Monday, 11 November 2013

5 Films about the War Camp Horrors

**Please note that there may be spoilers throughout the blog**

During the Second World War, there were a lot of travesties discovered after the troops brought down the axis of evil.  Camps used for chemical, bacterial and biological warfare were discovered and what was most horrifying is that the experiments were being done on people.  Filmmakers have tried to bring the terrifying experience of the front lines, the claustrophobia of submarine battles and the following directors have tried to bring the nightmarish experiences by recreating the confines of the prison camps.

Here are 5 Films about the War Camp Horrors

5. Philosophy of a Knife (2008) - This is a poor documentary on the atrocities that occurred during World War 2 in Japan's Unit 731 camp.  They performed gruesome and horrific chemical and bacterial experiments on it's prisoners.  In this documentary, a term I use lightly for this film, director Andrey Iskanov combines real footage, re-enacted footage, an interview with some old man and some narration, that sounds like it may be from a book, to tell the story of nightmarish camp.
  I watched this after I saw "Men Behind the Sun" and I think my expectations may have been too high because this was really awful to watch.  And not because of the gore, that is really the only high point on this film, but because of the total lack of understanding of how to do a documentary.  For one, this film is over 4 hours long and it really doesn't need to be.  Even an inexperienced editor, could chop this into a respectable two hours.  Also, the person being interviewed, who is he?  He says in the interview, he had only been near the camp once with his mother and then asked to leave.  A lot of his stories contradict each other, and the last like 30 minutes is just him rambling on and on and on about nothing to do with the camp or the experiments.  Finally,  the story is all over the place.  They start talking about one thing and then jump to another.  There isn't a lot of cohesiveness to his film and again if I hadn't watched "Men Behind the Sun", this whole film may have been lost on me.
  However, the re-enacted gory scenes were good and there are ton of sick and disturbing shit in this that I have never seen before nor ever imagined.  I've seen a lot of crazy shit and this has to be one of the most unnecessarily gratuitous grossest movies, I've ever seen.  Unfortunately, I think the scenes go on to long and the actors used for them are terrible and show absolutely no emotion when brought in.  There is no begging, crying or pleading.  Their like okay, time for torture and then when they are being tortured, some of them react like nothing is really going on.
  This movie reminds me of that shitty album that you keep putting off buying, so can complete your collection.  If you're looking for a film that depicts a real and accurate account about Unit 731, then this might not be for you but if you want to see some extreme disgusting torture scenes, put to shitty Russian trance music and have over 4 hours to waste, you may want to check this out.  Even the trailer is like 5 minutes.   

4. The Beast in Heat (aka SS Hell Camp, La Bestia in Calore) (1977) -  Nazi doctor, Ellen Kratsch has created, what she believes to be the next step in the evolution of man and may be the tool to help the Nazis conquer the world.  It is a Beast, a fat hairy, diminutive in size and metal capacity and seems to only want to have sex all the time.  It rapes anything that is put in it's cage and no one wants to release it for fear that it may want to hump their leg.  Good work Dr. Kratsch, Good work.
  While the Nazi's are making useless monsters, the Italian Partisan's are blowing up bridges and trying to stop the Nazi's from coming to their towns and raping and stealing their women for experimentation.  Unfortunately for them, Dr. Kratsch and her genital torture machines have arrived to stop them from fucking with the 3rd Reich.  Can these Partisan chase these goosestepping monsters out of their town or will Dr. Katsch unleash the beast, that will probably hump a table or something? 
  I can see why this was put on the Video Nasties list and why it is still banned in Australia.  There is a ton of genital torture going on in this movie.  They have electrodes for guys and gals.  The plot for this is pretty weak and I don't know who came up with this Beast idea but it was pretty stupid.  It was probably a cheap way to get more rape scenes into a film. 
  This film is kind of a "Ilsa" rip off, with Macha Magall (The Erotic Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Casa Privata per le SS), who is just as cruel, but she doesn't get naked as much as Dyanne Thorne.   Director Luigi Batzella (Django Cut Price Corpses, Nude For Satan) had a pretty low budget and was basically using one set.  He even had to borrow footage to from another one of his films, "Quando Suona La Campana" to finish the film.  It's hard to watch but it has it's moments and is ridiculous enough not to be completely offensive.

3. Love Camp 7 (1969) - Two female officers, Lt. Linda Harman and Lt. Grace Freeman are sent into a Nazi women's prison camp to rescue a Jewish scientist, Martha Grossman because she information about plane fuel that will turn the tide of the war for the allies.  Unfortunately,  this is a special kind of camp for the Nazi officers to relax and have women pleasure them and if these they are not properly pleasured then the women are punished!  Can Lt. Harman and Lt. Freeman prostitute themselves, find Martha Grossman and escape Love Camp 7 alive?
  This was one of the first "women in prison" films, that became popular in the earlier 70's with movies like the "Big Bird Cage" and "Women in Cages" and this was also the first Nazisploitation film, that were made popular after the "Ilsa" films in the late 70's.  The story is pretty thin and director Lee Frost (The Black Gestapo, Chain Gang Women) seems to have a hard time with his camera man, that seems to pan everywhere during some of the dialogue scenes except on person talking.  This film doesn't get as gory as some of the other films on this list but there are a lot of demeaning and rape scenes.  This not an easy film to watch but it is the least gory of the films.

2.  Ilsa: The She Wolf of the SS (1975) - Ilsa is the Kommandant of one of the Nazi prison camps and she is also a scientist, who is working towards proving that woman can endure more pain than men.    In her time off, she likes to have sex with the male prisoners and if they do not satisfy her, then they are castrated.  All of the male prisoners have been snipped, but lucky for her, there is a new batch of male and female prisoners today!
  The men get sent off for work detail, but she finds a new plaything, Wolf.  He is an American, who gives her just the right amount of sass but she'll deal with him later.  The women are stripped and split up into two groups, one for the experimental testing group and death.  These girls are then put through horrifying tests for the Third Reich.  Can anyone stand up to Ilsa and help these prisoners escape or are they doomed to die like laboratory rats?
  This Canadian film was written shortly after the surprising success of Love Camp 7 in Canada.  The Ilsa character, who is played brilliantly by Dyanne Thorne (Pinocchio, Chesty Anderson U.S. Navy), is actually based on two evil Nazi camp female personel officers, Ilse Koch and Irma Grese.  The script is alright and leans a little more to the sexploitation realm but there are some disturbing scenes that won't be forgotten.  The sets were borrowed from Hogan's Heroes and they gave them the OK to burn them because it cost less than to demolish them.  So, if your looking for a classic Nazisploitation film than this is it and if you can't get enough of Ilsa, there are 3 sequels to look for.

1. Men Behind the Sun (1988) - A group of teenage boys are waiting to be transferred to be trained to be guards at a secret research base called Squadron 731.  They are picked up and brought to the camp where Lt. General Shiro Ishii is performing chemical and bacterial experiments on animals and prisoners.  These boys witness terrifying and gruesome experiments and assist in delivering people to the doctors and to the crematorium, while Lt. General Ishii and his men plan the next set of experiments that will help Japan conquer there foes..  Will these boys ever be the same for the sights and sounds of this camp and what happens to them after the war ends?
  This was such a crazy movie and it was done in relatively good taste.  Director Tun Fei Mou (Deadly Secret, Trilogy of Lust) walks a thin line, depicting these historical events and being unnecessarily gratuitous.  Although, there are some down right twisted scenes of human cruelty and experimentation, Mou tells a very tragic and fascinating story, that I had never even heard of until now.
  The acting is excellent and what you would expect from a Hollywood biopic and there are a lot of good drama in this.  It has the students questioning if what they are doing is right and officers becoming more leery of Ishii and his theories as the war goes on.  The special effects are excellent and to make it more gruesome, director Mou used real cadavers and body parts in some of the  scenes.  Also, there is a devastating scene where a cat is torn apart by rats but Mou says that "the cat was fine and he received two fishes for his hard work".  This is definitely a film that you should check out if you like extreme horror or if you are a war buff.

These films are difficult watch because for the most part, they are suppose to to be re-enactments of things that have happened to people in the past.  Most of the film makers here, acknowledge in the beginning of their films that these are based on true events and that there are going to have some disturbing visuals ahead.  Also, most of these films are not about men and women on the battlefield but the unfortunate civilians, who are often forgotten, that had been captured and forced into horrifying circumstances for no other reason but that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  These films should be reminder of the horrors that go on off the battlefield while war any war is being waged.

1 comment:

  1. Very descriptive blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

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