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  Private House of the SS Not Nazis AgainBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Bruno Mattei
Stars: Gabriele Carrara, Marina Daunia, Macha Magall, Vassili Karis, Tamara Triffez, Luce Gregory, Walter Brandi, Thomas Rudi, Lucic Bogoliub Benny, Ivano Staccioli, Giovanni Attanasio, Monica Nickel, Gota Gobert, Cristina Minutelli, Luciano Pigozzi
Genre: Sex, War, Trash
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hans Schellenberg (Gabriele Carrara) is a Nazi General who is interrupted in his playing of the organ to be told by his superior officer that the Fuhrer himself has a new position for him: to become the overseer of a brothel, featuring specially trained prostitutes who will be used to take information from their clients and pass anything incriminating on to the authorities. Hans is delighted to take on such a task, regarding it as the next step on the ladder to ultimate success, taking over from Adolf Hitler at the head of the Third Reich, and enters into it with great enthusiasm. His right hand woman is Frau Inge (Marina Daunia), whose scarred cheek prevents her from being one of the prostitutes, but will put these women through their paces...

There just had to be a contribution from Italian trash merchant Bruno Mattei in the Nazisploitation genre, and this would have to do for most aficionados of possibly the most disreputable strain of moviemaking of all time. Mixing sex, sadism and the horrors of the far right, these films were somewhat mysterious in their appeal: nowadays you can look back on them as so beyond the pale that there is a contingent of sleaze fans who find them entertaining for reasons other than those intended (dubious titillation), those being they are so far past what is acceptable they become curiously entertaining. There were arthouse efforts in this vein, which can be seen as more allowable thanks to their highbrow pedigree.

Mattei, on the other hand, was so lowbrow it's a wonder he could see where he was going, and Private House of the SS, also known as SS Girls (or Casa privata per le SS if you were Italian) was one of the Continental contributions, and a surprising number of these were made in Italy (whereas Germany was understandably less than accommodating to the idea), where an anything goes hysteria had taken hold of the movie industry, especially when it came to crafting (or throwing together) exploitation flicks. With that in mind, you needed a very strong sense of humour to tolerate this effort, though the acting of the lead Nazi was quite remarkable to behold, not good at all but strangely compelling.

Gabriele Carrara didn't appear in many movies, and on this evidence it could have been down to his effervescent personality unable to be contained in a straight role. Camp didn't begin to describe his performance which was so over the top you could imagine he needed oxygen to get through each scene, an eye-rolling, teeth-baring, wildly gesturing reading of a villain that even the American actor dubbing him was struggling to live up to. Weirdly, so downright bizarre, not to mention unbelievable as a high ranking German officer of World War II, was Carrara here that he was probably the best reason to watch, assuming the copious nudity hadn't offered that excuse to you, but being a Mattei work there was always going to be extra items of lunacy to sustain the prurient interest.

How about the centrepiece sequence where a one-eyed Nazi flanked by a short, bald SS man in a Cossack hat and a supposed Chinese officer named Wang who carries nunchaku take their pleasures from the highly trained ladies, then are decided to be best gotten rid of so they are distracted by a ghost, which they clamber out of a small window to chase before a machine gun puts paid to them? It's difficult to imagine what on earth was going through Mattei's mind when he presented such material (other than the money-making possibilities), but then you also had Hans dressed as a Nazi Pope delivering judgement on turncoat German officers who want Hitler murdered, so anything within the means of the budget was apparently necessary to sell tickets. This was of course a rip-off of Tinto Brass's would-be classy Nazi romp Salon Kitty which also featured a brothel, only here there was an entirely different film edited in for the finale to supply footage of war that Mattei could not afford. After that an endurance test of drawn out demises and speeches, and it was all over, leaving you pondering just how many corks had been bitten from champagne bottles and spat out. Music by Gianni Marchetti.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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