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  Love Camp Peace And Love And Death
Year: 1981
Director: Christian Anders
Stars: Laura Gemser, Christian Anders, Simone Brahmann, Gabriele Tinti, Sascha Borysenko, Bob Burrows, Veronika Schecker, Maximilian Wolters
Genre: Musical, Sex, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Patricia (Simone Brahmann) is the daughter of a senator, and thinking her future is all set out at a resort on holiday she catches sight of a group of hippies wandering through the sunseekers and spreading their message of love. When her eyes meet those of the leader Dorian (Christian Anders) a connection is made on some primal level and she feels the pull of his religious calling. Not everyone is as convinced however, as when Dorian begins preaching someone throws a tomato at him, but he will not be diverted from his righteous path...

Christian Anders was the brains behind this little item, and what an odd chap he was, starting his career mainly as a singer of the type you'd see at a variety show, branching out into acting, and then directing. Love Camp was his second movie in that capacity, recognising his croooning background by making it a sort of musical - a softcore porn musical that was, as much of the story was padded out with the cast canoodling in a state of undress. It appeared to be one of those exploitation flicks which arrived in the wake of the Jonestown massacre, so its take on cults was not a benevolent one.

Except that Anders himself attempted to start his own cult shortly after making this, which might explain why his character is actually on the level when it came to the whole peace and love business, and the true leader is the so-called Divine One, played by Laura Gemser, by then a veteran of whipping her clothes off for the sake of a film role. The details of what it was this sect were supposed to believe were rather hazy, apart from one area: they gave themselves up sexually to whoever asked, usually within the boundaries of their organisation, but also to raise money through plain old prostitution.

So if you liked seeing hairy men coupling with not quite as hairy women, the first hour of this would be right up your street, as it consisted mainly of that with little variation other than a few examples of the vice like grip The Divine One had over her subjects. Thus if you refused to indulge in free love and actually fell for one person, you would be whipped (not very hard, it must be noted) to knock some promiscuity into you, and if you thought, I've had enough of this, you would be allowed to go. That is, to a great big hole in the ground where you'd be thrown in to your death, a rather drastic development.

Dorian is pretty much innocent of all this going on back at the camp as he's spending most of his time recruiting, but what do you know? He falls for Patricia and they begin to plan a future together, which is a no-no for TDO. Anders was evidently using this feature as a showcase for his own talents, so not only does he play the hero, he also does a spot of kung-fu and sings his own songs, even when they're being mimed by someone else. Naturally this is somewhat hilarious though humour seemed to be far from the intent, but seeing as how this was a musical with about three songs on repeat, and then for the finale where it all goes a bit Jim Jones we have a ditty called This Is The End, it's difficult to take seriously. Anders was far more famous in Germany than he was anywhere else, which made his descent into deep eccentricity newsworthy there, but Love Camp does him no favours in spreading his message internationally - all that nudity is mighty distracting.

Aka: Die Todesgöttin des Liebescamps
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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