Ilsa: Tigress Of Siberia (1977)


Unbelievably, there exists a third canonical Ilsa film, and, like before, it has absolutely nothing to do with the previous Ilsa films; and, in strange twist, it had nothing to do with Don Edmunds either, who was the director of the previous Ilsa films. 1977’s Ilsa: Tigress Of Siberia was directed by forgotten Canadian film-maker Jean LaFleur who, by this point in his career, had only ever directed one other film: The Mystery Of the Million Dollar Hockey Puck. Ilsa: Tigress Of Siberia would be the last film Jean LaFleur ever directed.

I’ll start by saying that this film is the single worst entry of the “Ilsa” trilogy. Once again, the film stars Dyanne Thorne, and once again she plays the role of a nymphomaniac commander of a torture camp, but this time, she’s the leader of a Russian gulag who regularly has group sex with her male comrades whilst the prisoners suffer under her tyranny. However, what makes this film stand out amongst the other Ilsa is that the film doesn’t stay in one location like it’s predecessors. 20 minutes deep, the film switches locations from 1950’s Russia to 1970’s Canada with no explicable reason why, other than, I’m guessing, the film ran out of budget after the first few days of filming. This new setting does give the slightly different premise: Ilsa runs a brothel who kidnaps and tortures it’s male customers. However, instead of focusing on physical torture, the film focuses on psychological torture for a change, but in the long run, the film doesn’t anything different, new or interesting when compared to the previous films, even if it is set in 1970’s Canada. It follows every single Ilsa film plot point: sex, torture and a  handsome hero. Ilsa: Tigress Of Siberia feels like a paint-by-numbers exploitation film, and there isn’t anything that we haven’t already seen before in the previous Ilsa films.

Ilsa: Tigress Of Siberia, however, contains much more sex and violence than the previous Ilsa films. In Ilsa: Tigress Of Siberia: Dyanne Thorne’s ‘Ilsa’ character regularly engages in group sex with her hairy Russian comrades, characters are killed in much more brutal ways than before, and there are even scenes where a Siberian tiger is let loose on unfortunate prisoners, and each scene of sex and violence is as cheap, disapoointing and unconvincing as the next. As the film progresses, the sex and violence becomes more and more underwhelming, until it just becomes uninteresting by the end of the film.

In the end, what more can I say about this cheap, forgettable, boring mess of a film. The ‘Ilsa’ genre of film i hardly a genre to be celebrated, but the genre definitely deserved something better than what we were given in Ilsa: Tigress Of Siberia. Whilst watching the film, I just wanted it to be over, it was such a mind-numbing slog. However, when I reflect on my experience watching the film, I realize something ironic: the film focuses a lot on psychological torture, and that’s exactly how it felt sitting through this cinematic dreck, like I was being psychologically tortured by continuous unflattering images of Dyanne Thorne’s naked body, laborious scenes of boring dialogue, and tedious special effects that all culminated to one of the worst films I’ve ever witnessed. This film does not deserve to be watched. If I would recommend one Ilsa film, I’d recommend watching Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS, and leaving the other films to rot.

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