Monday, July 8, 2019

The Beast in Heat

When you are looking at a film where the director and 90% of the cast refused to put their real names on the project, you know you found something pretty awful. An Naziploitation film co-written and directed by Luigi Batzella, under the pseudonym Ivan Kathansky, the film centers around the comings and goings around a Nazi POW camp during WWII where a mad scientist (Macha Magall) has created a human beast (Salvatore Baccaro). Apparently the Nazis have decided the best way to win over the locals is for the Beast to rape them into submission.

There's nothing of merit and little of interest here. The film is a bizarre mix of unintentional camp mixed with gore, torture, shootings, and rape sequences. There's also a subplot involving locals looking to derail the Nazi war effort who become prisoners the Dr. Kratsch (Magall) as well. Had the film thoroughly embraced its ridiculous nature and gone full camp it may have been semi-passable as a guilty pleasure. As is, it's hardly watchable.

Originally released in Italy in 1977 under the title of La bestia in calore, the film has been released under multiple titles over the years including SS Hell Camp, SS Experiment Part 2, and Horrifying Experiments of SS Last Days. The action sequences surround the local partisans attempts to fight off the Nazis are almost completely stolen from other films (which does help explain how disconnected that thread feels from the rest of the story).

For those more interested in the genre, the new Blu-ray release includes a documentary on Naziploitation Cinema and an interview with horror reviewer Stephen Thrower, as well as the trailer.

[Severin Films, $29.98]

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