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La Bestia in Calore

SS Hell Camp
Beast in Heat

Italy 1977
produced by
Roberto Pérez Moreno for Eterna Film, Sonora Films
directed by Luigi Batzella (as Ivan Kathansky)
starring Macha Magall, Gino Turini (as John Brawn), Edilio Kim (as Kim Gatti), Xiro Papas, Sal Boris (= Salvatore Baccaro), Alfredo Rizzo, Brigitte Skay
written by Luigi Batzella (as Ivan Kathansky), dialogue by Lorenzo Artale, music by Giuliano Sorgini

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Evil female Nazi scientist Doctor Kratsch (Macha Magall) relishes in torturing prisoners in her neat little camp, & she also has created a monster she keeps in a cage that regularly rapes & kills women she feeds to him ... & if you are now thinking, "I know, she will get raped & killed by her own monster in the end", you couldn't be more wrong ... no, wait a minute, you're absolutely right.

But of course, besides that, there is a bit of story, too, not much, but I'll tell it anyways.

There's a group of partisans fighting the Germans & love to blow up bridges (what else is there to do as a partisan?), & everybody in the village near Kratsch's camp knows that, so Captain Hildebrand tries to match Kratsch in terms of atrocity & has all the partisans' wives, mothers & children arrested &/or shot ... but to little avail, as nobody wants to squeal ... so Kratsch decides to take things into her own hands & torture the few male prisoners with sex & violence (yes, she bares her breasts before her naked prisoners, but castrates those who visibly seem to like it). In the end, she really learns the hide-out of the partisans, but it already seems too late, since on one hand they have armed themselves & were warned to expect their Nazi opponents, on the other hand the Allied Forces start their bombardment of Kratsch's camp & everything around it.

Ah yeah, & before I forget to mention it, Doctor Kratsch is - surprisingly - raped & killed by the monster she has created to rape & kill women ...


Made up on the spot, crudely staged & overall ridiculous atrocities, attributed to the Nazis - as if, considering the real Nazi atrocities, they needed any to be made up & attributed to them -, as was fashionable back then, when a host of Nazi-atrocities-movies all of a sudden showed up in the 1976/77 season, mostly produced in Italy & following the success of the (rather lame) Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1974), a subgenre that would disappear though almost as quickly as it emerged. The genre was of course popular with (gore-)filmmakers because, as long as everything was attriuted to the Nazis, they could push the boundaries of on-screen violence, at the same time though, the gore effects were mostly of very poor quality so these filme´s never fully escaped the ridiculous. SS Hell Camp is of course no exception, sporting a plot that is a poorly disguised coathanger for showing torture & nudity (of both sexes), & that features badly inserted footage from another film (Quando Suona la Campana/When the Bell Tolls), to boost up production values. As a pure trash movie though this film is a little too dull, never really focussing on either the torture camp, the partisans, the mistreated villagers or the approaching Allied Forces, instead losing itself in made up & quickly abandoned subplots ... & evil Doctor Kratsch's demise is (as mentioned above) given away in the first scene.

By the way, many sources (though not the film's credits) claim that Brad Harris stars in this film, but his scenes - as a priest no less - are entirely lifted from When the Bell Tolls.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD