SS Camp 5 Women's Hell/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< SS Camp 5 Women's Hell
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SS Camp 5 Women’s Hell is a good example of the so called "Nazisploitation“ genre, movies that capitalize on the horrors of National Socialism.

In the last days of WW2, a group of women is escorted to a fictitious prisoner camp. The more attractive women are forced to become prostitutes for the soldiers and also the higher ranked Nazis. The others are used for medical experiments. What we have so far is a good premise for a solid Nazisploitation experience. The two basic ingredients being female nudity/sex and torture scenes. And this movie delivers. The plot evolves around the various girls, but concentrates on a beautiful black woman who kinda looks like a young Pam Grier. The other girls aren’t that pretty, but that’s a matter of taste of course. At one point, they realize that they are facing certain death in the camp and try to escape. Some rather dramatic scenes occur throughout the movie. On the technical side, it’s a solid, cheap production. The occasional music fits the movie, and we’ve heard far worse in exploitation land.

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What seemed very strange and questionable to me was that it showed actual concentration camp footage during the opening credits and again in a sequence of the movie. This was almost like a punch in the guts for me. I’m all for "no hold barred“ when it comes to creating entertainment in a commercial fim, or what many would call a "guilty pleasure“. But I find it problematic to mix the fictional with the real in the way that they did here. At the end of the movie a text is displayed, warning future generations of the aggressive potential of mankind. This seems like the makers of this piece wanted to be taken seriously. I think it goes without saying that this movie is not for the easily offended, it’s reccomended for film fans who want to experience cinema on the edge.

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Director Sergio Garrone, in an interview about this film and commercial Nazi movies in general, said that these types of movies are cathartic. "People get it out of their system, they are exposed to such strong material, that they feel a repulsion. And the effect is good, since people learn to reject such things. I think the sucess of the SS films is due to curiosity and also morbid fascination. If people wanted to find out the history, they’d go see documentaries, not commercial movies.“ He then goes on to call Reality TV the "real trash“, and says "I made semi-porno Nazi films, but I’d never make disgusting crap like that.“

NOTE: The interview is part of the extra features on the DVD version of the film released through Exploitation Digital USA. It was held in Italian.

Reviewed by Kenneth

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