She Devils of the SS (1973) Poster

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How not to make a Nazi-themed movie
Horst_In_Translation17 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Eine Armee Gretchen" (and there are a handful of English-language titles for this one) is a Swiss German-language film from 1973, so this one will soon have its 45th anniversary already. It is one of the more known films by Swiss writer and director Erwin C. Dietrich, who adapted a novel by Karl-Heinz Helms-Liesenhoff for this film here. I cannot imagine he appreciated what Dietrich did with his base material unless it was as trashy and as much garbage as this film here. It runs for approximately 100 minutes and takes place during the days of World War II. The plot is that the German women want to do their best in order to help Hitler win the war and as Diietrich's films almost always have an erotic component, "the best" means in this case that they want to have sex with as many German soldiers as possible and help them in winning the war because if you are dead, you cannot have sex again and you would not want to miss out on these Gretchens after the War, do you? Oh yeah, this story sounds like the perfect component for a trashy guilty pleasure film, but it turns out no such thing.

Actually, it is garbage and you could also say it is offensive somehow. It was made less than 30 years and at that point, really many (female) survivors from this terrible time in German history were still alive. They had to live through terrible times and this film mocking them and their (possibly dead) husbands must have been so painful to watch. The argument that the women from back then are not alive any more today is not valid, because they were alive when this film came out. Apart from that, the film also gives leukemia patients a bad name in Dietrich's extremely clumsy attempt to give this film more dramatic relevance. Another major problem with this film is that you are supposed to like the protagonists, especially the female ones, but this gets really difficult to do when you see them approve of and appreciate Hitler from start to finish.

All in all, this film is a gigantic failure and really never should have been made. The fact that Dietrich fails in more areas than usual, for example the historic component that is missing entirely in his other many many stinkers that he made in his career, takes this film to a completely new level in terms of screwing-up. This is why I believe when you look for the worst film from his career, this one is definitely in contention. It is never interesting, pretty offensive to all kinds of women, irrelevant from the (historic) story-telling perspective, never funny despite being categorized as a comedy and just a prime example of how many German-language really sucked in the 1970s. Many people do not know Hitler was actually Austrian. Many people also do now know that Dietrich is Swiss. And both of them did huge damage in their respective fields with their works. I highly recommend to stay away from this movie.
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Surprisingly boring.
BA_Harrison20 September 2015
Frauleins in Uniforms (AKA She Devils of the SS) features none of the mean-spirited nastiness and sexual degradation that is generally associated with the Nazisploitation genre; instead, it uses its German wartime setting as an excuse to get its more-than-willing frauleins out of their uniforms and onto their backs as often as possible, the lovely ladies doing whatever is necessary to assist with the Nazi war effort.

Boasting a very attractive female cast (leads Elisabeth Felchner and Renate Kasché are particularly appealing), most of whom get buck naked, plus better than average production values (that allow for the occasional ambitious battle scene, complete with authentic looking weapons and tanks), this had the potential to be a fun slice of sleazy trash, but with flat direction from Erwin C. Dietrich and nary a plot to tie the unimaginative soft-core sex and fighting together, the whole sorry affair proves tedious in the extreme.

2.5 out of 10, generously rounded up to 3 for the hilarious rifle rubbing scene.
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Bland enough to make beautiful women boring
dbborroughs31 March 2008
Actually the alternate title of Frauleins out of Uniform is a better one.

Young girls join up to help Hitler's army and end up having lots of sex with soldiers and each other while trying to fight for the Nazi way.

Swiss made (for a German audience) exploitation soft-core war film that is more interesting for the nonjudgmental attitude toward the Nazis and its lack of any real violence -certainly nothing happens thats too exploitive -then anything then happens on screen. There is some attempt at a story, but it doesn't really go anywhere since the whole excuse for the film is for the women to get naked and to have simulated sex. Actually its not even that its pretend simulated sex (which is an oxymoron, which describes much of this film). Its all so nice that you really are never stimulated or titillated by anything on screen. Its like watching a bland TV show or Hogan's Heroes where people periodically undress. Its so bland as to inoffensive. I have never seen any film so asexual despite its best attempt to be sexual.

Words fail me.

Its not bad, its dull and so bland that you just don't care. I wish I could express how nonplussing this film is, its amazing.

Should you see it? Only if you want to see some cute girls disrobe. Other than that I'd watch something else.

Probably one of the weirdest Naziploitation films I've ever seen, which is not to be taken as a recommendation.
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A Pretty Bad Film
Uriah431 February 2015
With World War II rapidly coming to an end several young women volunteer to join the German army to show their support for their beloved Fuhrer. However, one of the doctors charged with helping them enlist comes into conflict with the Gestapo and as a result he and his two daughters are subsequently drafted and sent to the Russian Front. That said this film essentially tells the story of the ordeals that these three people encounter as the Russian army begins to close in from the east. Now as far as the overall movie is concerned, although it is billed as a comedy I have to say that I didn't find much humor anywhere. What it did have however were a lot of naked women and scenes of simulated sex, which not only lacked both passion and eroticism, but also lacked any tangible story to make any of these scenes interesting or worthwhile. Additionally, the characters lacked depth and the acting was quite second-rate as well. In short, this was a pretty bad film all around and I have rated it accordingly.
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Naked And Free In The Fatherland...
azathothpwiggins19 November 2021
As an accurate portrayal of World War II Nazi Germany, SHE DEVILS OF THE SS (aka: FRAULEINS IN UNIFORM) is surpassed only by ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS.

It's a quasi documentary about those brave fighting women of the Third Reich, able to disrobe for action in mere seconds. Who knew the war was this much fun?

In spite of its setting and rampant nudity, it's impossible to be offended, due to the utter lunacy / idiocy of the entire project!

Filmed in the blissful, early 1970's, it's difficult to imagine such a movie being made today...
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Unsurprisingly, they don't really make films like this any more
Red-Barracuda22 September 2016
This one was a little bit of a surprise to me. It's another of those delicate and tasteful films that fell under the nazisploitation sub-genre. These films still cause a shudder in many even forty years after they were released. The mixing of the Holocaust with sadistic horror and salacious sexploitation being a combination that continues to trouble today; if nothing else, the nazisploitation sub-genre is one of the few types of genre cinema that remains shocking decades after its heyday. But I digress, as I mentioned earlier this one shocked me. And the reason wasn't the usual one when it comes to this kind of thing, in that it wasn't the salacious content that struck me, it was the fact that when watching it I thought to myself could this possibly be an actual German movie? It seemed incredible that the German nation, so directly associated with the evils of Nazism would ever have the brass neck to produce a film remotely in the ballpark of nazisploitation. The Germans would spend decades trying to shrug off the Nazi association so had they gone insane in 1973 and made a Nazi sex film? Well, as it turned out, no they had not. This movie had been produced by none other than Germany's 'neutral' neighbours, the charming Swiss! But given the shared language, this is the nazisploitation film that feels most 'German'. Which certainly gives it a whole new aspect of wrong-headedness.

During the last days of World War II a battalion of female Nazis are sent to the eastern front to service battle weary soldiers fighting the relentless Soviet advance. There's really not very much more plot to it than that and what there is really serves as no more than a framework for a succession of soft-core sex scenes. This one came out very early in this cycle of films and in fact was a year ahead of the movie that is often considered to be the template in this genre, Ilsa She-Wolf of the SS (1974), so its perhaps unsurprising that it seems a bit different. Unlike that film, or all of the subsequent outrageous offerings from the Italians, this one focuses on Nazi women, as opposed to female victims of the Nazis. There is no death camp setting, nor is there any real violence to speak of. Its sex, sex and more sex in this one; although I found it oddly unerotic (thank god). Somewhat unusually, the Nazis are presented as essentially sympathetic and not really the baddies we are used to them being, which is unsurprisingly not something you see very often! It also seems to possess higher production values than these types of movies normally have, with more sets and some battle scenes too. But it ultimately is kind of boring too. It lacks the sheer excess that the later nastier films still radiate. It's really a soft-core sex film with Nazi iconography, which makes it very odd, that much I will admit. Its worth at least checking out if you are interested in the seamier side of 70's exploitation cinema but there are more entertaining nazisploitation movies out there, and yes I know that is a strange thing to say.
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Clumsy Attempt
Tweetienator22 October 2021
On my quest to hunt down every schund available on planet Earth I finally checked She Devils of the SS and was very disappointed. The "erotic" scenes are (besides some pretty nude ladies) very clumsy executed, I would dare to say they lack any power of Eros. On top lots of boring filler time. The best part are a few fighting scenes but those are (very gently judged) at best of B movie standard, but here we get some production value. Verdict: if this film crosses the river Styx to the land of dead and forgotten movies, that's perfectly fine. The extra point goes for the tanks and the 2,0 cm Flakvierling 38 they put into action.
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Hot Stuff for the Grind House Aficionado
artpf28 December 2013
This film has been re-titled Frauliens in Uniform. There a really nice color print on the Roku. Not sure why some of the reviews said this is Nazi exploitation for Germans when the Nazi imagery isn't even allowed there.

The color of the film really pops and the wardrobe looks custom made. Wonder what the budget was?

This has everything you could possibly want out of a sleaze, exploitation grind-house film from the 70s. Only difference is the production values are superb.

The nudity kicks in immediately following the credits and keeps pumping. Including some hot for the 70s lesbian sex. Don't miss it.
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Hard to describe without angry sentences
Bogey Man7 January 2004
This film, Eine Armee Gretchen (1973) by the European trash/sleaze/soft porn _producer_ king Erwin C. Dietrich is among those very few grade Z films that really make feel angry for many reasons. Firstly, the whole sub-genre of exploitation, nazsploitation, is very repellent and something that should not be used as a theme in entertainment, I really think. It is so easy to exploit something that makes beasts curious, why else there would be pictures of real deaths, suicides and so on on the Internet, for example? From nature comes many dangerous instincts that are the more dangerous, the more the animal in question has "intelligence" and ability to calculate.

The most notorious, perhaps, of all Nazi atrocity garbage films is Canadian Don Edmond's Ilsa - She Wolf of the SS from 1974 that includes graphic violence, torture and laughable cinema but also spawned many sequels and rip-offs that started to exploit the original exploitation.

What makes especially Dietrich's piece of world's most boring 96 minutes of celluloid among the most unspeakably painful experiences in my life is that it doesn't even try to present the nazis as evil and destructive, it presenents them only to have another reason for a new sex scenes which the film is full of (surprisingly, the film is practically goreless unlike the other films of the genre, but that fits well to the career of its director). Naturally the film's status is so low that criticism like this is pretty useless: there's nothing in the film that the most untalented amateur group could not have made.

Another thing is that no matter how tolerant I am towards trash and B cinema, this goes way under all the categories in its level of braindead. It has no plot or any dramatic moments to make it at least marginally interesting for a second, the acting is not acting, only reading lines in front of the camera, the scenes are ridiculous (the final battle in green grass with tanks must be seen if you thought your home video was bad) and the editing done in 2 seconds with garden scissors. All these make those 96 minutes feel like an eternal death alive, and since it underestimates the viewer so pathetically, this is among the exploitation (usually revenge themed) turkeys that are without any, absolutely, any merits. Not even a single frame is interesting, visually or dramatically. The Swiss DVD was released for some reason, think twice do you really want to pay many Euros for it (fortunately I got mine in trade for some junk!)
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Nazi-sexploiter for the German market
SMK-48 July 2002
In most ways this fits in with the Nazi-sexploiters made in Italy or by Eurocine, except in one: this was made for the German market and consequently we do not get all the usual stereotypes: (i) all Germans are Nazis, (ii) all Nazis are evil, (iii) all Nazis are sexual predators. We just get (ii) and (iii). The film is also less violent and downright nasty than its foreign genre rivals, partly to accommodate the German censors (who always shunned the connection sex/violence) and partly because their target audience would not have been expecting that - for the aforementioned reason.

The supposed identification figures of the film are Dr Kuhn and his daughters, who suffer from not playing Nazi-ball with the required conviction. I qualify this as "supposed", because this is no more than a McGuffin. After a while the film focusses on its real purpose: ogling at beautiful young women in the nude, with some added spice caused by the dangerous surroundings. If this were an accurate description of the going-ons at the Eastern front then the Wehrmacht should not have had much trouble getting volunteers.

Obviously, this isn't complying with historical accuracy, or political correctness. But then, neither are 'Salon Kitty', 'Love Camp 7', 'Train spécial pour SS', 'Ilsa, she-wolf of the SS', or any of the other films of this ilk. One should not expect more of these pictures than a 1970s version of a roughie.
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Interesting for the wrong reasons
augustian30 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Although this film is included in the genre of Nazi exploitation, there is very little, if any thing at all, that could be described as exploitative, unless you include a dozen or so beautiful young women taking their clothes off at various points during the film. There is not much of a story as it concerns a family who have displeased the Nazi regime and the two sisters who are drafted into the women's army to serve - and service - the brave German soldiers on the eastern front.

For a film of dubious merit, the production values are good, with genuine and/or replica German military vehicles and uniforms, Russian tanks and the use of a steam locomotive with carriages. For a director who made his name with soft core films, the sex scenes here are laughable to say the least, as are some of the military action scenes. In one scene, a couple leave their radio listening post to have sex, the girl being totally naked while the male remains fully clothed, making guttural grunting noises. In a scene where the train is strafed by an aeroplane, all the occupants abandon the train by jumping off from one side only, presumably because that was the side the camera was on.

What interested me were the production and filming locations but there are few clues in the film. Three of the credited crew have connections with the former Yugoslavia, principally Serbia; the locomotive carries a serial number and is of a type used by the old Yugoslav railways and the aeroplane seems to carry the insignia of the old Yugoslav air force. Using Google Earth (GE) and the photos thereon, I have tried to find the locations but a lot has happened to the former Yugoslavia since this film was made.

Photos on GE show that the now largely demolished Jasenovo film studio near Bela Crkva has huts similar to those seen in the film so my guess is, is that this was the site of the army barracks. The railway station is more problematic. There are few clues in the film but the two best candidates that I can come up with are Zrenjanin and Kovin but these come with reservations so unless something else comes up, that's it. As my review title says, the film is interesting for the wrong reasons.
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Cheerful "Carry On Nazi Chicks"!?!
Jens-2825 September 2000
Dietrich has worked with blokes like Jess Franco, so I was expecting a nasty braindead Women-In-Prison shocker, but instead I've got a braindead sex 'comedy'. This bizarre flick is more offensive than most Naziploitationers cuz the happy supersexy young chicks-in-the-third-reich don't really get punished and the Germans ain't portraited as bad guys!?! They just love sex and their Führer!

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