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Love Camp 7 – Limited Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Lee Frost’s once quite controversial film Love Camp 7 (1969), starring Bob Cresse, Maria Lease, Kathy Williams, Bruce Kimball, John Alderman, Roger Steel, Shari Mann, and Rod Wilmoth has come to Blu-ray from none other than Blue Underground. One of the 72 UK video nasties – banned in Britain to this day – Blue Underground shamelessly presents the original uncensored version of Love Camp 7 in a brand-new 4K restoration (No, your glasses/contacts aren’t broken, that indeed says Nazisploitation film Love Camp 7 has received a 4K restoration.) from its recently discovered camera negative! This film features a nice little slew of bonus features and was released to Blu-ray and DVD combo pack back on January 31st.

Film 

During the darkest days of World War II, two young American WAC officers volunteer to infiltrate a depraved Nazi Love Camp on a desperate rescue mission. Once inside, they are subjected to unspeakable indignities and horrifying humiliations at the hands of their sadistic captors. Can they survive the sick degradations and perverted orgies long enough to complete their objective and escape with their lives – and bodies – intact?

So this is the film that started it all, eh? The “Nazi-sploitation” genre during the grindhouse era. If it wasn’t for Love Camp 7 there would be no Ilsa. Basically, though, the whole subgenre is just a spin on the Women in Prison/Cages genre that was probably losing some steam and needed a pivot. All your typical characters, events and beats are pretty much here, its just that the asshole men are now Germany’s most notorious.

There is stuff here that while wrong in nature, almost comes across as laughably silly here. First off, when the two women “agents” at the beginning of the film are told their assignment, it sounded so ridiculous. Like, it came across as a parody of a porn parody almost. And then there was the Amercian actors making the most stereotypical German accents. They are very cartoonish. Pretty much take Siegfried from Get Smart and make his voice every male character in the film.

This film was a video nasty back in the day. Banned in many countries. I’m sure it still qualifies as bad for some of them now, but some of this isn’t really too bad. The sex pretty much also kept the dude’s pants on. There are your shower scenes, abuse, sex and rape in here to go along with girls just sitting around naked. But, that’s what the genre is. The non-sexual abuse in the film is to be as expected, but is actually pretty light compared to where film has come since then.

Love Camp 7 I’m sure has its fans and a whole audience that gets into this. The film is what it is, lots of naked women, sex, abuse, rape, Nazis…and ultimately its pretty boring. For me, this genre doesn’t age well, if it was ever a “well” in the first place. In all honesty, the set up for this movie DOES work and sounds intriguing, but it just sort of lackadaisically plays out in a very ho-hum fashion. While dangerous stuff is going on, there is no sense of suspense or urgency at any time. If you’re going to go back to something of this Nazi-sploitations subgenre, go all in and hit up the Ilsa movies.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: As mentioned above, this sucker received a 4K restoration from the original camera negative. It looks quite impressive. Its a crisp image with plenty of eye popping deteail. Naked bodies reveals stretch marks, tan lines, moles, bruises, zits and more. Clothing, sheets and other fabrics really show their patterns, texture fabrics and wrinkles as well. Its also a dirty Nazi world and you can see every bit of non-upkeep and decay in the dungeonous place this film is set. A very strong image.

Depth:  The image looks pretty bold, while maybe not incredibly 3 dimensional by natures, there is some good spacing on display. The camera moves quite smoothly as do the characters with a nice cinematic touch to them. Backgrounds feel decently back from the foreground objects and actors.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and rich, but do manage to hold on to texture, pattern and more details. No crushing witnessed during this review.

Color Reproduction: Natural colors look quite bold and tough in this mix. The colors that really pops out here in this image are reds which are really strong and rich but maintained and not bleeding or vivid.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and maintain such a look from the beginning to the final moments of the film. Facial details are very strong with 5 o’clock shadows showing, lip texture, moles, zits and make-up among others to show through strong.

Noise/Artifacts: A light layer of grain accompanies.

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese

Dynamics: There is a little analog hiss throughout, but its faint and almost charming to go with this. Its pretty loose as can be and has good spacing between music, sounds and vocals.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clean and crips. S’s tends to distort, but that’s really about it.

Extras 

Love Camp 7 is a 2-Disc set (1 Blu-ray, 1 DVD) that features reversible cover art featuring the original poster design. It also comes with a collectable booklet featuring The History Of Nazi-Exploitation by Paolo Zelati.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 7:32)

Poster & Still Gallery (HD, 1:57)

Nazithon: Decadence and Destruction (SD, 1:19:55) – A documentary on this bizarre little subgenre of exploitation films that became popular in grindhouses in the 1970s. Notably, its directed by Charles Band.

Summary 

Well, either you’re into women in prison movies or you’re not. But, if you’re into nicely put together collector’s editions, you’ll be a fan of this. The image looks outstanding here and the audio is pretty good too. Extras feature a documentary on the entire subject! This isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m sure this is going to be a collector’s item to be snatched up before it goes out of print.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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