As the menacing clouds of WWII spread all over across Europe, a young flaxen-haired Jew woman will witness her idyllic life crumble into pieces as she is rounded up and thrown to forced pros... Read allAs the menacing clouds of WWII spread all over across Europe, a young flaxen-haired Jew woman will witness her idyllic life crumble into pieces as she is rounded up and thrown to forced prostitution at the infamous "joy-camp" 27.As the menacing clouds of WWII spread all over across Europe, a young flaxen-haired Jew woman will witness her idyllic life crumble into pieces as she is rounded up and thrown to forced prostitution at the infamous "joy-camp" 27.
Still, for such a single-mindedly commercial effort, I was surprised by how effective this film was: after all, it was made by all-rounded professionals who had been in the business for some time - director Caiano (best-known, perhaps, for the Barbara Steele Gothic horror NIGHTMARE CASTLE aka THE FACELESS MONSTER ) and screenwriter Gianfranco Clerici and composer Francesco De Masi (both Lucio Fulci collaborators). The lead role here is played by Sirpa Lane, with whom I was only familiar from Walerian Borowczyk's legendary THE BEAST (1975): as much as I love that film, I had always felt that her contribution was upstaged not just by the horny and furry titular creature but by the nominal lead of THE BEAST, Lisbeth Hummel. Therefore, I had no idea that she could actually act and, indeed, the whole film is anchored by her good central performance; discovered by Roger Vadim, she subsequently worked with a few other noted "Euro-Cult" film-makers - but eventually retired (after making only 10 films) and, sadly, died of AIDS at the young age of 44!
The plot sees Jewess Lane being imprisoned in a concentration camp (thus adding the 'Women-In-Prison' subgenre to the already heady mix for good measure - in fact, the film reminded me a lot of Jess Franco's contemporaneous ILSA, THE WICKED WARDEN ), where she's immediately raped and later selected by a lesbian warden (apparently a given in WIP films) to serve as a prostitute for the gratification of German soldiers on leave. About to be flogged for rejecting the advances of the warden, she attracts the attention of the Camp Commandant and eventually starts a sado-masochistic relationship with him (he frequently asks her to whip him, likes to exchange clothes with her and even wants Lane to pleasure his faithful alsation Axel - but the latter doesn't seem too keen on the idea and promptly attacks her)!!
The finale sees the Jewish girl elevated to the position of a madam in a Nazi whorehouse; the man she was in love with at the beginning of the film suddenly turns up at the establishment as a war hero - but it all ends in tragedy (though not before Lane, her Semitic origins exposed, jokes about Hitler's unemployed 'member'!). I have to say, though, that the gimmick adopted throughout of intercutting black-and-white stock footage with the main action was rather pointless because, although the events are clearly set in 1942, we are never told where all this is supposed to be happening so that said footage could be put into perspective!
I watched the film (which is still unavailable anywhere on DVD) via a DVD-R culled from an English-dubbed VHS edition; I don't know whether it's uncut as the editing seemed quite choppy at times - but the amount of violence and nudity on display was certainly profuse (the former pretty fake but the latter rather graphic, occasionally even stepping into hardcore-porn territory)...
- Apr 27, 2007