SS Hell Camp (1977)

DVD Cover (Exploitation Digital)
Genres: Horror, Naziploitation, Sadistic Horror, Sex Horror
In a remote village in occupied Europe, the SS pursue their inhuman treatment of captured partisans in efforts to force them to betray their comrades.... while Fraulein Krast, a sadistic biologist, concentrates her efforts on the womenfolk with refined tortures and humiliation, leaving them to the mercy of a sex-crazed half-man, half-beast she has created with experimental injections. And as advancing Allied forces approach the village, Krast herself becomes a victim of her own fiendish rituals.... --TMDb
Luigi Batzella Luigi Batzella
Macha Magall Macha Magall
Gino Turini Gino Turini
Edilio Kim Edilio Kim
Xiro Papas Xiro Papas
Salvatore Baccaro Salvatore Baccaro
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3.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: May 15, 2011
I grew up in a household where horror films were the order of the day, and my parents had no problems with me watching all of the classic slasher and zombie flicks of the eighties and early nineties. Every weekend, my stepfather, my brother, and myself would all head down to the local video store to pick up a couple of new movies, and we'd then sit around and watch them together. There was one movie that my parents put their foot down on, however, and it was SS Hell Camp - and that was only after my mother walked in on a scene in which a nude woman sexually tortures a nude man. I've always wanted to revisit this film to see if it held up after all these years, and today, I did just that.

There are basically two movies contained within these ninety minutes. The one you came to see based on the title and that infamous Video Nasties list runs for about twenty minutes, and it tells the tale of Dr. Ellen Kratsch (Macha Magall), a sadistic female Nazi officer who is conducting experiments on a half-man / half-beast (Salvatore Baccaro) that is fed a constant diet of mega-aphrodisiacs so that it can be used as a rape machine on the local Jewish girls. The Nazi officers will simply throw a nude young girl into its cage and it will go into a sexual frenzy, literally raping the poor gal to death (and in one scene, it actually rips her pubic hair off with some flesh still intact and consumes it). When Kratsch isn't using the beast to satisfy her own perverse goals, she simply herds the girls down to her underground torture chamber, where women are subjected to having rats eat their innards, having their fingernails ripped out, and even getting electrical prods shoved up their nether regions.

The other seventy minutes consists of the movie that you didn't come to see, and it features a group of rebels led by Drago (Gino Turini) trying to overthrow the Nazi troops, townsfolk lying about the whereabouts of the rebels, and more footage from other films that you can shake a stick at. As a huge contrast to the other chunk of the film, this part is almost clean: there are plenty of shoot-outs and explosions, yes, but it is the old western style of violence in that one man can mow down twenty other men with a machine gun and not a drop of blood will be spilled.

This latter half of the movie is what really drags the entire affair down. It is badly acted, it is atrocious even by war movie standards, the plot is nonsensical, and quite frankly, it's boring as all hell. Here, let me break it down for you: Drago and his men swear vengeance for a third of the time, the Nazis unsuccessfully hunt for the rebels for another third of the time, and the final third consists of a loop of grenades and guns causing men to grab their chest and keel over. Sprinkle this with stock footage of varying quality from other, better war films, and you have the vast majority of SS Hell Camp.

Fortunately, the lab and torture sequences fare much better. Macha Magall is downright sadistic as the leading officer, and she is the only person involved with the film who turned in a halfway decent performance. The events that take place are graphic and disgusting, and yes, exploitation fans will be pleased to see some of the things that go down in that lab. Some of the effects are a bit silly (the "rats" are actually guinea pigs which have been painted black, for example) and it's far from the most graphic film ever released, but it's still entertaining for those who love this sort of filth.

Unfortunately, that was not enough to save the overall film. As mentioned, the film runs for ninety minutes and the "good stuff" only runs for about twenty of them, so sitting through a load of trash to get to the few hidden treasures just isn't worth it. Maybe if it had been a short film I would have given it a recommendation, but as it stands, I just can't do it. 3/10.
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