SS Experiment (1976)
By: Liam Ronan on April 13, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Substance (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English 1.0. 91 minutes
The Movie
Director: Sergio Garrone
Starring: Mircha Carven, Giorgio Cerioni, Paola Corazzi, Almina De Sanzio, Matilde Dell'Aglio, Attilio Dottesio, Agnes Kalpagos, Giovanna Mainard
Screenplay: Sergio Chiusi, Sergio Garrone
Country: Italy
AKA: Lager SSadis Kastrat Kommandantur; SS Experiment Camp; SS Experiment Love Camp
More nasty nazi mayhem from those wacky Italians. Sergio Garrone's dire 1976 Lager SSadis Kastrat Kommandantur (SS Experiment) has an undeserved reputation, especially in the UK where its full page trade ads (as SS Experiment Camp) helped kickstart the Video Nasty social phenomenon.

In a concentration camp at an undisclosed location, SS doctors conduct bizarre (and nonsensical) experiments which require a group of female prisoners to fuck a bunch of soldiers selected as being 'perfect physical examples' of the Aryan ideal. One of the inmates starts a love affair (!) with a soldier participating in the experiments, but the commandant has other plans for the poor sod. He blackmails the camp doctor into transplanting the soldier's testicles as a replacement for his own missing balls, which were bitten off by a woman he had tried to rape. If the doctor doesn't comply, the commandant will reveal the truth: that the doctor is actually (gasp) Jewish! Although seeing as the doctor spends his evenings dressed as a Rabbi, how he managed to join the staff of a concentration camp is anyone's guess.

After the operation, the two lovers discover the commandant's scheme when a romantic liaison turns into a comedy routine – as the soldier discovers his missing testicles, the woman comforts him with lines such as "It might be nothing – these things happen!" After that it's revenge time. The soldier recruits the female prisoners into helping him confront the commandant, which leads to the immortal line "How have you been doing with my balls?"

Believe me when I say this film is simply awful. While it's not quite in the giant polystyrene swastika league of SS Hell Camp/The Beast In Heat, its ineptness is staggering to behold. When corpses piled into crematoria ovens start to twitch in the flames, it should be sobering and shocking. Instead, it looks as if they're doing some kind of interpretative dance routine. A woman is dumped in a vat of water and boiled, then frozen to death. The dial that controls the temperature is just painted on the side of the wall! And maybe I've got my history wrong, but I don't think old Adolf would have considered the mating of Jewish women with German men a good way of keeping the Aryan bloodline pure. Then again, the film never actually states that the inmates are Jewish – they're a healthy and wholesome bunch who act as if they're at a summer camp, not a concentration camp, and aren't bashful about showing off their tan lines. The supposedly 'Aryan' soldiers sport some distinctly Italian dark hair and olive skin, too.

As for the experiments, one minute the inmates are fucking in fish tanks, the next they are having high pressure hoses jammed into their ears. How's that supposed to preserve the Aryan race?

The only truly grim element has a young woman strung upside down from a post and left to die from gunshot wounds; otherwise, the film is a comedy classic. When one naked inmate makes a bare-assed break for freedom, a soldier remarks "Look at that. Where the hell does she think she's going?"

Then again, if Garrone had been at all successful in making this film the slightest bit realistic, it could have been an unbearable endurance test. But he didn't, and it ain't. Seeing as the director also had a hand in the script, I think it's fair to say that Garrone really dropped the, erm, ball with this one (sorry!).

Useless trivia: Sergio Garrone came to specialise in equally inept WIP (women in prison) movies. His next, 1977's SS Camp Women's Hell, is supposedly a much nastier affair that discards the softcore sex in favour of more brutality and violence.
Oh dear. The sleeve promises a digitally remastered print, but what you get is a full screen video transfer complete with washed out colours and tatty print damage. This is little better than watching a bootleg tape. The onscreen title is SS Experiment Love Camp, by the way.
Again, we are promised 'enhanced audio' but this is just a basic mono soundtrack.
Extra Features
You're having a laugh, aren't you? The disc comes complete with 12 chapter stops and a badly animated menu screen. Gee, thanks.
The Verdict
Horrible. The film is as shoddy as the disc and the distributors would do better renaming themselves 'No Substance', it's more fitting. To my mind, the uncut L' Ultima orgia del III Reich/The Gestapo's Last Orgy remains the nastiest and most well-made of the Nazi epics.
Movie Score
comments powered by Disqus

>SHARK WEEK (2012) DVD Review

>DANGEROUS MEN (2005) Blu-ray Review

>UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (1992) Blu-ray Review

>THE LAST WARRIOR (2000) Blu-ray Review

>DIAMOND DOGS (2007) DVD Review

>BONE TOMAHAWK (2015) Blu-ray Review

>LET US PREY (2014) Blu-ray Review

>MACHETE (2010) Blu-ray Review

>THE MECHANIK (2005) Blu-ray Review

>DIRECT ACTION (2004) DVD Review

>NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review

>MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review

>CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review

>POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review

>DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review

Post Apocalypse Discussion Forum
Waxwork Records by MaxTheSilent
Phantasm V??? by McSTIFF
Inside (└ l'intÚrieur) by MaxTheSilent
Red Christmas - new local horror by brett garten
Zack Snyder's JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) by Rip
BLAIR WITCH (2016) by Dr. Obrero
8 Guests, 0 Users
Latest Comments
Last 20 Comments
Most Read Articles
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review 1. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review
POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review 2. POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review
MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review 3. MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review
DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review 4. DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review
NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review 5. NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review
Contact Us
Australian Horror News and Reviews
Digital Retribution aims to bring you the latest news and reviews from the local genre scene. If you see or hear something that might be of interest to our readers, please get in touch!

For promotional and advertising inquiries, feedback, requests, threats or anything else, visit our Contact Page.