Friday, November 18, 2011

Private House of the SS (Bruno Mattei, 1977)

Hey, congratulations. Word on the street is that you have been awarded the lead role in your very first movie. I'm so happy for you, I could puke. Oh, and, by the way, have you had a chance to read the script yet? Not all the way through, eh? Well, you should really give it a look-see, because, man, from what I've read, there's a lot of lingerie in this film. In fact, I hear the whole thing is chock-full of the stuff. I mean, you can't walk more than ten feet without tripping over some floozie sporting a garter belt and stockings. Aren't you worried about being upstaged by the lingerie? What do you mean, it's just lingerie?!? Have you lost your mind? When people watch this film, whether it's next week or thirty years from now, do you think they'll be talking the quality of your performance? No, they'll be going on and on about the lingerie. Trust me, I know how the depraved mind works. You could make a timeless classic, yet the only thing they'll be talking about when all is said and done is the mouth-watering tightness of the taupe stockings worn by the lead actress. Of course, they'll use expressions like, "mouth-watering," to describe something as benign as hosiery, they're perverts! Trust me, you need to give it your all. And I don't just mean do a "good job," what I'm talking about involves getting down on your hands and knees and chewing the living daylights out of as much scenery as you possibly can. The reason I want you to start on the floor is because you should start off by gnawing on things like, table legs and bracelet-adorned ankles, and after that, slowly work your way up to bigger and more substantial items. It's true, you might get accused by some people of overacting. But if you don't "give it your all," I guarantee that no one will notice your performance over the sheer din of the copious amounts of lingerie that are generously sprinkled throughout this fine motion picture. So let this be a lesson to all you young actors out there: Never underestimate the intrinsic allure of attractive women prancing about the fascist underbrush in frilly underclothes.

Hello again, I hope you enjoyed my little pantomime surrounding the early days of filming Private House of the SS (a.k.a. SS Girls), Bruno Mattei's startlingly original film about Nazis, sex, popping corks, and, yes, lingerie. The actor I was pretending to give advice to was Gabriele Carrara, the film's lead Nazi, and, I must say, he does "give it his all." Okay, who am I kidding? There were times when it seemed like he was giving everyone's all. Churning out what has to be one of the most manically over the top performances in Nazisploitation history, Gabriele tears thespianism a new asshole as Hans Schellenberg, an over-caffeinated SS officer with so many sexual hang ups, that I literally lost track of them as the film progressed; intimacy issues, erectile dysfunction, dome-o-phobia, irritable bowl cut syndrome, he's got them all.

Do you find yourself swooning with everlasting desire whenever a man recoils in horror just you're about to put his cock in your mouth? Well then, have I got a man for you. He loves playing the organ, roasted chicken, papal fashion, popping corks with his teeth, long walks along the Maginot Line, and, most of all, his beloved Führer. His name is Hans Schellenberg, and he's waiting to meet a down-to-earth woman whose likes include: anti-semitism, skiing, beating up Communists, Ayn Rand, and Bach. Oh, I'm sorry, I just got word that Hans isn't available at the moment. It would seem that something called "World War II" has just broken out, and Hans has been asked to run a brothel for the SS (a notorious paramilitary force in his native Nazi Germany) with the sole purpose of weeding out traitors, insincere Nazis, and defeatism.

The plan is to use the soft nooks and crannies that are peppered throughout the female anatomy to coax turncoat Nazis into spilling the beans. And unmasking those who wish to sully the Third Reich's good name is the kind of job Hans Schellenberg was made for. Unfortunately, finding ten women up to the task on such short notice will be tough. But if there's anyone who can scrape together ten Nazi chicks at the drop of a tinted monocle, it's Hans; he was, after all, voted "most likely to run a brothel during wartime" by his senior class at D'Youville College.

Blackmailing his prostitute friend, Madame Eva (Macha Magall), to help procure the women he needs, Hans, who has also employed the mysterious Frau Inga (Marina Daunia) and the not-so mysterious Professor Jürgen (Luciano Pigozzi from Blood and Black Lace) to assist him, inspects the women she has provided with a face-touching brand of creepiness. Promising to turn them into, and I think I heard this right, an army of "visual love machines," though, it might have been "virtual" love machines. But I could have sworn I heard the word "visual." Anyway, promising to turn them into the kind of women who will fornicate under a wide array of inexplicably unpleasant circumstances, Frau Inga tells them to take everything off (i.e. now let's you just drop them pants). This gives us our first taste of the lingerie action to come, as the camera pans along their midsections at a pace that is conducive to appreciating garter belts and other such waist level delights.

If I had to choose an early favourite amongst the ladies assembled before Hans, Inga, and Jürgen, it would have to the gal with short, dark hair (the one in the black dress covered in floral flourishes) and you gotta love Gota Gobert (Emanuelle in America), you just gotta.

You know what would hit the spot right about now? A lengthy training sequence. Think about it, you can't just send a bunch of women out into the kooky world of brothel-based espionage without forcing one of them to fuck a hunchback. What it is this, amateur hour? Get these ladies into a series of degrading situations at once! And have them fence one another in togas. I would also like to see: whips, chains, lesbianism, paddles, judo tosses, rifle target practice, and ballet steps performed in a blue unitard.

After he's done fondling Eva's succulent breasts in a highly irregular fashion, Hans shirks from the surefire blow job that was surely to come and decides that the women need more training. And you know what that means? It's time to hang Gota Gobert from a slab of wood. Don't worry, though, her naked body has been secured in six places (the camera slowly pans across Gota's dangling frame just prove that's she's secure).

As he's watching one of his prospective whores share a moment of post-coital bliss with a German shepherd, Hans grins maniacally, signifying to those around him that's he's ready open Blumensträußen, the Nazi brothel for the kinky fascist in all of us.

Opening night involves a lavish banquet for a group of horny Wehrmacht officers, complete with champagne and mutton from Romania. A general wearing an eye-patch (Eolo Capritti) gets the debauchery ball rolling when he, like any sane man would, goes straight for the short-haired woman with dark hair. The idea is get them drunk, and persuade them to bad mouth the Führer during sex. Which all them end up doing. Well, all except one, Captain Heinkel (Vassili Karis), who winds up falling for a lovely brothel girl named Anna (Tamara Triffez). Oh, and since none of them want to fornicate with Frau Inga (the scar on her face must turn them off or something), she's forced to get her kicks by masturbating in her fishnet stockings on a couch in the other room. Poor Frau Inga.

Even though his antics were pretty extravagant before the banquet, the manic nature of Gabriele Carrara's performance really starts to come to the forefront once the revelry gets underway. The moment Gabe bit into that chicken leg with an unnecessarily large amount of gusto was when I knew he was playing for keeps. Hell, even the manner in which he popped his Champagne corks was off the charts in terms of hamminess, as a total of four, count 'em, four, corks are popped by Hans in this slovenly fashion. While yelling, "Am I funny, huh? Am I funny, huh?" in a pope outfit with a distinctly Nazi theme to a group of officers accused of treason, you could see it on Gabriele's face, despite the fact it was covered with a thick glob of harlequin-style makeup, that there was no turning back.

In case you were starting to feel sorry for Frau Inga, don't worry, she finally gets the attention she so rightly deserves during the film's next party/orgy. Sure, the attention she receives comes mostly from the end of a whip. But still, I was happy to see that someone had the sense to include Frau Inga in the depravity. At any rate, the party/orgy revolves around eliminating a ruthless officer named Dirlewanger (Lucic Bogoliub Benny) and his weird associates Koszinski (who looked like what Uncle Fester might look like had he spent three and a half years on the Eastern Front) and the nunchucks-wielding Wang. On top of it being the occasion when cork #2 is popped, this soiree also includes cognac laced with the blood of a blonde woman with short hair, garter belt suspenders bathed in candlelight, and seam-o-vision (which occurs when the camera shoots between a pair of legs that are covered with fully fashioned cuban heel stockings).

As Inga's buttocks are being caressed by Eva (as usual, Hans can be seen twitching in the background in a blithering heap of sexual ambiguity), you'll notice that a white feather (one that broke free from the collar of her robe) has somehow become ensnared inside her black fishnet stockings. A happy accident? Probably. But it's little details like this that make films like Private House of the SS so enjoyable. In fact, the film is so lingerie-friendly, that even a routine trip to the ob/gyn is a stocking-filled delight (my mouth went slightly agape when Anna plops her stocking-covered legs in the stirrups).

With the war winding down, a brothel whose sole purpose is to expose traitors and troublemakers is starting to become more and more unnecessary with each passing day. What's a Nazi with a frail libido to do? Well, director Bruno Mattei (Women's Prison Massacre) has decided to insert war footage from another film to pad things out (given the cost of the lingerie, there's no way a film like this could afford to procure that many Soviet tanks). But as for our hyperactive pimp/obergruppenführer, he's decided to attend "an evening in blood." One last hurrah to celebrate the end of Blumensträußen, all the whores, and a loosely assembled collection of Nazis, gather in the dinning hall to greet the war's end in style.

It's only fitting that Hans Schellenberg should pop his final corks during this apocalyptic shindig. Grabbing a bottle of bubbly from Gota Gobert (who's wearing his Nazi pope hat), Hans wastes little time popping cork #3 with his teeth. The popping of cork #4 quickly follows and comes right after a surprising revelation. As he's popping it, check out the green dress the Nazi babe with the short, dark hair dancing on a piano is wearing, the slit down the side is one of the biggest slits I have ever seen. The green dress with the massive slit has nothing to do with Hans' "surprising revelation," I was just distracted by it as Hans addressed the group. Anyway, if you're familiar with how World War II ends, then you'll pretty much know how it's all gonna turn out for the swastika crowd. Either way, it's a fun movie, one that is in no way similar to Salon Kitty. Wait a minute. Did I just say that it's "in no way similar"? What I meant to say is that it's exactly like Salon Kitty. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just think of it as "Salon Kitty 2: The Legend of Kitty's Gold" or as a misguided tribute.

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  1. I prefer my Mattei with a heavy dose of stock footage. Hell of the Living Dead style.

    Nice review.

  2. Oh Lord this is one disgusting film. But Theodor Eicke is kind of cool.

  3. This movie makes me laugh. Make of that what you will.

    Someone should sync the training sequence to the Giorgio Moroder theme for the 84 Olympics in LA. Maybe I could, but it might be too hot for Youtube.

  4. Kev D.: This "Hell of the Living Dead" you speak of definitely sounds like something I should experience.

    davidfullam: Not to brag, but I've seen films of this type that are more disgusting.

    Thomas Duke: Um, I don't know what to make of that. Just kidding, you're right to laugh, Gabrielle Carrara's performance is hilarious.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go listen the Giorgio Moroder's Olympics theme and imagine it paired with this film's training sequence.

    Oh, and, before I go, don't worry, I haven't forgotten about your Naziploitaion recommendation, "SS Special Section Women."