Wednesday, January 12, 2011

GRINDHOUSE EXPERIENCE: An Ongoing Series of Reviews

So I've just busted into this DVD set I have called Grindhouse Experience. Its a 20 movie collection of 70s and 80s films. Some exploitation, horror, spaghetti westerns, action, a little bit for everyone (or no one). I decided it would be fun to go through the movies and review them all through the year (or month or week... however long it takes).

Some of these movies are pretty rare, and don't have much (if any) type of distribution deal anymore and fall into the public domain where anyone can sell them legally.

I figured the easiest way to do this is go right down the list on the box and watch them in successive order.

Without further adieu, I give you chapter 1...

Women's Camp 119 (1977)

This Nazisploitation flick from cult film favorite Bruno Mattei is full of everything you'll come to know while watching movies of this sub-genre. Attractive women being submitted to various tortures and experiments (they often are doing the experiments as well), nudity, gore, usually some sort of rape (again women often forcing themselves on men and vice versa) and of course Nazis. Doesn't sound like you can really mess that up right? Well as I've come to realize it seems like just about every single one of these movies finds a way to do it. Sure there are interesting and even entertaining parts but they are usually few and far between and sometimes for all the wrong reasons.

The plot in Women's Camp 119 is non-existent until the last 20 minutes. Essentially a group of Nazis have orders from Hitler that they need to find new ways to kill the enemy, and help their own cause. This is anything from testing new chemical gases to attempting to set gay men straight by having naked women dance for them and attempt to rape them, to bringing back dead soldiers by having naked women lay all over them and rub on them... basically necrophilia. This one worked, but only when the corpse had a single woman, according to the dialogue during the part he had 2 women, he became too bashful. Yea. Two of the doctors try to sabotage the whole operation and eventually it becomes about a manhunt for escaped prisoners. It actually makes more sense than most of these movies I've seen.

Women's Camp 119 is just as ridiculous as other Nazisploitation flicks I've seen. That is one of the good things it has going, another is that Mattei can actually be a half decent director. The man is responsible for such cult horror hits as Hell of the Living Dead, Rats: Night of Terror, and Zombi 3 & 4 which are all endlessly entertaining to me. The problem with this genre as a whole is that while there is some crazy shit going on, they are beyond boring. I don't know why this is, but I've felt this about many of these movies, and I'm not alone. Many others I've talked to with these feel the same. Perhaps they're presented with too much emphasis on classic exploitation and not enough on the horror side. Maybe they need a more substantial plot, even though many movies have been entertaining with little to no plot... who knows.


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