4/28/2015

GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY (Review)

Title: Gestapo's Last Orgy (AKA The Gestapo's Last Orgy, L'ultima orgia del III Reich)
Writers/ Director: Cesare Canevari
Cast: Adriano Micantoni, Daniela Poggi (as Daniela Levy), Maristella Greco, Fulvio Ricciardi, Antinska Nemour, Caterina Babero
Running Time: 92 min

Lise Cohen (Daniela Poggi, here under the name Daniela Levy) gives testimony in a Nazi war crimes trial that helps to set Commandant Starker (Adriano Micantoni) free. She takes him to the now abandoned concentration camp, where we flashback years ago to the time she was a prisoner there.

Back then he ran a camp where Jewish women were separated based on their beauty and tortured, raped, and killed by Nazi officers. During a repulsive dinner, where Jewish baby meat is consumed and a Jewish woman in immolated, Lise shows him, that she wishes to die. To teach her a nightmarish lesson, he instead keeps her alive and tortures her physically and emotionally. Eventually, perhaps due to her own strong will and immense beauty, he falls in love with her. Has she bought him here to this very hellhole, to rekindle their "relationship" or for vengeance?
This entry in the short lived, but nasty Italian cycle of Naziploitation films, is one of the very best of the lot. It's also one of the sickest. It draws it's inspiration from the two movies, that most of these films, do: Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS and The Night Porter. The later seems to be a much bigger influence, in the similar plot of former prisoner and Nazi officer having relationship. Though this one is exceedingly more extreme. I'll talk about that in a bit, but first let's talk about it's Ilsa influence.
We have a sexy, perverse, and evil female Nazi officer named Alma (the gorgeous Maristella Greco) with a fondness for grabbing men's balls while torturing women, feeding menstruating women to her Doberman, panties made of Jewish women skin, and other sick acts. She's a twisted individual for sure, but plays less of a role than other women in some other movies like this.

The aforementioned relationship, between the Nazi who runs the camp and the beautiful blonde captive is definitely uncomfortable to watch. But, it is just one of many points that make's it a movie that is anything but fun. It itself apart from the others like it, because it is devoid of the campieness or stupidity that frequently overruns these movies. Now, I have seen quite a few of these movies, and I find them hard to take seriously or even really enjoy on even the basest of levels.
The best of this cycle (not counting Ilsa or arthouse stuff like the Night Porter) that I had seen up until now were, decent, at best, with most just being plain shit. This one is a damn good movie, though, albeit a thoroughly repellent one. Perhaps it is not as gory as others are, but it's far more extreme in it's content of lesbian incest, cannibalism, coprophagia, immolation, torture, and other atrocities.

At the same time it's all very well acted, in particular, by it's two leads Levy and Micantoni, both of whom give memorable and strong performances. Greco also gives a great performance as Alma that is evil, cruel, and, yet, sexy. Meanwhile, writer/ director Canevari crafts a movie filled with dichotomies here. One that is vile, repellant, sick, disgusting, and thoroughly exploitative. Yet, it's also poignant, moving, and artistically shot. The beautiful, soaring score by Alberto Baldan Bembo is something not typically associate with movies like this.
The movie is one of Britain's banned Video Nasties, and it more than lives up to it's sick reputation. It maintains a disturbing feeling throughout it's running time. But, it's because it take its subject matter in a more serious manner, that it stands heads and shoulders above the more laughable or snooze inducing crap in this questionable sub-genre. Yet, it still remains firmly an exploitation movie.

Abhorrent but yet shockingly good, Gestapo's Last Orgy isn't a easy movie to recommend. The subject matter, alone, should be enough to repel many an audience member. But, if you are curious about the movie based on it's reputation or interested in higher quality extreme cinema or looking for a quality entry in this cycle of Italian sleaze, then this one is for you. But, be warned even one, even as jaded as I was left feeling uncomfortable, even with the mere concept of liking it. And, perhaps that, in of itself, is the best complement that I can give it.


3.5 out of 4

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