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Blitzkrieg Escape From Stalag 69 (2008)

Escape From
Stalag 69


I haven't seen many large scale war movies come from low budget filmmakers; probably because by definition, a large scale war movie would be expensive to make, but compared to most of the films that I watch, Blitzkrieg: Escape From Stalag 69 is one of the most ambitious homemade films I've ever seen.  Although the film was produced, written and directed by Keith J. Crocker, he certainly didn't do everything himself.  Instead, he put together a huge cast and crew to create an impressively large production which certainly benefited the final outcome.  As a result, the quality of this film was impressive for a homemade production.  I can't call the film a "no-budget" movie because the props and costumes alone had to have cost more than the entire budget of most homemade films that I review, but the film was certainly low budget.  However, for a low budget film, Blitzkrieg: Escape From Stalag 69 is certainly an epic movie for it's budget and genre.

The story of the film is much in the vein of the old 1970s Ilsa movies (Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS,
Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, Ilsa: The Wicked Warden, and Ilsa: The Tigress of Siberia).  It's about a German prisoner of war camp in World War II run by a sadistic Nazi and the prisoners' plot to escape before they're all tortured to death.  The story isn't bad, but I would imagine that most people watching this one would be in it for the blood, gore and nudity.  Most of the blood and gore comes from the numerous torture scenes in the film.  The quality was good and there were actually quite a few of these scenes, but with a running time of over two hours, the percentage of the total playing time taken up by scenes with blood is actually quite a less than I would have expected.  So really, it's not that there wasn't a good amount of blood and gore, it's just that there were so many scenes without it.  There were also several scenes with full frontal nudity.  Most of them were torture scenes, but there was also a nude catfight in the showers and a softcore sex scene.  There was even one scene of a woman wearing nothing but a pair of boots running around the woods shooting at German soldiers.  Overall, if you are looking for a movie with plenty of blood, gore, torture and nudity, you will find a solid amount of it here in this film.

When you try to make an epic film without an epic budget, your going to run into a lot of quality issues.  With that taken into consideration, I think Crocker did a great job of putting together a quality film with what he had to work with.  The costumes were great and probably cost a considerable amount for a film with this kind of budget.  The props also must have cost a lot of money.  It's obviously a lot more expensive to make a period war piece than a modern movie that takes place in a suburban neighborhood, but I really thought Crocker and crew did an excellent job of putting together a believable look for the movie.  As with most of the films of this caliber, the audio was one of the largest problems.  Although the musical score was actually pretty good (with the exception of some poorly recorded and out of place electric guitar parts), much of the dialog was too quiet and sounds like it was recorded straight off of the microphone on the camera.  If this is the case, they could have benefited from the use of a boom microphone.  Either way, some audio balancing would have helped quite a lot.

Another similarity this film shared with many of its counterparts is a variety of quality in the acting.   I can understand that when trying to fill so many roles (the cast of Blitzkrieg was enormous) it would be tough to find so many good actors for a homemade film.  Still, a couple of the lead actors delivered their lines extremely unconvincingly and that did make the film look a lot less professional.  However, there were quite a few strong actresses in the cast.  Brenda Cooney (who was excellent in the film Us Sinners) stood out as one of the best actors in this film as well in her role as Lucille, the timid but determined prisoner.  Gordana Jenell was great in her portrayal of Frieda, the sadistic Nazi who loved to torturer the prisoners.  Tatyana Kott was also excellent as Natasha, the tough as nails prisoner who easily wins the award for most kills in the film.  If all of the acting had been as good as these three actresses, it would have easily taken the film to the next level of quality.

Despite some of the problems with the film, Blitzkrieg: Escape From Stalag 69 is still a very watchable movie and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys both low budget movies and Nazi exploitation movies because it's easily the best low budget war movie I've ever seen!

Check out the website or myspace page for more info.:

blitzkriegthemovie.com     or     myspace.com/blitzkriegthemovie

Gore-o-meter rating: 4 out of 5
(Lots of blood, gore and torture)

Skin-o-meter: 4 out of 5 (There were numerous scenes of full nudity)