Our last poster of the week got me in the mood for some Brigitte Lahaie. Though really, when am I not in the mood for Brigitte Lahaie? Throw in Nazis and hardcore sex, and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed good time, right?!
aka: A Brothel in Paris
France, 1978, José Bénazéraf
Amelia and her fellow brothel gals (including in the pack is Brigitte Lahaie and Erika Cool) laugh a lot and wash their vaginas in bidets a lot. Occasionally a stern looking Nazi lady visits the brothel and is bombarded by frantic visions of violent lesbian fantasies. The patrons of the brothel talk about the war and get bullied by visiting Nazi officers. It takes a very, very long time for anything to happen.
The main reason I signed up for this was Brigitte Lahaie, and sadly her screen time is miniscule. She disappears for a long stretch of time in the film’s middle section. I found myself shouting demands at the screen for her return. They were answered but it was all too brief. Lahaie’s character is strange. Her prostitute character has a “hint of the Orient”, which implies she’s knows some cool sex moves. The rest of the cast are decent enough. Erika Cool is great. Guy Royer’s blank-faced performance is hilarious. At one point, he dutifully wanks his penis with a rhythmic motion only a Nazi could produce.
Bordel SS is directed by prolific porn peddler José Bénazéraf — a guy who made over eighty skin flicks from the early 60s all the way up to the late 90s. Bénazéraf captures the action well enough, but Bordel SS is a pretty ugly film. Full of the expected zooms and unfocused close-ups, there’s nothing remarkable about the film’s cinematography until the film’s bleak and manic ending. Though Bénazéraf does a great job in presenting Lahaie’s hypnotic sexuality.
I don’t know whether to give kudos or a telepathic punch to editor Claudio Ventura. Bordel SS is cut together with such unrestrained madness I couldn’t work out if it was terrible or brilliant. At times the relentless cutting appears to be an artistic choice, but with other hacked together sequences creating such confusion, I really don’t know.
As far as French Nazi porn goes, Bordel SS has impressive production values. I thoroughly enjoyed all the lurid swastika props, and they even wheel out some genuine looking war vehicles for a few brief scenes. In its props and set design, Bordel SS puts in more of an effort than some higher-budgeted Italian Naziploitation efforts.
I expected a Salon Kitty (1976) rip-off, but Bordel SS is nothing like the famous Tinto Brass film — which is ripped off by almost every Naziploitation entry that came after it. While it can be a little dull at times and the sex scenes without Lahaie are nothing special (some are downright awful), Bordel SS has to be commended for its surprising ambition and its vicious ending. Not many porn flicks end with death by electrocution and gun-in-mouth suicide.
Bordel SS is available on DVD in France from LCJ Editions. Sorry, folks, no English subtitles.