The short-lived but prolific naziploitation genre of the 1970’s
is usually associated with unsavoury concentration camp shockers
like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS and SS
Experiment Camp, or the ‘women-forced-to-work-as-Nazi-prostitutes’
films such as Salon Kitty, Elsa Fraulein
SS and others. But there were a handful of films that
went in other directions, and Erwin C. Dietrich’s early
(1973) entry into the genre Frauleins in Uniform
(aka She Devils of the SS) is one such film.
This is one of the few nazisplotation films to play UK cinemas,
so you know it’ll be less extreme than much of the genre.
But what’s odd about this Swiss production is the strange
normalising of the Nazis. While it briefly deals with the horrors
of war, it does so from the point of view of the German army recruits
– female German army recruits - and while there
are hints at a totalitarian state, much of the film is surprisingly
uncritical of the Nazi war machine.
The story follows assorted young women who join up to fight for
the Fatherland and who demand to be sent to the Russian front.
This is presumably because they have worn out all the local men,
as this seems to the horniest all-girl army ever assembled –
even Nazi officers seem shocked. In the middle of this is a doctor
who is a bit too willing to relieve girls of their military duty,
and is sent to fight – as are his daughters – as a
is a well-mounted slice of softcore, with plentiful nudity (but
very little sex), some cute girls and decent if unexceptional
production values. Old hand Dietrich keeps the film moving along
despite a lack of any real plot, until things come to a rather
abrupt and, and it’s all rather jolly, with dialogue like
“cleanliness is next to Naziness” being rather
chucklesome. There’s little in the way of dramatic threat
(though one deserter is caught and told “we have ways
of making you talk”!), but the constant stream of bare
flesh ensures that it passes by quite painlessly.
Given that the whole Nazi uniform fetish has become increasingly
taboo, this film does feel like a rather guilty pleasure –
but a pleasure it is. Presented in a well-preserved print, it
well worth snapping up.
IT NOW (USA)