88 FILMS BLU RAY RELEASE: The Gestapo’s Last Orgy (1977)

R.D reviewed this one back on September 21, 2021, but now that 88 Films has released it, it’s my turn. Yes, this is one of the first releases from this label in the U.S.

“For the last decade 88 Films has been one of the leading physical media collector’s labels in the UK specializing in cult film releases packed with bonus features in beautiful packaging,” said Eric D. Wilkinson, Director of Home Video Sales and Acquisitions for MVD Entertainment Group. “For years, consumers here in North America had to import these releases if they wanted to add them to their collections, but all of that is about to change. MVD is the leading independent distribution partner of physical media collector’s labels, and we not only proudly welcome 88 Films to our family but are thrilled to help introduce 88 Films to American consumers.”

Richard Elliott, Managing Director of 88 Films, commented, “We are enormously excited to bring our 88 Films brand to the United States and in MVD we have found the perfect distribution partners. We will be releasing our usual fare of Slasher classics, Italian Genre titles and Martial Arts Cinema and we are so pleased to be joining the pantheon of amazing American indie blu-ray labels.”

Well, they started off strong!

Still banned in the UK as one of the infamous Video Nasties —Section 1 — this might be the roughest of all Nazisploitation movies and that’s saying something. I mean, they don’t call it Last Orgy Of The Third Reich and Caligula Reincarnated As Hitler because it’s a family movie.

Cesare Canevari made nine movies, from giallo (A Hyena in the Safe and Killing of the Flesh) to westerns (Matalo!) and erotic films (A Man for EmmanuelleThe Nude Princess). None of these will prepare you for this film.

Conrad von Starke (Marc Loud, who is really Adriano Micantoni) has agreed to meet in the ruins of an old death camp with Lise Cohen (Daniela Poggi, the only actress that I know who went from Nazi movie star to UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), whose testimony may have saved his life at a war crimes trial. They make love inside the walls of the decimated camp as Lise remembers when this place was a soul destroying machine. I mean, where else would they line up an army of SS troopers and make them watch videos so disgusting that even I was taken aback and then unleashed upon unsuspecting women?

Between the idea taking directly from The Night Porter and this scene being Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom on a small scale, this movie obviously does not care at all about your sensibiities.

As if the movie heard you wonder, “Can it get any worse?” then the officers eat a stew made out of babies before roasting a woman by coating her in brandy, throwing her in an open coffin and setting her ablaze before eating her. I mean, this movie has enough to offend you in two of ots minutes more than just about everything that will come out in the next five years.

Why is Lise so strong in the face of torture, unlike everyone else? Because she gave her family over to the SS and wants to die to atone for her sins. When a camp doctor tells her that this was not her fault, she finds that she wants to live by any means she can, so she becomes Starke’s woman. After  his jealous German girlfriend assaults him with his own whip, he strangles her and proclaims his love for Lise, who shows hers by wearing a belt made of the scalps of her fellow prisoners. Yet when she has his child, a half-Jewish infant has no place in the Fatherland.

This wakes her from her memories and after they finish making love, she murders him.

Man, this movie!

Seriously, this is not for everyone. But there’s definitely some class here. I mean, there’s also a scene where a woman eats her own waste and poses with it, so there’s that. But this has a production budget, great costumes and an attempt at telling an actual story when it’s not doing all it can to either make you run screaming or desensitize you for life.

Somehow, you may wonder, just how gorgeous can a 1977 Italian Nazi movie look? Funny story — it looks great thanks to a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negatives. It’s raw and completely uncut with new subtitles and two audio commentaries one by critic and author Samm Deighan and the other by Italian movie specialists Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thomson. The package with slipcover is beautiful, along with a book and double sided poster. You can get this from MVD or Diabolik DVD. Seriously, if you have the stomach for it, 88 Films knocked this release out of the park.

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