It’s certainly been a while since we got downright sleazy and nasty here at Zombie Club (not counting the recent Jay and Sean Show), so we thought it was about time get a bit dirty again, and bring out the big guns of base-level bargain-bin b-movies.
With it’s holocaust setting, gratuitous nudity and shocking scenes of dinner table depravity, Cesare Canevari’s Gestapo’s Last Orgy certainly fits the bill of a an extremely sleazy film. Banned in the UK since 1984, this film was always going to be a tough one to sit through, let alone make funny comments over.
But first up, was the ‘lighter’ of the two in the form of Oswaldo De Oliveira’s 1980 cheap and cheerful(ish) exploitation flick Bare Behind Bars, recently released on Region 1 DVD by Blue Underground. Prepare yourself for lots of nudity, violent female prisoners, sex, whippings and wild rats running loose in the bread…
Tonight’s Zombie Club is brought to you by Rawshark in association with Sleazy Shower Gel, sponsors of all lesbian-based WIP shower scenes.
Bare Behind Bars (1980)
Plot Lots of sex and sleaze inside a women's prison.
Rawshark Welcome to Bare Behind Bars, a film set mostly in a Brazilian prison where the wardens wear low-buttoned blouses, the prisoners wear mostly nothing at all, showers are compulsory communal and there’s a fat female cook who Zomblee really hoped would ”never get bare behind bars”.
The plot’s a no-brainer, some girls get variously abused in a corrupt female-only prison, three of them escape and are promptly caught or killed, or as one IMDBer put it - ”Women. Prison. Lesbian. Torture. Escape. Death.” Yes, with this film you pretty much get what you expect – lots of sex and nudity (including brief moments of hardcore), a mad lesbian Nurse (”Oh, she’s properly bonkers” - Jim), an evil prison warden and some shockingly bad taste scenes, especially towards the end.
Unfortunately, aside from ”Doc Babs – ether-sniffer” (Zomblee), it’s hard to root for any of the characters in the film and it is actually quite boring in parts - ”I never thought I’d say I’d be bored of watching boobs before” (Zomblee). There is also a pointless sub-plot about a rich woman who ‘buys’ one of the prisoners for 200,000 Brazillian Reals, takes her on a boat trip and sexually abuses her before drowning her on the beach.
The film makes a desperate last grab for notoriety as numbers 578, 341 and 261 escape the prison and shack up at the house and home of a nearby family. The girls shoot the mother and father in front of the boy, before cutting of the father’s penis and feeding it to the dog. Not sick and depraved enough for you? Well, how about the three girls then proceeding to strip and rape the boy, who looks no more than 12 years old. No, it’s not very nice. Not very nice at all.
”I used to live outside. Building roads, growing food…”.
Zomblee Not very nice at all? It was bloody sick I tell you, but that's the kind of stuff I was expecting tonight, and while it may be challenging to sit through, I would've been well disappointed if it didn't deliver such depravity. Bring it on. Still, if watched alongside something like Salo: 120 Days of Sodom it would probably appear as depraved as Ghostbusters.
If you like Brazilian breasts then this will press all the right buttons. A breastfest of the highest order it certainly is and although difficult to admit to myself, you stop noticing them after a while. Strange but true. You’ll also stop being shocked by how hairy the Brazilian vaginal areas are and also how low the prison guards like to have their shirts buttoned. You may also stop noticing that there really isn’t much of a story here at all and just laugh at crazy ‘Dr. Babs’, the prison medical expert who happens to be off her head on ether most of the time. I’d say whoever wrote this movie was off their head on ether, too. And really horny.
When not randomly shagging one another, the inmates pass sex toys between cells, showing off their resourcefulness, which impressed Rawshark: ”I see they’ve implemented the dildo pulley technique.” Smart girls, these lot, and clean too, as they always seem to be having showers where, for no apparent reason (other than the thrill of a quick jiggle), ”They like to jump up and down a lot” (Rawshark). I think Jim was getting a little bored of their hygiene habits after a while, though (”That washing fanny sequence is quite stupid.”)
Of course, it’s all quite stupid, but towards the end it gets even more stupid, even more violent, even more ridiculous, but I don’t regret watching this movie for one moment. Except for the cock-gobbling scene. Yuck.
”I just adore raspberry pudding.”
Jim Yeah, I have to admit I was a little shocked at that bit of token hardcore at the end. When those three escape they make up for lost time in the shagging department, with one girl in particular going for it with some fella right at the end, displayed as a montage going through all the positions under the sun including the ever popular doggy stylee ("Oh, I nearly forgot..!" - Zomblee) intercut with rather dull shots of shantytown huts. Call me crazy, but I feel much more comfortable watching hardcore pornography on my loansome, if you know what I mean.
Copious boob displays are another matter entirely however, and that's a good job when it comes to Bare Behind Bars. As the other boys have said the plot is rather thin on the ground, but that's not why you watch women in prison movies now is it? This movie has women showering, women being beaten up showering, women playing bizarre girly sports in the yard, women playing bizarre girly sports in the yard naked and women playing bizarre sports in the yard naked while being beaten up by the guards. You get the idea, in fact I nipped out to make garlic bread at one point and on my return was told by Rawshark, "You just missed a lot of lesbian stuff." That figures.
And then, when the filmmakers are as bored with the naked beatings as we are, the plot jumps, three prisoners escape, and you get that rough ending. ("I wonder if they ever showed this in a women's prison?" - Zomblee). Um, I doubt it. Along the way though there is some other fun to be had, Doc Babs being the stand out comedy character (especially the sequence where she brandishes a rather large dildo fashioned from a pineapple), although the rest of the officers are quite amusing too. Of particular note are how all the higher ranking guards have blouses unbuttoned to their waistline ("She's taken her button down a notch, I think she's been promoted!" - Rawshark) and the inordinate lengths they go to to have sex with the inmates ("Oh, they're going to have sex through a door..." - Rawshark).
Yes, it's all a bit ridiculous and while watching stuff like this you do occasionally think things like what am I doing with my life? But hey, it's sometimes worth exploring the sleazier side of cinema if nothing but to keep things in perspective. And besides, it can get much sleazier, can it? Can it?
"Put her in position!"
Director Oswaldo De Oliveira
Cast Maria Stella Splendore
Runtime 87 mins
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Gestapo's Last Orgy (L'Ultima orgia del III Reich) (1977)
Plot Lise Cohen is taken to a special prisoner-of-war camp for female Jews, a camp run as a bordello to entertain the German officers and troops going in to battle.
Jim And so with the bare faced cheek of Bare Behind Bars out of the way (see what I did there?) we moved on to the next oh so sleazy movie of the evening, the ominously titled Gestapo's Last Orgy. None of us knew that much about this title, but we kinda guessed it was going to involve Nazis and a lot of gratuitous nudity, with perhaps a bit of surprise hardcore action thrown in for good measure. Oh, and perhaps some rather controversial Nazi musings, but this is Zombie Club and we've seen it all here over the last couple of years, so that'll be no problem, surely? Hmmm.
The plot is pretty simple. Set in the early 50s, and therefore a few years after the demise of the Nazi regime, it tells the story of Lise, a Jewish survivor of the genocide, and her meeting with her former Nazi lover, Conrad Von Starker at the derelict grounds of the concentration camp that he was in charge of. The movie itself takes the form of their conversation and the flashbacks that they consequently trigger, and this is where the controversy really kicks in.
"It's not like Escape To Victory..." offered Zomblee, trying make light of the proceedings, as we all were, but that in itself is the key problem with Gestapo's Last Orgy, it's so dark in its content that there's really not that much humour to be had at all here. Numerous discussions ensued as we tried to find some kind of avenue whereby we all deemed it acceptable to poke fun at this flick, but for the first time in our history I think even we were stunned by the thoroughly nasty content on display here.
Nazi recruits being trained how to assault Jewish ladies, gas chamber sequences and a Nazi dinner where one participant explains his rather unique solution to the German food shortage of the time, Gestapo's Last Orgy will undoubtedly offend everyone who watches it. As Rawshark pointed out, "I don't think you can get much worse than pot roast unborn Jew." We needed to cover such a notoriously famous film as this if only as a reference benchmark in unacceptability (we are a cult film site after all) but I'm, err, looking forward to the next Zombie Club being a bit more, you know, mindless bullshit, if you catch my drift.
“I met you here then…”
Zomblee I catch your drift Jim. This was really challenging to watch but, like Jim, says, you need to see this kind of stuff if only for reference. Welcome to what is probably the first Zombie Club where ALL of us felt uncomfortable about what we were watching, but a lot of what we were experiencing was probably sheer shock value from such outlandish scenes of debauched depravity (”Look! They’re making out while touching up the barbequed Jew girl!” - Jim). Escape to Victory this certainly isn’t.
”I might burn this DVD after we watch it”, was Rawshark’s reaction after yet more nastiness involving rats. You see, myself and Jim occasionally urge Rawshark to get a bit nasty with his ZC film themes ever since his Nasty Nasty Night all those years ago. Then, all of a sudden, he’ll arrive at ZC with an unholy film bill which includes hardcore Gestapo depravity while I recoil in disgust and Jim says stuff like, ”I think we may have gone a bit off target.” But we did ask for it (or at least I did). Do you notice how I’m managing to avoid talking about the film as much as possible?
This is such a different den of filth to Bare Behind Bars. Who would’ve thought that two movies loosely categorised as sleaze, thus making them worthy of inclusion on tonight’s ZC bill, could be so completely different. One is silly fun with a lot of breasts and the odd bit of hardcore sex and violence, while Gestapo’s Last Orgy recalls of the kind of imagery they should make Alex in A Clockwork Orange watch with his eyes clamped open. It really is that bad.
”Should we just try and have as much fun as possible?” was Jim’s wise suggestion after about 20 minutes – this was agreeable to the rest of us, because at that moment we were confronted by a scene depicting a girl eating faeces. And she didn’t even have a side salad. This is sick. Sick sick, sick.
”All of this is horrible and monstrous!”
Rawshark Yep, this is sick, but hey, you guys wanted to get nasty. And they don’t come much nastier and sleazier than Gestapo’s Last Orgy you’ve gotta admit. Unlike Pasolini’s notorious, and almost acceptable Salo, Canevari’s Orgy doesn’t quite reach the arty ‘heights’ it seems to aspire to, and is far too serious to compare to the more ‘fun’ examples of this genre, such as the Ilsa series. Instead it falls somewhere uncomfortably in between, in a limbo of bad taste, lonely and unloved, but destined to be kept alive by idiots like us wanting to see just ‘how far is too far’.
”It’s kind of dark” said Jim during the opening ten minutes as we zoomed in on another ‘arty’ shot of a flower, yet the slow opening eventually gives way to the flashback sequences of the camp during the war and this is where the real ”oh my God!”’s began. From slideshows of faeces-eating, to mass rape-training, naked women being gassed, all the way up to the piece de résistance, the dinner party from hell, Gestapo’s maintains a tone that is darker than the darkest centre of the darkest black hole.
There really was little in the way of light relief at this Zombie Club screening. Occasional musings (amidst the long pauses of silence) ranged from ”I wonder whether this film was ever big in Germany” (Zomblee) through to Jim claiming ”I’m a Celebrity! Get me out of this German Nazi camp!”, but essentially, this is one of those film where we intrepid Zombie Clubbers braved it’s depths so that you don’t have to. Trust us, you really don’t have to see this one.
“What fun would it be to kill you if you had no desire to live”.
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It’s not all my fault! The guys had been asking for a Sleazy Sleaze night for a while (more Zomblee than Jim admittedly), and we all certainly got that with tonight’s double-bill of depravity. Just goes to prove that lashes of female nudity and dashes of sporadic hard-core activity does not necessarily translate to ‘a good time’.
Bare Behind Bars, being the cheekier and slightly more surreal of the two (ether-sniffing Nurse Babs being a good example), probably justifies a watch if this is your sort of thing, but as for Canevari’s effort, well really… Anyone want to buy a flambéed copy of Gestapo’s Last Orgy?
Tune in next time for some ‘big fish’ action, including the last ever Zombie Club appearance from one of our favourite unheralded actors of all time – the one and only Michael Sopkiw.