Pray this is Judge Daryl Loomis' last Nazisploitation review.
Banned in the UK!
Really, what wasn't banned in the U.K. during the 1970s? Their list of "Video Nasties" is a pretty sorry group of relatively harmless exploitation films, decried for one reason or another. Eventually, nearly all of these were removed and are now widely available there or anywhere else, but not Gestapo's Last Orgy, or at least not in its uncut form. This piece of Nazi sex trash rivals only Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS as the most depraved of the genre, and that's a pretty high water mark to begin with. Now, I'm not particularly happy to have to review this thing, but I suppose that I'm equipped to do it; so let's get busy.
Commandant Conrad von Starker (Adriano Micantoni, Trinity Is Still My Name) meets a young woman named Lise Cohen (Daniela Poggi, Last Harem) in a remote location in the woods. They seem to have reunited after many years and are walking toward these decrepit building. Soon, we realize that these are former concentration camp facilities and then we revert back to the holocaust, where their bizarre romance first began.
Once you get into the meat of Gestapo's Last Orgy, that framing story becomes plainly disgusting. This is a Stockholm Syndrome kind of deal, in which Lise's lack of regard for death turns on von Starker. His arousal makes him want to break her spirit, at which point he will finally kill her. But he doesn't expect her strength and, eventually, he wants her for real and she wants him, bringing us back to the framing story.
If that sounds familiar, it's something of the plot of Liliana Cavani's The Night Porter. The difference is that Cavani's difficult but incredible film makes an actual commentary on how Europe has dealt with the Holocaust in their heads and, also, has basic cinematic merits. All that gets sullied in Gestapo's Last Orgy, just like everything else in this cinematic depravity.
For those looking for this kind of thing, though, Gestapo's Last Orgy delivers in spades, giving viewers atrocities that are barely matched elsewhere in cinema. If it is matched, it comes from something else in the Nazisploitation genre that I, thankfully, have yet to see. In any case, while not pornography, it comes as close as a movie can get without much actual sexual activity at all. It's naked torture for 90 minutes. If that actually sounds appealing, then I'm sorry; if one goes into it from a historical genre perspective, then I'm sorry, too, but in that case, at least I understand.
Director Cesare Canevari (The Nude Princess) does a poor job of just about everything here, including misframing many of the torture scenes that are the picture?s showcase. The writing is awful, the photography is ugly, and the effects, while gross, are terribly unrealistic. The performances are no better, with the only person of note in the cast being Daniela Poggi. She's notable not for her acting (she may have gotten better; this was her first movie), but for what happened later with the odd coincidence of her becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. If only they knew…if only they knew.
Gestapo's Last Orgy is given a mediocre release from Intervision. The 1.85:1 image is average, at best, with a soft look and washed-out colors. There aren't any problems in the transfer, per se, but nothing has been done to restore it, either, making for a pretty dirty print. The two-channel mono sound mix fares about the same. There's enough background noise to make some of the dialog difficult to understand, not that I'm really interested in what they're saying in the first place. Still, a little clean up would have been nice.
The only extra is an interview with film historian Dr. Marcus Stiglegger called "A Brief History of Sadiconazista," and runs about thirty minutes. The problem here isn't the interview itself, which is interesting enough; it's that this same interview appears on the DVD for Deported Women of the SS Special Service, making one wholly unnecessary if one has seen the other. Not that I'm complaining, of course; I want to spend as little extra time with this movie as possible.
If you're looking to lose a little piece of your soul, then Gestapo's Last Orgy is the movie for you. It's a deplorable film in every way and, although the people who watch this stuff (myself included) already know this, it won't stop them from watching. For them, I had hoped for a better DVD release, but for that most hardened of hardcore genre fan, it's on the shelves. For everybody else, stay far, far away.
As guilty as movies get.
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