SS Hell Camp aka The Beast in Heat (1977)

"A terrifying story of violence and madness", or "How I shagged a midget monkey mingle muncher".
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SS Hell Camp aka The Beast In Heat - A Terrifying Story of Violence and Madness

Any sane person with taste really has to start to worry when the epitome of sleaze Ilsa is held up as a cinematic goddess, so much so that she inspired a slew of copycat Nazi exploitation flicks with stern bitches with Swastikas on their arms. I am, however, not a sane person and have no taste so it's hardly surprising that I really enjoyed SS Hell Camp aka The Beast In Heat (La Beastia in Calore)

SS Hell Camp weaves the glorious tale of Dr. Ellen Kratsch (Macha Magall) A steely cold Nazi Officer and scientist who is trying to create the perfect Aryan race by forcing lots of nubile young virgins have non consensual sex with the breeding ground of all that is pure and good, an inbred Neanderthal monkey man. Because that's going to work isn't it? There is also a side story arch which involves the local villagers, including a priest and a beautiful peasant girl, forming an uprising against the Nazis and trying to run them out of their town, but the set pieces (read "undressed white room with a cage") within the laboratory is where the most "fun" can be found.

Here we have another entry in the euro Nazi-sex cycle of films, and as with SS Experiment Love Camp, it really doesn't warrant its entry in to the Video Nasty hall of fame, but this is not to say that there isn't anything here for the boobies and gore lovers amongst us. Cashing in on the wildly successful Isla films, SS Hell Camp gathers up all the typical ethos of the Nazi sub genre and smashes it in to a wonderfully hellish mix.

Given the subject in hand, the "Ban this sick filth" mentality of many and the gaudy cover art you would be forgiven for thinking that you were about to view the most sick and depraved film ever, but this is merely a camp and tasteless view on what is a very serious subject. The sexual nature of the torture scenes are highly lewd but ultimately ridiculous, for example see the scene where a strapped down prisoner has her stomach and genitals eaten away by giant rats, which are in fact guinea pigs. The gore is graphic but camp, see the bored looking prisoner with no emotion in her voice protest in a deadpan way "Stop, you're hurting me", therefore any serious message that the director was trying to make (I think I'm giving Ivan Kathansky aka Luigi Batzella too much credit here) is scratched out due to the painfully bad acting.

SS Hell Camp is made up of two films, one being the "Hell Camp" storyline, which is based mainly in the laboratory with the gurning hairy monkey played by Sal Boris, who incidentally is wearing NO make up in this film, that's right ladies he really is that good-looking, and "For whom the bell tolls", which is the uprising villagers story which is just standard WW2 action albeit with tacky rape scenes added. There is also an amazingly tasteless scene of German solider taking a baby from its crying mothers arms and throwing it up in the air as another solider shoots it as it plummets to the ground, this scene could have only been made better by someone shouting "Pull". It is this questionable combination of newly filmed sleaze, old film inserts and real war footage is what gives the movie a really pleasing aesthetic to the exploitation fan, well that and the scene where "The beast in heat" tears off a ropy looking bird's pubic hair along with some of her guntage and snaffles it away with pure glee.

The best thing about this film is the S&M stocking clad figure of Macha Magall, and in my opinion has a far more imposing presence than Dyanne Thorne. She is essentially a man, she behaves like one, smoking and drinking and laughing at the "weak" screaming women she is torturing, and using her sexuality as a weapon, she is constantly rubbing herself up against soldiers, getting it on with female staff, and it is this debauched sexuality that single-handedly saves this film. As with most exploitation films there is a very muted and pointless moral ending (which is just the get out of jail free card for the film makers to explain away all the unpalatable tableau that has gone before) and in this case the Fräulein doctor is shoved in the cage with her rampant sex beast, but disappointingly are both shot and killed by the villagers before she could reap the fruits of what she sewed. It's a shame, I would have liked to have seen midget monkey man bone a sexy Nazi and I'm sure I'm not alone.
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