The Video Nasties #46 – The Beast in Heat (1977, Luigi Batzella)

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‘Now he’s ready to give us a demonstration

that would make the god Eros go green with envy.’

Oh great, we’re back in Italy for another Nazisploitation flick. This one gets off to a great start with a grammatical nightmare of a title card that reads

HORRIFING EXPERIMENTS OF S.S. LAST DAYS

Yes, that’s the spelling. But just how ‘HORRIFING’ are these experiments? At least they can’t possibly be as ridiculous as the testicle transplant from SS Experiment Camp.

Oh, wait.

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This one’s about a demented Nazi scientist who is trying to create an ‘artificial master race’ to act as slaves for their Aryan masters. The result so far is a very small hairy man in a cage, who’s sole purpose is to grunt and rape women. Naturally, the experiment is seen as a great success. We see a nude young woman being given to the beast. The doctor informs us that she is ‘very pretty’, which is handy because she is so out of focus that I couldn’t tell if she was nineteen or ninety.

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The beast has his way with the girl for what feels like an eternity, while everyone stands around watching. I really felt for the actors in this scene. We’ve got a young girl getting raped by a very ugly little man, and everyone else has to stand around and watch. At least I was able to check my emails whilst this crap was going on. Still, they presumably got paid, unlike me, who’s sitting on my day off from work watching The Beast in fucking Heat. Luckily, I was still laughing at the name of the actor John Brawn, because who doesn’t love a rhyming name? Sometimes, you have to make your own entertainment to get through these things.

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Just when I was beginning to think I was going to be in for 90 minutes of Sal Boris’ hairy arse pumping away, the scene ends and he’s not seen again for over an hour. Instead, the film turns into a completely straight war movie about partisan fighters. Some of the footage that comprises the rest of the film is apparently taken from the director’s earlier film When The Bell Tolls, a movie I will quite happily never sit through. The old footage can be easily spotted by the difference in stock quality and production value, a dichotomy that is a metaphor for the rest of the movie. Ridiculous camp smashes up against nasty, graphic violence seemingly at random. Thus, a comic shot of a naked girl sneaking out of a Nazi’s bedroom is followed shortly by a baby being thrown in the air and shot with a machine gun. Later, someone throws a bucket of water at a girl, who ducks and it hits the person behind her, while minutes later a Nazi pushes a gun into a woman’s vagina and pulls the trigger.

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The violence is low budget and unrealistic, but it’s also perhaps some of the most warped and perverted stuff you’ll see in any of these films. In addition to the aforementioned scenes, a nude woman (they’re always nude, all the time) has electrodes attached to her crotch and then, in one of the most bizarre moments in cinema history, our horny beast actually tears the pubic hair from a woman and eats it. I’ve seen reviews where people make light of that, and sure it looks fake and silly, but the image of a man’s hand clawing at a vagina until it bleeds goes far beyond the daft gore scenes in most of these films. Luckily, there’s one torture that manages to raise a smile; a woman (nude, ‘natch) being eaten alive by rats. Wait, did I say rats? Sorry, I meant guinea pigs. Guinea pigs! She shrieks in horror while the adorable fluffy pets sit on her chest, twitching their little noses in bemusement.

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Mostly though, it’s a pretty rote war movie with two short horror/torture sequences shoehorned in. Thank heavens that we’re done with it, I don’t know if I could take another Nazi sex movie right now. Okay, let’s see, what’s up next?

Blood Lust, a film that is also known as Mosquito The Rapist?

Fuck’s sake.

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