The Gestapo’s Last Orgy

The Gestapo’s Last Orgy

The Gestapo’s Last Orgy

directed by Cesare Canevari

starring Marc Loud, Daniela Poggi

88 Films

There have been plenty of torture and women in prison movies over the years that don’t illicit the same visceral reaction as the Nazi films. I assume the closeness to the reality of the Holocaust make them particularly distasteful, especially in the 1970s when so many more survivors were still alive and war crime trials were still underway. Strip away the Nazi regalia, The Gestapo’s Last Orgy isn’t markedly different from Teruo Ishii’s torture films like Orgies of Edo or Shogun’s Joy of Torture or the women in prison movies of Jess Franco or Jack Hill. The origins of the cycle date to Israeli “Stalag fiction” which were pornographic comics depicting life in the concentration camps consumed mostly by Hebrew teenagers in the 1950s as well as the 1953 novella House of Dolls by Ka-tzetnik 135633 which amongst other things introduced the world to the notion of the Joy Divisions where Jewish women in camps were used for sexual use by German soldiers.

The plot, such as it is, is told through a series of flashback as a former Nazi sex camp commander Conrad von Starker (Marc Loud) reunites with one of his former prisoners, Lise (Daniela Poggi). The camp was a sex camp for German troops run by the sadistic commander, his Teutonic dominatrix, and various lackeys including a conscripted physician. The first half of the movie is just a collection of atrocities committed against the women in the camp icluding rape, torture, incest, cannibalism, and coprophagia. The film’s best sequence is when a group of naked women are herded into a stone tunnel that is engulfed in flame forcing them farther down the passage to their doom. The scene is simultaneously moving and exploitative, creating more discomfort for the audience than anything else in the film, which has all been done before. The movie takes a huge narrative turn when at a grotesque staff dinner which culminates in a plan to raise Jews on farms as a cheap source of meat, complete with samples, Von Starker notices the icy blonde Lise who seems unfazed by the horrors around her. The commander makes it his mission to break her and the rest of the movie is Lise being tortured until she falls in love with her abuser. The Gestapo’s Last Orgy attempts to float in between the sheer absurdist trash like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS or The Beast in Heat and the more refined arthouse approach to the same subject matter as Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974) or Passolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) but within the context of exploitation film history most of the most “shocking’ moments become increasingly risible the more schlock one has seen. Certainly a person happening onto one of these films cold could be a bit rattled, which has been proven by the fact the film has still never been cleared for release in the UK after landing on the Video Nasties list in the 1980s.

88 Films have delivered the goods with a gorgeous looking Blu-ray which would be plenty to thrill most fans, but they go ahead and drop in two entertaining and thoughtful audio commentaries to accompany the film. Author of The Legacy of World War II in European Arthouse Cinema, Samm Deighan’s commentary track gives a nuanced look at the film and the Naziploitation cycle. She not only places the films into the larger cultural context, but also strips down the Naziploitation film as basically women in prison movies with actual historical setting. Deighan masterfully leavens much needed context into the discussion of this sleaze masterpiece without even undermining the historical reality of the horrors of the camps. A more rollicking track from Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thomson covers a bit of the same ground as Deighan’s track but they come at the material from a slightly different perspective and also delve more into other films of the era as Eurocult kept pushing the envelope of taste, while also praising the film on screen for the quality of filmmaking present, irrespective of taste, including some attempts at artistic cinematography and editing choices.

Whether you know it as The Gestapo’s Last Orgy, Last Orgy of the Third Reich, or Caligula Reincarnated as Hitler, (one of the greatest movie titles ever) this release of The Gestapo’s Last Orgy is a great entry point into the sub-genre and a must for established fans. Is the whole affair sleazy, offensive, and exploitative? Absolutely which is of course the appeal and why it still has fans and curiosity seekers decades later when so many quality mainstream pictures of the era have been utterly forgotten by time.


The Gestapo Last Orgy Trailer HD [88 Films] from 88 Films on Vimeo.

https://88-films.myshopify.com/.

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