Liebes Lager (1976) Lorenzo Gicca Palli

Liebes Lager (1976)
Genre: Nazisploitation | Comedy
Country: Italy | Director: Lorenzo Gicca Palli
Language: Italian | Subtitles: English (.srt file)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 104mn
Telecinerip Xvid Avi - 672x416 - 25fps - 1.37gb

The German officers who run a camp for the wives and girlfriends of traitors of the Nazi regime are fearing for their lives with the impending Allied forces closing in. They need a lot of money to buy fake IDs and for transportation out of the country so they prostitute the prisoners to a nearby POW camp.

This Italian "Nazisploitation" film was thought lost for years and then only rediscovered in the 90s although, even now, no one has bothered to put out a decent DVD of it. Which is a shame because if it's not the best of this short-lived, limited genre then it's almost certainly the weirdest...

Liebes Lager is a comedy (yes, a COMEDY!?) set in the final days of the Reich. A group of mutinous SS Guards at an women's concentration camp decide that they are going to flee Germany. They need money for false passports in a hurry, so they overthrow the kommandent and open up the camp as a brothel. Mayhem ensues.

This is, obviously, TERRIBLE material for a comedy on paper but it actually works. The script is very witty and, although loaded with some very near-the-knuckle subject matter, never loses sight of the fact that its protagonists are deplorable beyond belief. While the bumbling guards' scheming and lying is at times very funny, nothing they do is presented as anything we should sympathise with and, by the end of the film, its message is fairly unambiguous. This is a smart, vicious satire of capitalism in 70s Italy. The Nazis are just a metaphor (and an excuse for some bad taste humour).

Liebes Lager, although it pastiches its Nazisploitation contemporaries, doesn't sit alongside the likes of Love Camp 7, SS Experiment Camp, etc. It feels far closer in tone and style to (say) Marco Ferreri's ultra-dark farces like La Grande Bouffe or Don't Touch The White Woman. I mean, it's not in the same league (what is?) and it's quite slight on the whole but it tries hard and it's a weird, original film that's unfairly discarded in a genre it transcends. Well worth seeking out.
 Liebes Lager (1976)

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