LOVE CAMP 7 was released in 1969, several years before THE NIGHT PORTER, the ILSA movies, SALON KITTY, S.S. HELL CAMP, LAST ORGY OF THE THIRD REICH and so forth. It became infamous as one of the 72 “Video Nasties” that were banned in the UK during the 1980s. The film was resubmitted to the BBFC in 2002 but was refused certification, which only increased its (undeserved) notoriety.
The director was Lee Frost, an exploitation movie pioneer who helmed classics like THE DEFILERS, THE SCAVENGERS, CHAIN GANG WOMEN, THE THING WITH TWO HEADS and THE BLACK GESTAPO. The producer/star R.W. (Bob) Cresse was another trash movie legend, having produced class-sicks like HOUSE ON BARE MOUNTAIN, MONDO BIZARRO and THE HAREM BUNCH, as was co-producer David F. Friedman, who produced H.G. Lewis’ early gore epics and a host of other sleazy films.
In the thick of WWII, allied forces elect to send two woman officers into a Nazi prison whose captives consist of women forced to service SS officers. There one Martha Grossman, a noted scientist whose secrets the allies want, is being held. The women officers are trained in memorization and given a thorough debriefing before being set up to be captured by the Nazis who run Love Camp 7. Prior to being taken into the establishment the gals are warned that “I can’t guarantee you will love Love Camp 7, but I can guarantee that you will love in Love Camp 7.”
Once inside the gals are given humiliating body cavity searches. Later that night the ladies are tortured by being forced to hoist heavy buckets because one of them tries to help a fellow captive. Further torments include indiscriminate rape, boot licking and freaky biological experiments.
During one torture session Ms. Grossman is located by one of the heroines, who promises to get her out. More torments follow until the gals stage a bloody revolt against their captors during an orgy, just as allied forces attack the Love Camp 7 from without.
There’s not much to say about this movie’s cinematic “qualities.” The staging is stilted, the pacing obnoxiously slow, the sound design shoddy and the narrative drive extremely erratic. The device of having the story recounted by an old guy’s voiceover narration is dumb, and seemingly intended to paper over the (many) dead spots. The narration also has the effect of pointing up how needlessly drawn-out the film is (it takes over twenty minutes for the heroines to be taken inside the titular camp). Nor is producer/screenwriter R.W. Cresse at all impressive as the leader of Love Camp 7, turning in a thoroughly amateurish performance that doesn’t work as camp.
The film even fails as exploitation. The nastiness is quite subdued overall, with “controversy” generated mostly through stripteases by performers who’d have done better to keep their clothes on. Like most subsequent Nazi-sploiters it’s essentially a women in prison flick, and a pretty crummy one at that.
Obviously those wanting insight into the inner workings of Nazi Germany are advised to steer clear of LOVE CAMP 7, as it’s about as realistic as an episode of HOGAN’S HEROES. I will say this, however: the dripping blood that covers the screen at the beginning and end of the film is an inspired touch.
LOVE CAMP 7
Olympic International Films
Director: Lee Frost
Producers: R.W. Cresse, David F. Friedman
Screenplay: R.W. Cresse
Cinematography: Lee Frost
Cast: R.W. Cresse, Maria Lease, Kathy Williams, Bruce Kimball, John Alderman, Rodger Steel, Rod Wilmoth, David F. Friedman, Patricia Rossy, John Riazzi, Cathy Adams