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  • Warning: Spoilers
    All kinds of horrible stuff happens to the luckless lady prisoners at SS Camp 5. Their fierce and sadistic Nazi captors either force the women to become prostitutes so they can sexually service Nazi officers and boost morale or use them as guinea pigs for barbaric scientific experiments. Director/co-writer Sergio Garrone certainly doesn't skimp on the leering low-grade sleaze: we've got plentiful gratuitous distaff nudity, two group shower scenes, an orgy, a few sordid soft-core sex scenes, and one very nasty rape. Moreover, Garrone delivers the raw, ugly and sickening brutality by the nauseating bucketful: Among the hideous sights on display are four would-be escapees being torched in an oven, various poor ladies having their legs set on fire, one gal has her head crushed in a vice, another gets repeatedly punched in the stomach with sharp brass knuckles, a third lass has flaming bamboo sticks placed under her fingernails (ouch!), and a fourth woman has her tongue torn out with a huge pair of tongs. This thoroughly fetid flick further benefits from the sound acting by a capable cast, with especially stand-out turns by foxy Pam Grier lookalike Rita Manna as feisty Jamaican Alina, Giorgio Cerioni as the humane Colonel Strasser, Serafino Profuma as cruel commandant Lt. Hans, Paola Corazzi as fetching blonde Edith, Patrizia Melegna as mean Nazi bitch Greta, Paola D'Egidio as the gutsy Deborah, Attilio Dottesio as quack scientist Dr. Abraham, and Paola Lelio as homely fat whorehouse madam Magda. Maurizio Centini's plain cinematography, the moody, melancholy, flesh-crawling synthesizer score by Vasili Kojucharov and Roberto Pregadio, and the grim, despairing tone all greatly add to the overall considerable sliminess and mean-spiritedness of this choice sick Italian Nazisploitation trash.
  • In the UK, if you remember the early 80's there's a very good chance that you'll have heard of the exploitation movie SS Experiment Camp (1976). This was after all an infamous flick that was majorly responsible for helping kick off the whole video nasty furore in Britain back at that time. The promotional poster used for it was the one from its video box and it depicted a naked woman hung upside down with a swastika hanging from her, while an ominous face of an SS officer looks sinisterly on. This, along with a title that promised all kinds of atrocities played out in the hugely taboo arena of the Holocaust, meant that it quickly became an enemy of the state and condemned by all manner of people who most probably hadn't seen it. I reckon most couldn't have because in reality SS Experiment Camp turned out to be an enormously silly film with some genuinely hilarious moments (I realise that is hard to believe but trust me on this one please). Whatever the case, along with fellow nasty Driller Killer (1979) its legend far outstripped its content, which was admittedly in poor taste but hardly shocking stuff. Anyway, getting back on track, its director Sergio Garrone made another nazisploitation film back-to-back with it called SS Camp 5: Women's Hell. This one never made the notorious video nasty list but only due to the trifling matter that it was never actually released on home video in the UK at that time because if it had I would be willing to bet my mortgage that it would have found itself on that list in super quick time. Despite having a less prominent reputation, there is no question that this is the nastier film of the two.

    The Italian nazisploitation sub-genre is one that I have some interest in given that it still seems incredible that there was an actual cycle of these kinds of movies. Even today they are pretty notorious and are not necessarily the kind of thing you would tell everyone you had spent time watching. But the way I see it is that in the 40's if Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler had envisioned that thirty-five years in the future a bunch of low budget Italian film-makers were to depict their beloved Nazi regime as compromising of badly dubbed sexually deviant sociopaths in a bunch of z-grade exploitation movies, I daresay Adolf and Heinrich would have been mortally offended. So for this reason, I say hooray for nazisploitation. In fairness, it's a genre which is decidedly ropey and with some entries that are particularly unpleasant. But they are a historical oddity now and so seem safer to prod and check out with the benefit of hindsight.

    Like the genre in general, SS Camp 5: Women's Hell operates under the women-in-prison bracket of film. In this one, the women are immediately divided into two groups by the Germans. Those that will work as forced prostitutes and those who will be used for human experiments. To this end, both the soft-core and horror bases are covered right away. Of the latter there isn't necessarily a lot but what there is is pretty sleazy and violent – a group of escapees are burned in one of the camp ovens (very unconvincingly to be fair), while a grim torture scene follows on from this where we witness all manner of delights such as a tongue being ripped out, fingers being burned, a stomach being shredded by a metal knuckle-duster and a head being crushed in a vice. The camp experiments themselves restrict themselves to legs being set on fire. None of this stuff is particularly convincing but it's the thought that counts and its pretty mean-spirited throughout. The soft-core stuff compromises of lashings of nudity and some rape scenes – if you're looking for erotica it sure isn't to be found here! Despite all this depravity, the most offensive thing about the film is the decision to include genuine death camp footage in amongst all this sleazy movie exploitation. Now, that is bad taste in the truest sense of the word and definitely not in a good way. On the whole, I enjoyed this one though. It's basically another slice of successfully unpleasant Italian Nazi exploitation. Its neither in the bracket of the most extreme of this genre, nor is it one of the softer ones; I would say it falls slap bang in the middle and could accurately be described as a textbook example of this kind of thing.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    "S.S. Camp 5: Women's Hell" concerns itself with race relations, abortion, medical experiments, mass female showering and other important issues while telling the tale of prisoners in a Nazi prison. Female prisoners of course. The good looking ones are sent to be prostitutes. The not so glamorous ones are sent to be medical experiments. Their favorite experiment was pouring oil onto the leg of a prisoner and setting it on fire. See, that way the doctors can look at the burn wound and see if they can heal it. Or else it was all for the viewers pleasure so he can see a female scream in pain.

    Yes, it was another lowdown Naziploitation movie. I won't rest until I've seen them all. They are all so unbelievably slimy. Naziploitation flicks are women's prison movies except they have the Nazi stigma drenched over them. I feel dirty after watching them. I'm almost ashamed to admit having seen it. Almost!

    This one was a little tame. On the plus side, there was nudity and two mass shower scenes. There is a decent torture scene and a couple of unnecessary medical experiment scenes. So that's good. But all of the sex scenes were weak. The women weren't that attractive and there was no gratuitous girl/girl action. I mean, the female warden should be horny. Am I wrong? She wasn't. Nor was she overly sadistic. Ilsa, we needed you for this one. Worth a peek though if you love a good, wholesome Nazi prison flick.
  • "Naziploitation" has got to be the most worthless and redundant sub genre of horror cinema, and yet it was extremely popular during the late 70's. All these controversial-sounding titles like "SS Hell Camp", "SS Experiment Love Camp" or this "SS Camp 5: Women's Hell" are extremely boring and poorly made movies and not even half as shocking as they think they are. Tinto Brass' "Salon Kitty" and the ever-infamous "Ilsa – She Wolf of the SS" are still somewhat interesting, but that's merely because they function as simple and straightforward sex films. This "SS Camp 5: Women's Hell" is the worst one yet. It's a totally mundane and ugly movie without action, suspense or atmosphere. The Second World War is almost over, but these sadistic Generals in the camp don't yet realize that Germany is losing. Whenever a shipment of new prisoner girls arrives, they get divided into two groups, namely whores and medical guinea pigs. The only thing I learned from this movie is that Nazis apparently liked to play with fire… The medical experiments all involve setting the girls (or at least certain body parts) on fire. Whenever they want to punish a girl for insulting the Third Reich; they use fire. Whenever a girl needs to be eliminated… Well, you know the drill. In the end Russians invade the camp, the female prisoners – led by a Jamaican babe – join the battle against their torments, and they live happily after all. Insufferable garbage, avoid at all costs.
  • This notorious video nasty, "SS Camp 5 - Women's Hell", was shot back-to-back with Garrone's "SS Experiment Love Camp", some of the same scenes were used. It isn't more vile than others but the otherwise liberal Holland cut over 30 min. of it's 92 min. running time! It's uncut like most releases in Denmark. The film delivers the same usual over-the-top torture and sexual degradation against women (they escape in the end, though). Not the best or worst of the genre - for collectors only.
  • WWII—the Germans are losing the war, but their atrocities continue unabated, a shipment of new prisoners arriving at a women's concentration camp, where they are immediately divided into two groups: whores for the sexual gratification of German officers, and human guinea pigs for Nazi experimentation.

    Having presumably made a tidy profit from his infamous video nasty SS Experiment Camp, director Sergio Garrone went and did it all over again with SS Lager 5, another tasteless concoction of sex and violence guaranteed to offend the sensibilities of all but the most jaded Nazisploitation fan.

    This one has all the ingredients one might expect—evil Aryan doctors, a lesbian head guard called Greta (Patrizia Melega), a sadistic lieutenant (Serafino Profumo), group shower scenes, a botched escape plan, one particularly plucky prisoner (Jamaican babe Alina, played by Rita Manna), and the brutal torture of numerous naked women (fingernail-pulling, head-crushing and tongue-ripping, oh my!)—but what makes it REALLY objectionable is its use of genuine concentration camp photography during the opening credits (an eye-opener of an introduction if I've ever seen one) and, later on, authentic death camp footage depicting the unceremonious dumping of corpses in mass graves.

    This shameless plumbing of the depths of taste and decency in the name of entertainment make SS Lager 5 one of the most effectively nasty films of its ilk.
  • I've seen a few of these Nazi "video nasty" movies and this has to be the weakest one I've had the misfortune to sit through so far. It's not well made enough to be sufficiently erotic, upsetting, violent or entertaining in any way.

    Basically a delivery of about 12 female prisoners arrives at (what I presume is) SS Camp 5, and they are divided into two groups; some for experiments, and some for a brothel. Some plot an escape, while the others suffer in various ways. As usual with these films, there is a kind of climactic shoot out and a handful of people have a happy ending of sorts. It's absolute garbage, and as another reviewer has put it, it's nowhere near as shocking as it obviously thinks it is.

    The threadbare budget is made apparent by the number of inmates (those 12 women are the only ones in the entire camp it would seem), the sets (the lamest prisoner cabins and medical labs I have ever seen in a movie), and the special effects (some isolated burns experiments and some really inept torture methods which don't look like anything bad is actually happening, such as the loose wobbly headband that is supposedly crushing a girls head, or the fake fingers on fire, and finally, two truly dire scenes of victims supposedly being set alight in a furnace.

    There is a LOT of full frontal nudity, but none of the actresses who undress are very attractive, so you need to be really undiscerning to get a kick out of this movie even in that department. That just leaves...what? The script? the acting? Sorry, it's no-go there too.

    The most offensive thing about the whole affair is the decision to use REAL concentration camp stills behind the opening credits, and then some actual movie clips of real atrocities are shown while an officer describes the use that prisoners can be to the army. These two moments made me feel angry, because there are real people's relatives and family in those images, and yet here they are being used for nothing more than entertainment. A very unpleasant decision in a film that otherwise has no capacity to shock whatsoever.

    If you are curious about the Nazisploitation sub genre of films, then try the first Ilsa movie or maybe The Gestapo's Last Orgy, which both actually have some substance - or even The Beast In Heat if you just want a laugh - but please give this one a miss.