Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 11th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1977
Director: Ivan Kathansky (Luigi Batzella)
Cast: Xiro Papas, Macha Magall, Sal Boris, Kim Gatti, Brad Harris
DVD released: December 28th, 2004
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Media Blasters/Exploitation Digital
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
“As far as your God is concerned, well you should know that we German’s have always had him behind us. It’s an exclusive privileged of our race.” – Doctor Ellen Kratsch
SS scientist/doctor Ellen Kratsch (Macha Magall) creates a beats like man in her quest to help the Nazi’s build a master race of superior men and women. No woman is safe from Doctor Kratsch’s experiments of depravity. The Nazi’s round up all the attractive women from the near by town’s and villages. The women will be used as guinea pigs and sex slaves for Doctor Kratsch’s experiments with the deformed man beast. Meanwhile a local group of resistant fighters plot to end these sadistic experiments by exterminate the Nazi’s at this hellish love camp.
SS Hell Camp is also known under the alternative title “The Beast in Heat”. This film was directed by Luigi Batzella under the alias Ivan Kathansky. Director Luigi Batzella also directed the cult classic “The Devil’s Wedding Night” and the deliriously surreal “Nude for Satan”. His direction for SS Hell Camp is pretty standard with no stand out set pieces. The look of the film actually exceeds the films lack of budget and this is most likely due to the films Cinematography which was shot by Ugo Brunelli who also worked on the films “Delirium” and “The Reincarnation of Isabel”.
SS Hell Camp like most Nazi Exploitation films tries to be shocking and in the end these moments feel contrived and at times unintentionally humorous. A few what the fuck moments in the film include a Nazi should tossing a baby in the air before shooting it with his Uzi, playing Russian roulette with prisoners while interrogating them and the most revolting moment of all is when a Nazi shoots a woman in her Vagina after he rapes her telling her he wouldn’t want to spawn any bastard off spring with her race. One fo the better parts of the film is when Doctor Kratsch and her associates are torturing the girls who are soon to be the man beasts love slaves. Besides having an uneven plot that never really explains itself the films also suffers from the use of recycled war footage form other films.
The cast has several known faces including Euro-cult veteran Bard Harris whop got his big break in the early 1960’s starring in Peplum’s like “Samson” and “Goliath against the Giants”. In SS Hell Camp Brad Harris unconvincingly plays a priest. Actor Salvatore Baccaro plays The Beast a character that is oddly reminiscent of the character he played in Salon Kitty. The bets performance in the film comes from the films lead actress Macha Magall who totally immerses herself in the part of the diabolical scientist/doctor Ellen Kratsch. The films finale in which she finally comes face to face with her creation The Beast is the most poignant moment in the film as two resistant fighters stare on in delight as the Beast is having its way with its master.
SS Hell Camp is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors reproduction is strong and detail look crisp and stable throughout. The transfer looks to have been sourced from a print that is virtually free of any print damage and overall this transfer looks very good.
This release comes with one audio option an English dubbed audio mix which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. There are no problems with distortion or any other sound defects and dialog is easy to understand. Music and effects sound evenly balanced.
Extras for this release include trailers for SS Hell Camp, Flesh for the Beast, Elsa Fraulein SS, Slaughter Hotel and Faceless. Other extras include a photo gallery with over two dozen stills and liner notes about the film & the Nazi Exploitation genre that were written by Paolo Zelati. Overall the extras are kind of a mixed bag as it would have been nice to hear from anyone connected to the film in either an interview or an audio commentary.
This release like the SS Girls also comes with a stylish DVD cover art. Nazi Exploitation as the genre progressed only got more explicit and vulgar in content and any suggestion of a coherent plot all but vanished. SS Hell Camp is truly bottom of the barrel exploitation that outside of a few minor moments offers little in any real shocking moments. Exploitation Digital’s DVD for SS Hell Camp is the best this film has ever looked and best of all it is one of Exploitation Digital’s lower priced Nazi exploitation releases.