(Release Date: 1988)
So what is the point of these Nazisploitation flicks? To educate the viewers on S.S. Atrocity? To take another stab at Jackasses like Mengele and to piss once more onto the grave of their memories (a move, incidentally, I'm resoundingly in favor of)? To avenge the Jews and make Hitler look like the Reeking Dingleberry he was? Sadly, no. The point was to put butts in the seats of Grindhouses everywhere.
But that's the core of Exploitation, no? Like freeway rubberneckers, viewers simply can't look away from flicks with titles like Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, Satan's Sadists, Women's Prison Massacre, Don't Torture a Duckling and Zombie Holocaust.
Actually, now that I think about it, Don't Torture a Duckling is good advice. I mean, I wasn't planning to ever torture a duckling (or anything else for that matter) but if there was a person on the fence trying to decide whether or not to do so... I guess watching that masterpiece might help. Think of it as... a sort of public service for ducklings. Still, I'm hoping that those who would even consider such a thing are few and far between. Then again, now that I consider this on a deeper level, perhaps those with such a propensity should steer clear of Duckling oriented horror (a niche market, I'm sure) in general and re-focus their attention to such fare as Thomas the Tank Engine's Halloween or something in the romantic comedy genre! Or (to play Duckling's Advocate) what if such a stern admonishment like "Don't Torture a Duckling!" would plant the seed in the heads of those who might never have even considered such a thing before, but after hearing this might start considering it to be a gainful diversion. I hope some jerk didn't go see that and say "You know I never considered beating up Huey, Dewey and Louie, but NOW..."
Let's just hope nobody tries to turn Thomas to the Dark Side.
But I'm not here to talk about the important decision surrounding whether or not one should violate the Geneva Convention on flighty water fowl, I'm here to talk about the Nazisploitation piece of piss known as Sodoma's Ghost from the director of... drumroll: Don't Torture a Duckling!
Sodoma's Ghost (from what I understand, no Ducklings were harmed in the making of this flick) is the riveting tale of a group of Teenagers who find themselves journeying in their Van along some back woods road and coming across an old, beat up mansion in the... um... back woods where certain terror and death wait for them. But first they have to deal with the fact that the house is haunted and that ZOINKS! There are GHOSTS EVERYWHERE!
Sort of sounds like Scooby-Doo meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't it? I can just see ol' Lucio Fulci (who both directed and co-wrote this mess) sitting down in front of the Sylvania Super Set with a legal pad and watching the syndicated re-runs of The New Scooby Doo Mysteries and taking copious notes while saying things like "This show is great! The only thing missing are NAKED LESBIANS!"
I agree with you there, Luc'!
Yep, this flick has that too. Also, naked straight women. No groovy mystery-solvin' dog, though.
No room for one in a haunted house like this one. It seems that forty years prior, during the waning days of World War II, when the stupid Nazis were about to be tossed like last week's leftovers the fuck out of France, a bunch of German Jackoffs holed up in this very mansion and had wild, wild sex with (only occasionally willing) naked women in a celebration that makes Gestapo's Last Orgy seem like... Hell, I don't know... the second-to-last or something.
This is all while a creepy little Nazi geek (apparently so geeky he couldn't get laid at an ORGY!) walks around filming all of the illicit proceedings, no matter how nasty (he must have been channeling Uncle Lucio). As is so often the case (and it ought to be) the allies soon bombed the place and killed every horkin' Nazi in there, kind of like that Feminist group did in that one SNL sketch about "The Run, Throw and Catch like a GIRL Olympics".
But back to the groovy mystery of the present... Those meddling kids have just decided to spend the night in that self same house and to get naked therein. Um... wait a second... didn't the allies bomb the place? How is it still looking like the Clampett Mansion? If a house gets blown to bits, shouldn't you only find bits of house? But nope. It looks fantabulous! I'd actually like to live there, man!
Except for the fact that it's haunted, of course!
Yes, the kids are being stalked by a malevolent ghost who means to pick them off in creatively deceptive ways one by one. And who is this wicked ghost? Some big bad ass Nazi Soldier with a mean streak as wide as Roseanne? No! Some angry hooker who was forced to endure and then die in the house during that pathetic final orgy? No! That creepy little voyeuristic cameraman who taped the nasty ass proceedings? HMMMMMMM could be-eeee! And what's his name? It's got to be "Sodoma", right?
It's Willy! I'm not kidding, in the credits Robert Egon is actually listed as playing "Willy the Nazi"! Truly frightening that is. Isn't that like having a Vampire named "Tom", or a Werewolf named "Paul"?
How does that strike fear, kids? You've faced Supervillains, Monsters and Puissant Extraterrestrials, but you never counted on WILLY! Face the WRATH... of WILLY! The gates of Hell have been breached and now Willy is Free... it's FREE WILLY! Man, why didn't old Ell Eff just call this movie Il Fantasma di fucking WILLY and just make it a straight comedy?
He should have. It's never really scary to watch... Willy... (I still can't get over that) attempt to seduce each and every one of these goof balls and lure them to their deaths. It may not be scary but it is occasionally hot. Such as the time... WILLY... brings forth a Succubus (played by a naked Zora Kerova) to sleep with one of the guys before getting all nasty in bed (and not in a good way... she looked better before). Or the time he attempts to ice the Lesbian who first endures a floral massage, and then has a long, drawn out, unselfconsciously topless argument with... Willy. The scene is only ruined by the presence of... Willy.
There is also a scene that borders on the low end of suspenseful and compelling (though rarely and never at the same time) that involves... Willy... engaging in a game of Russian Roulette with one of the drop outs, the price for failure being his life and the reward for success being sex with a hot naked Italian chick. Okay, okay, I admit it, once in a while... Willy... was all right.
Meaning, basically, that once in a while, Sodoma's Ghost was all right. Once... in a while! Okay, less than ALL right, but you get the idea. It amazes me that Camilla Fulci was actually listed in the credits as "Continuity Girl". Dr. Benford would be Proud.
With so very many similarities to the Scooby Gang, I half expected someone to reach over and pull a rubber mask off of... Willy... to reveal he was "Mister Jenkins" the caretaker who would've gotten away with his master plan if it wasn't for those meddling kids, then they could get in their van and speed off unselfconsciously nude. Well, some of them. But no, that never happens. Instead we get a thoroughly disappointing ending that only contributes slightly to the fact that Sodoma's Ghost gets a DOG! Yeah, it's got its redeeming qualities, but none (and I do mean NONE) of these elevates this film higher than the exploitation genre. Can't you just picture Fulci and co-scripter Carlo Alberto Alfieri going through the screenplay and saying "Man, this is gonna suck, and we only have enough story for a half hour! Can't we extend this one nude scene another four minutes? And this one another seven? Then we'll kill two ucelli with one pietra!" Indeed, kids, indeed!
No Ducklings were harmed in the writing of this review. One bit ME though.
SODOMA'S GHOST BUSTERS!
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