Unfortunately, in the world of 1970’s exploitation cinema, there was a slew of films based around the horrors of Nazi Germany, and these films earned their own genre of exploitation: Nazisploitation. It wasn’t a very popular, or even an objectively ‘good’ genre of film. Most Nazisploitation films focused on, or were inspired by, the brutal and unending torture of concentration camp prisoners by Nazi soldiers and scientists. Even when viewed 70 years since the holocaust ended, these types of films can still be very uncomfortable to sit through. That’s not to say that the Nazisploitation genre of cinema didn’t have a couple of twisted cinematic gems that stood out amongst the rest. The most celebrated film of the Nazisploitation era was 1974’s The Night Porter (which was destined to copied and turned into legendarily tasteless video nasty The Gestapo’s Last Orgy), and the other memorable slice of Nazisploitation nastiness is 1975’s Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS.
Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS stands out from other Nazisploitation flicks because of its violent, perverted, pornographic content, yet at the same time, the film absolutely over the top, and ridiculous. The movie stars former nude pin-up model Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa: a Stalag commandant, nymphomaniac and Nazi scientist who’s character is an amalgamation of 3 notorious Nazi personalities: Ilsa Koch, Heinrich Himmler, and Josef Mengele. Ilsa’s main motivation throughout the film is to torture the ‘inferior races’ from her concentration camps, and to conduct crude and violent experiments to prove to her Nazi superiors that women have a greater pain threshold than man. As such, the film contains multiple explicit, perverted scenes of female torture. Every type of torture imaginable is included in this film: mutilation, sexual torture, boiling, and castration are just a few examples of the brutality that Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS has to offer, with each scene of horrific brutality being accentuated by really cheap special effects that look incredibly unrealistic.
However, no matter how much sickening torture is displayed, it feels like the film doesn’t want to take it self too seriously. The film divulges in scenes that can only be described as ridiculous, even borderline comedic. I never fail to laugh when, during an intense sex scene, you hear a bad porn actress yell “Ist come” in a terrible German accent; or at the fact that the entire plot hinges on an American prisoner who has retarded ejaculation. It’s these aspects of utter stupidity which makes Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS so much more enjoyable to watch than other slices of Nazisploitation cinema.
Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS also divulges in a lot of pornographic sleaziness, Dyanne Thorne regularly strips nude and engages in badly simulated, unerotic sex scenes. it’s not just Dyanne Thorne though, many other bad actresses who were obviously cast because of their buxom beauty, not because of their acting talent, try their best to act erotic during scenes of Nazi group sex. In conclusion, the frequent scenes of ‘eroticism’ starring Dyanne Thorne and her voluptuous bosom-buddies may be incredibly and explicitly ‘sexual’, but aren’t ‘sexy’ at all, just comedically awkward.
All I can really say about Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS is that I, personally, enjoy watching this film because of it’s utter ridiculousness. However, I wouldn’t really recommend Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS to average cinema viewers for, as much as I enjoy the film, I’m a freak who has grown accustomed to the sick and twisted horrors locked away in The Midnight Vault. I would only recommend Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS to experienced gore-hounds strong of stomach and ready to laugh at scenes of ridiculously offensive stupidity. However, I’d say for the average horror viewer to have an air of caution when viewing this film: Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS is incredibly tasteless, sickening and perverted, and should only be watched by hardened horror fans.