staff, this intensely warped weirdo announces what's on the menu with the unforgettable line: "There's nothing better than a pot roast of...unborn Jews!" He's beaming with pride for having found a new food source for the Third Reich, and, after some initial reticence, Conrad and his fellow sickos begin wolfing down their meals.

They then select one of the female servants as the main course by cooking her flambé-style right there on the dinner table, which, as you might have guessed, turns them on sexually. What follows is pretty close to what you might get if John Waters had added a Nazi dinner party scene to PINK FLAMINGOS. These people definitely have what it takes to compete with Babs Johnson and her family for the title of "The Filthiest People Alive."



One of the odd things about the film is that when it isn't trying to prove what a stunningly perverse shockfest it can be, it also wants to function as a florid, semi-serious melodrama with thoughtful, emotional elements, all presented with some good camera moves and other cinematic flourishes that seem inherent to Italian movies. Still, much of what happens is rather dull when not being spiced up by the more sordid stuff.

The DVD from Intervision is anamorphic widescreen with Dolby digital mono sound. No subtitles. Extras include a trailer and the featurette "A Brief History Of Sadiconazista: Interview With Film Historian Marcus Stiglegger."

With a framing device of Conrad and Lise meeting up at the now-deserted camp after the war, GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY builds up rather unexcitingly to an abrupt and totally predictable ending. Till then, though, this twisted and at times somewhat appalling tale should prove "eventful" enough to keep fans of the genre interested.

Buy it at Amazon.com



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