August 7th, 2009

SS HELL CAMP (1977) ** ½

When’s the last time you saw a good pubic hair eating scene in a movie?


I don’t know either.  What I do know is that SS Hell Camp has the definitive pubic hair eating scene I’ve ever seen.  Let me give you the set-up:  This hot Nazi doctor creates a Beast Dude in the laboratory whose sole purpose in life is to rape virgins in order to propagate the Aryan bloodline.  After raping about a half dozen or so virgins in the flick, Beast Dude gets bored and RIPS OUT A CHICK’S PUBIC HAIR FROM IT’S ROOTS AND EATS IT!!!    


I’m sure Spielberg is kicking himself he didn’t put THAT into Schindler’s List.


Why the hot Nazi doctor created Beast Dude is beyond me.  His scientific purpose is never clearly explained (other than the usual “Master Race” stuff that is).  All I know is that whenever he’s on screen, he delivers some of the finest Nazi-Experiment-Mutant-Raping-A-Virgin-To-Propogate-The-Aryan-Bloodline in the history of film. 


Had the movie been all about the hot Nazi doctor and Beast Dude, SS Hell Camp may have been the best Nazi movie ever made.  What cripples the movie is the tedious subplot involving some “bumpkin” freedom fighters who try to stop the Nazis.  All of this stuff is about as much fun as watching your dog lick it’s own dick. 


Where the movie really comes to life is the experiment and torture scenes.  There are the standard issue Nazi stuff like rats eating people, whipping, and electrodes to the genitals but SS Hell Camp also delivers a great scene where SS officers toss a baby up in the air and shoot it like a tin can and a classic scene in which a German general shoves a gun up chick’s hoo-ha and pulls the trigger.  Whenever the flick cuts back to the idiotic resistance fighters it becomes excruciatingly dull and lifeless. 


SS Hell Camp is no Caligula Reincarnated as Hitler, that’s for damn sure but it’s not bad as far as these Naziploitation flicks go.  The scenes of Beast Dude humping get Four Stars and the useless resistance fighters scenes are worth No Stars.  Since the flick features the best pubic hair eating scene in history, I’m going to give it an extra Half Star, which leaves it with:  ** ½.


The horny general gets the best line of the flick when he tells the concubine/resistance spy, “You’re an obscene whore… that’s what you are!”


AKA:  Horrifying Experiments of the SS Last Days.  AKA:  SS Experiment Part 2.  AKA:  The Beast in Heat.

MODERN ROMANCE (1981) ** ½

Albert Brooks stars (as well as directed and co-wrote) as a movie editor who has a tumultuous make-up/break-up relationship with his banker girlfriend, played by Kathryn (Raw Deal) Harrold.  After Brooks breaks things off with Harrold, he begins stalking her by calling her and hanging up, driving past her house, and leaving weird presents on her doorstep.  He eventually begs for her to take him back and she stupidly does.  After they have some make-up sex (Harrold has a brief but yummy nude scene) and get back together, Brooks’ paranoia slowly leads him to believe that she’s cheating on him so they break things off again.


This basically goes on for 90 minutes.


I really like Brooks’ stuff but Modern Romance was a bit too much to take.  Granted, Brooks makes some pointed observations about sex and dating (especially in the 80’s) yet the laughs are a bit too scattershot to really make it up to snuff with his other films.  Another thing that knocks the flick down a notch is that Brooks’ character is pretty unlikable.  He’s more or less a stalker and although he does some funny stuff (like take a bunch of Quaaludes and call people in the middle of the night), he’s not exactly the most pleasant guy to base your whole movie around.


Having gotten that off my chest, I will say the movie gets better as it goes along.  Ironically, the film is at its best when it veers away from the lovey-dovey shit and focuses on the day-to-day behind the scenes of making a movie.  I especially liked the George Kennedy cameo (his role in the movie Brooks is editing is priceless) and James L. Brooks (who later directed Albert in Broadcast News) is great as a nagging director.  The guy who gets the biggest laughs though is Bob Einstein (AKA:  Super Dave Osborne AKA:  the director’s brother) as a pushy sporting goods salesman.


Ultimately, the best part of the movie (for me) was seeing the old American International Pictures office.


Brother Tang is a badass with a shady past who befriends a midget pickpocket and Kung Fus the heck out of a couple dudes who mess with his diminutive pal.  Tang later gets a job working for a pearl farmer and rekindles a romance with his boss’s daughter.  When a rival pearl farmer tries to muscle his way into the chick’s father’s territory, Tang steps in to kick some ass.


So basically, it’s just like Road House, except with pearl beds and midget sidekicks.


Okay first off, there is no one named Bruce in the whole damn movie.  There are no snakes.  There are no eagles.  There is no extreme sunlight that would cause said eagles to make a shadow.  So I don’t know where the fuck they got the title from.  It should’ve been called something along the lines of Pearls and Punches.


Confounding title aside, Bruce Against Snake in Eagle’s Shadow is a fitfully entertaining second-rate Kung Fu flick.  The thing that nearly ruins the film is the excessive scenes of ugly girls scuba diving for oysters, shucking them, and pulling out pearls.  These scenes are given somewhat of a payoff however when the bad girl pearl divers start an all-out catfight with the good girl pearl divers.  Unfortunately, no one loses their tops and their shirts aren’t see-through.  Because of that glaring oversight, I have to deduct a Half Star from the flick’s rating.


I will say this for the movie; the Kung Fu scenes are solid.  I liked Bruce Against Snake in Eagle's Shadow slightly better than most middling chopsocky flicks and I’ll tell you why:  The bad guys fought Tang two at a time.  Normally in Kung Fu movies, four or five villains will surround the hero and then attack him one at a time.  Most bad guys in these movies just kinda patiently wait in line to get their ass beat.  Not these guys.  They attack Tang in pairs and as a result, they get to bloody him up a few times.  Sure, Tang always gets the upper hand eventually, but it was nice to see the villains actually try something different for once.


AKA:  Bruce vs. Snake in Eagle’s Shadow.