The Beast in Heat (1977)
Horrifying experiences in the last days of the S.S.
Year of Release: 1977
Also Known As: Horrifying Experiments of the S.S. Last Days, S.S. Experiment Camp 2, SS Hell Camp
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 87 minutes (1:27)
Director: Luigi Batzella
Macha Magall ... Dr. Ellen Kratsch
Gino Turini ... Drago
Edilio Kim ... Capt. Hardinghauser
Brad Harris ... Don Lorenzo (uncredited)
Brigitte Skay ... Irene (uncredited)
Alfredo Rizzo ... Moreno (uncredited)
Xiro Papas ... Lupo
Salvatore Baccaro ... The Beast
Charles Borromel ... Drago (voice) (uncredited)
Russel Case ... Lorenzo (voice) (uncredited)
In a remote village in occupied Europe, the SS pursue their inhuman treatment of captured partisans in efforts to force them to betray their comrades... while Fraulein Krast, a sadistic biologist concentrates her efforts on the womenfolk with refined tortures and humiliation, leaving them to the mercy of a sex-crazed half-man, half beast she has created with experimental injections...
And as advancing Allied forces approached the village, Krast herself becomes a victim of her own fiendish rituals...
The Beast in Heat, remindin' us that when you're dealin' with Nazi exploitation flicks the term "carpet munching" ain't just an expression. This is why it's never a good idea to let Nazis set you up on blind dates. There's no way that woman actually considered the incompatibility issues involved before tossin' those poor women into a cage with a Clan of the Cave Bear extra. It'd be one thing if they stuck Divine in there with 'im, but this's just sick. An I don't wanna be rude or nothin', but this beastman guy looks like the offspring of Luis Guzman an Ralphus from Bloodsucking Freaks. People really gotta be a little more realistic when they're pickin' out dates for somebody like that.
An speakin' of social outcasts, Billy Hilliard really wanted me to go over to the Prime Creek theater an watch the new Star Wars flick with 'im this past week, but there's still way too many furries in ammo belts an 225lb Princess "Leia for a meatloaf special from Mack's Stacks of Manly Snacks" wearin' Girl in Gold Boots bikinis for my likin'. I don't got nothin' against Star Wars mind you, but I'ma need the weirdos to thin out a little bit before I give it a chance. So instead, I suggested we check out a more educational picture that better underscores the real atrocities of war. Billy didn't seem to think that The Beast in Heat accurately portrayed the events of WWII Nazi Germany, so I hadda drag 'im down to the VFW to find Arnold Alderman to set 'im straight. Arnold's the only guy in town who actually participated in the liberation of France durin' the war, so I figured he'd prolly be up there watchin' John Wayne movies an pinchin' the waitress's keister mosta the day. But anyhow, we sat down with Arnold an asked to hear some war stories til he finally stopped propositionin' the barmaid an opened his eyes up real wide an glassy like so he could start talkin' like Robert Shaw in the U.S.S. Indianapolis scene from Jaws. Arnold told us all about bein' splattered by his best friend's pancreas, havin' to kill a man with nothin' but a Bic razor, an most horrifyin' of all; bein' kissed by French women with more body hair'n Shankles' groomin' brush. I figured the excessive body hair story'd be a pretty good segue, so I said "speakin' of people who look like somethin' you'd pull outta the shower drain, tell Billy about the honkey-kong creatures the Nazi scientists used to breed to terrorize the Allied women." Arnold just kinda looked at me the way a bouncer at a lesbian bar looks at a smarmy frat boy. He claims that there weren't no such things, but I know better, cause I saw an ever so subtle shudder run through his left arm when I asked 'im about it, plus there was a story published by the Chickawalka Talka around 15 years ago about Arnold freakin' out in the primate house over at the Boise zoo, an how he couldn't do nothin' but let out a blood curdlin' "ZUG ZUG!" for two straight weeks afterward. Course, I didn't pursue the matter cause I didn't wanna be disrespectful to one of our boys in uniform, but it's pretty clear to me that everything prolly did go down exactly like it does in the movie. That's the part that really disgusts me about the inadequate fundin' the VA gets. These guys hadda actually witness monkey-men violate innocent women so that we'd never have to, an the moment they come home how do we repay 'em? We cut their benefits, that's how. How's that for gratitude? Alla you congress creepolas make me sick.
It'd be nice if we could invest the kinda money in veterans' affairs that we sink into those little magnetic ribbons people stick on their pickups, an the "never forget" flags that fly from their antennas. I guess I should at least be content knowin' people're still thinkin' about 'em, even if it mostly involves sharin' Facebook posts. Still, they're right about what a mistake it'd be to forget the past, otherwise we might not see through the loud mouth ramblins of a would-be fuhrer when they try gainin' control of the country. So, outta respect for the guys who hadda live through the horrors of war, I've plucked a few useful tidbits from the scat in The Beast's cage for everyone to remember in the event of any future Nazi-like occupations. First, Oskar Schindler's half-assed ammunition couldn't penetrate the thick hides of European women. Which was pretty fortunate for the Nazis who'd hafta hold 'em still for their kegblitzed buddies. Second, the Statsi couldn't reasonably be considered "secret police," cause all their vehicles were apparently branded with personalized SS license plates. Those swastickers on their bumpers weren't exactly helpin' either. An third, if you're gonna blow apart such a large volume of leather seats, it will become necessary for your prop department to develop a vinyl solution for their patchin' needs.
But ya know what really sears my rear about this one? An don't you guys who made this sucker try to deny it cause I consider myself an expert at recognizin' sociological subtext; this whole flick's just one big feminazi pseudo-documentary about how modern man is still just a big, dumb, vicious animal who wants nothin' more outta life than to crush their delicate flowers an subjugate 'em. Ya know, sometimes I don't think women really appreciate just how much we've transitioned from the jungle to that little space under the sink where we try fishin' partially digested pieces of flatware outta the garbage disposal without gettin' our paws chopped into bacon bits. They still seem to believe we're just like the hairy guy in the movie (which is apparently just fine when the beast is bein' unleashed to fulfill their needs), even though we've long since stopped greetin' 'em with a honk of the mammary an a thrust of the pelvis. These days we're all like; "How was your day honey? I, for one, had an excellent time stayin' home with our kids an bein' turned into a eunuch by Oprah an Judge Judy, an now I think it'd be fun to take you out to the community theater's production of Cats after fixin' us a tofu casserole for supper." I mean, what more do they want from us? Sure, we *used* to like takin' 'em like wild animals in the backseats of our Datsun hatchbacks, but we've grown as people since then, an now fully understand how that kinda thing is really only sexy *before* you're married. Once the ring's on 'er finger, it's considered *disrespectful* to start slobberin' all over 'em like autistic water buffaloes, evidently. Am I makin' myself clear, ladies? We are not oversexed man-monkeys tryin' to sleep with anything that moves anymore. So could you just cut us a little slack an stop askin' us questions like; "do you think that waitress is pretty?" while you've got an entire slice of cheesecake packed into your cheeks? The answer is; yes, we'd happily give our right elbows just to smell her hair if we could, but there's nothin' to worry about, cause you've successfully crushed our spirits like the cache of fun sized Butterfingers you stash in your bra to hide from the theater ticket-taker. You've won, alright? We can do the dishes without bein' told to, okay? We're domesticated, you can stop spikin' the ball now. Cripes almighty, I really hate movies with subliminal sociological subtext.
The movie begins with this lady Nazi doctor (Kratsch), who looks like a sadistic Kimmy Gibbler from Full House, stickin' a real hairy arm with some green loogie serum an tellin' 'er male colleague that she finds his lack of hate disturbing when he suggests that they may be stretchin' the boundaries of good taste. Then Kimmy brings this nekkid gal into 'er lab an sticks 'er inside a WWF steel cage with a Neanderthal man who proceeds to make Flintstones Kids with 'er til she dies. So it's kinda like Beauty and the Beast, if you can get past the fact that the beast is Mike Tyson on PCP. Elsewhere, two guys're scoutin' out a railroad bridge an waitin' for this kraut security guard to goose step his hinder back on over to where they're hidin' so they can garrote 'im with a strand of finely engineered German piano wire, at which point they blow up the bridge like a bullfrog stuffed fulla M-80s. I'm thinkin' Hitler never played Risk, otherwise he'da prolly known not to leave just one guy protectin' such an important asset. But anyway, while that's goin' on, Dr. Kimmy's gone to visit with some heilfalutin Nazi general about 'er experiments, an he tells 'er how impressed he is by what she's been able to do with Diddle Kong an presents 'er with the Joseph Mengele regressional medal of honor. Then one of the general's Munich eunuchs comes in an tells 'im about the bridge an he's P.O.'d, so he calls up Captain Italian Roy Scheider an demands to know how he did nazi that coming. Only Roy's scorin' 'imself some Bavarian creme (Irene) when the phone rings, so once he's concealed his duesseldork an gotten totally reamed by Colonel Dink, he sends his goons down into the nearby village to round up the women an try fraubeatin' 'em into givin' up the location of their resistance movement. Course, when they try this, the old ladies get P.O.'d an start reachin' for their darnin' needles, so the Germans toss this baby up in the air like David Bowie in Labyrinth an machine gun it into veal pot pie to make the old hags behave themselves. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Kimmy's gone to see Captain Roy so she can straighten things out an get his men to stop actin' like it's open reich night at an amateur comedy club. In the meantime, Irene takes this opportunity to sneak outta there so she can get down to the church an warn a coupla resistance guys (she's only shackin' up with Captain Roy to smuggle out state secrets an to try an uncover Hitler's recipe for kaiser rolls) that they've been ratted out, an that they're about to get ground into Hamburg. One of the guys who's about to be processed into Italian sausage is Stephano, who's over at his Mama's place pickin' up his laundry an tryin' to coax 'er into cookin' up some spaghetti for the boys to help the cause, only about that time this hollow cast of third rate Nazis shows up an Mama hasta club Stephano in the ole meatball with a skillet an drag 'im into the pantry so he doesn't try givin' 'imself up to protect the family.
But Captain Roy's poon goons know Stephano's in there somewhere, so they start grabbin' the fettichichis on Stephano's sister til he wakes up an gets 'imself arrested while the head honcho fires the twat shot heard 'round the world into the girl's... well you get the idea. Guy needs to watch Full Metal Jacket sometime an get the confusion surroundin' his rifle an his gun cleared up, cause that was just uncalled for. Anyway, then we hop back over to the resistance base out in the sticks where their radio's been crapped out all day cause the Nazis've gone an gestopped up their lines of communication, so they send two of their fighters down to the next camp to find out if Colonel Klink discovered Hogan's radio in the coffee pot. Unfortunately, one of 'ems workin' with the far reich politicians back in Berlin, an she sells out the rebels for a bag fulla German currency. That's the kinda thing that'll get you Deutsche Marked for death once your former associates find out, but unfortunately, now the Germans know where the pro-Jew crew is an pretty well sack 'em like a one legged quarterback on a nine man blitzkrieg. Elsewhere, Captain Roy takes Kimmy the cruel down to where they keep the prisoners so she can rub 'er Nazi knobs all over 'em an starts slicin' off bratwursts an hookin' lady bits up to car batteries to see how well clitori conduct electricity. Course, she's also brought Rapefiki along with 'er an scheduled 'im some Kongjugal visits with the prisoners an... ick, ya know, they call it monkey-love, but I guess they'll never know. I for one wouldn't consider it "love," given how the missing stink here keeps givin' 'em handmade Brazilians an eatin' the pubes. I guess I may just be a little too old fashioned for the latest sex trends. But while that's goin' on, Captain Roy an the Neinth Infantry've made their way over to the church to arrest the Padre an Drago (big deal resistance guy), an Roy's so P.O.'d that he won't even stop to let Irene fiddle with his furry fuhrer before he hasta fraubeat 'er for collaboratin' with the resistance. Only the Padre won't squeal on his fellow freedom fighters, an pretty quick he an Drago're throwin' lefts an reichs all over the cathedral til the wiener shitzels overpower 'em an load the Padre into their ride. Unfortunately, when they try goose steppin' on outta there, the countryside comes under attack from Allied RC planes, an pretty quick it's Goodnight Irene when she tries escapin' from the Germ warfare division. Then Drago wakes up with his face in a pile of stained glass Jesus an he's so P.O.'d that he hasta run outta the church an toss these TerraTrike ridin' Nazis off a bridge til he feels a little better, at which point he sets his sights on Dr. Kimmy's house of pain. Think I'm gonna hafta cut it off here even though I just know you're all dyin' to find out how this thing ends.
Alrighty, well, it wouldn't be a Video Nasties tribute without at least one "Nazisploitation" movie, even though this is one of the worst and came at a time when the trend had just about gone kaput, which is probably why they added the rape ape gimmick. There were actually 11 of these things produced in 1977 alone, including the last two Ilsa movies, and by that time I imagine people were probably getting kinda tired of them. The very first flick to try cashing in on the horrors of Nazi Germany was Love Camp 7, which was released way back in 1969, and despite not being a heck of a lot better, it did at least have something resembling a plot. Of course, the most popular title in the subgenre was Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, which utilized the two enormous talents of Dyanne Thorne and spawned three sequels. Most of these Nazisploitation flicks were made by the Italians, which isn't all that surprising, because they've always had a knack for taking someone else's ideas and deriving new and repulsive ways to make people barf. As for The Beast in Heat, despite being rife with the usual "heap on the rape" strategy that all of these Nazi movies employ, it's simply too stupid to really get worked up about. Yeah, it's got some unpleasant scenes, but the acting talents of Salvatore Baccaro (who played The Beast) make the whole experience so ridiculous that it's difficult to get too bent out of shape about. Really, it's far more explicit in its depiction of violence against women than say, The Last House on the Left, but Last House on the Left also had talented actors, competent direction, and a premise that seemed plausible. Which just goes to show that sometimes, less is more. Additionally, this flick has some really chintzy production values, the worst of which has to be the brutally scratched stock footage showing soldiers and vehicles from what I assume was either stock war footage, or scenes from another movie that was noticeably older. Some of those shots are completely laugh out loud bad, as they often show guys throwing explosives right before the editor cuts back to the actual movie where an explosion is now occurring. This also happens in the opposite direction, with someone in the actual movie lobbing a grenade, then cutting to the stock footage for the explosion. And of course what bad movie wouldn't be complete without that special blend of atrocious dubbing that not only doesn't come anywhere close to matching up with the mouth movements, but also has masterful language translations that lead to such lines as; "The Lord won't betray you, he's the best." And if you think the dialog is depressing, just wait for the downer ending. Or rather, it'd be a downer if you could bring yourself to give a damn about anything that's happening.
Okay then, let's neuter this Beast to see if that'll teach him some manners. The plot is positively asinine, and unfortunately, even as poorly executed as much of the violence is, it's still too unpleasant to move into that enjoyable campy area of ineptitude. I mean, all they had to do was depict Nazis being Nazis and it'd be adequately cruel, but they hadda try adding a gimmick to make their movie stand out, leading to a backfire seldom seen outside of a used car lot in the deep south. I'll acknowledge that without the gimmick it may not have stood out at all, but it's kinda important to consider exactly how you're going to stick out before doing something this silly. The acting is, as always, a little difficult to gauge, given that everyone's speaking Italian. However, if one was to make assumptions about how the dialog was being delivered based upon these guys' ability to take a make believe gunshot, you might rightly guess that they're terrible. The reason I say that is because during that firefight there're a hell of a lot of guys doing those hilarious arms in the air/spinning from the impact of the bullets on their way to the ground. That's gotta be the funniest scene in the movie, that attack on the rebel outpost, just amazingly bad. Still, some of the blame needs to be shoveled onto the director, because he watched the scenes with the rape-man and these shots of guys taking bullets like they're rehearsing a cheerleadin' routine for an upcoming halftime show, and he chose not to reshoot them. Then you've got the scenes shot in Macha Magall's torture lab where the level of pain being expressed doesn't nearly come close to what you'd expect from someone getting their fingernails pulled out with pliers, having their stomachs chewed up by rats (or guinea pigs, if you're paying attention), or getting a car battery hooked up to your girls bits. A little enthusiasm there would've helped. You might not be surprised to learn that the IMDB credits seem to be missing several of the characters, and I've gotta believe that isn't solely due to the film's premise, but also humiliation pertaining to some of the acting performances. Still I probably shouldn't be quite that dismissive. Macha Magall isn't too bad as Dr. Kratsch (over the top, but not bad), Gino Turini is alright as Drago, and Brad Harris is acceptable as the Padre. Forget the rest of 'em, though.
Here's who matters and why: Macha Magall (Man Woman and Beast, SS Girls), Gino Turini (King of Kong Island, Bloody Pit of Horror, The Vampire and the Ballerina), Xiro Papas (Diabolicamente... Letizia, Dr. Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks, The Devil's Wedding Night, Frankenstein '80, The French Sex Murders), Salvatore Baccaro (Dr. Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks, The Blade Master, Starcrash, SS Girls, The Exorcist: Italian Style, The Return of the Exorcist, Deep Red), Charles Borromel (The Blade Master, Absurd, House of Lost Souls, War of the Planets, Don't Torture a Duckling, Messalina vs. The Son of Hercules), Russel Case (Robot Jox, Zombi 3, Warrior of the Lost World, Devil Hunter), Guiseppe Castellano (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Screamers), Brad Harris (Hercules 1983, Samson 1961, Lady Dracula, The Mutations, The Mad Butcher, The Girl in Room 2A, King of Kong Island, Supermen, The Three Fantastic Supermen, Goliath Against the Giants), Benito Pacifico (Hitch Hike, The Raiders of Atlantis, Nightmare City, Beast in Space, Star Odyssey), Alfredo Rizzo (Bloody Pit of Horror, Terror-Creatures from the Grave, The Playgirls and the Vampire, Spirits of the Dead, Curse of the Blood Ghouls), Brigitte Skay (A Bay of Blood).
The special effects, at least in the gore department, aren't completely terrible. That said, there isn't anything here that even begins to resemble an elaborate effect. On the gore side, you're really only talking about bloody wounds. The fingernails being plucked off with pliers are clearly unattached press ons with the actual nail being painted red underneath, the deadly rats gnawing at a woman's stomach are some of the most adorable guinea pigs you'll ever see in your life, and there are a lot of times where the camera simply doesn't show the aftermath of a shot because there was no budget to make an effect to display. For what it's worth, the blood is actually a good shade of red, despite being too sticky to really ooze the way it should. There're also a lot of guys who get shot and never bleed a drop of blood. And the less said about the bombing run by the Allied fighter planes the better. We're gettin' into Godzilla territory on that front with the use of some pretty obvious toy plans. So a pretty poor showing here, but not completely without merit. The shooting locations, by virtue of not being completely botched, are the high point of the movie. That's one place where the movie's inattention to detail actually helps it, because not knowing where the movie takes place means the architecture can be enjoyed without being closely scrutinized. The film was shot in Italy, and obviously the Germans wouldn't have been invading Italy during WWII, but an unworldly lout such as I couldn't really tell you the difference between Italian architecture and French architecture, so for me, the shooting locations were enjoyable. My favorite location was probably the railroad tunnel/bridge near the beginning that gets blown up near the beginning of the movie, pretty neat looking place. The soundtrack is completely forgettable, which more or less tells you that it neither hurts nor helps the movie in any measurable way. I did think the opening track with the interspersed sounds of goose stepping was a nice touch, but beyond that it's really just a hodgepodge of subtle synth music and a sad piano piece that comes near the end. That piano piece is actually kinda nice, but listening to it while observing remote control airplanes bomb a village sorta takes any emotional impact it may have had and trash cans it. Just not much to mention with regard to the soundtrack, and really, it was never going to be able to compensate for the rest of the film's overriding problems. Overall, these kinds of flicks are really niche to begin with, due to their generally upsetting nature, and this one fails in just about every regard. Despite being a lot tamer than say, the Ilsa movies, it's so poorly made that fans of this type material probably won't like it much, and I don't think that fans of traditionally campy movies will enjoy it either, just due to how rape-tastic it is. Would not recommend, although the Nazisploitation fans out there will likely see it regardless just for completionist purposes.