Monday, 26 May 2008

Die Todesgöttin des Liebescamps / Love Camp

Okay, I know: this isn’t an Italian film. Rather it’s a West German/Greece co-production. But I felt it was worth writing about anyway for two reasons.

First, it could be construed as a borderline Black Emanuelle entry on account of having Laura Gemser and Gabriele Tinti up to their usual tricks.

Second, it’s just so amazingly bad that it’s worth an hour and a half of any Euro trash or cult fan’s time. We’re talking – in line with the film’s milieu and themes – transcendentally awful.

Gemser plays the leader of a vaguely Jim Jones /Children of God styled love cult (and as such the film might form a nice companion piece with Lenzi’s Eaten Alive, if the Italian trash fan needs any other reason for watching it) who takes full material advantage of her gullible young hippie followers.

The rules of the cult are simple: no exclusive relationships; everyone can have sex with everyone else; is expected to hook and recruit for the cult, and is apparently free to leave of their own free will whenever they like.

In fact, however, we soon learn that Gemser will brook no refusals and has her muscle-bound bodyguard and henchman Tanga covertly dispose of any apostates by throwing them down a crevasse.

A visiting US senator’s daughter comes to the attention of Gemser through her chief recruiter, Dorian, played by the film’s writer, director and composer Christian Anders.

Will true love win out, or will a tragedy ensue?

Really, who cares.

It’s all an excuse to showcase lots of nudity; some softcore heterosexual and lesbian fumblings; the odd bit of violence and sadism; some truly atrocious disco tunes and Hair-style production numbers; some free your booty and your mind will follow cod philosophising; a bit of ludicrous kung fu (courtesy of Anders, who also made similarly (non-)sterling contributions to the even more ludicrous sounding Kung Fu Emanuelle) and – most amusing of all – Tanga, permanently oiled and tensed up and looking as if he’s wandered off the set of a peplum.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, so in lieu of any more commentary here’s a few:

Christian Anders, whose fault it all is...

One of the camp followers, playing air guitar; his buddy looks like Tony Levin from King Crimson but unfortunately doesn't play air stick...


And more Tanga...

Gemser thankfully spends more time out of costumes than in them...


The Vicar of VHS said...

If your summary hadn't sold me on the film, those wonderful screencaps did the trick. Sign me up! :)

K H Brown said...

The music is also somewhat 'special'