“If I must just choose the method of my demise, I choose…
Death By Cinema!” -Britt Rhuart
Day 31 – Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS
This review may or may not be shorter than most, as it’s been a long month of reviews and I’m tried.
So, this last one I picked because it is a mix of a lot of different sub-genres the exploitation film. It’s Nazisploitation, and one of the better known examples of such. It’s sexploitation, and fairly graphic in its depiction of sex. It exploits violence, of course, being that Nazi’s and their experiments play a large part in the film. Really, from what I’ve heard, this is a very well done and memorable exploitation film. It absolutely is grind house quality, but from what I’ve heard this is the type of film that will stick in your mind for a while.
Random Thoughts While Watching the Film:
We open on a title card, telling us that while the incidences in this film are based on fact, it has been condensed for this film. It also serves to distance the producer from Nazis, as Nazisploitation often shows the Nazis in a constant state of dominance.
Side note: Ilsa is based on the real Nazi “The Bitch of Buchenwald” Ilse Koch.
Now, we begin with two people having sex. If it’s not real, it’s very realistic.
The woman was Ilsa, arrests the man she just had sex with. This is fairly progressive in that it’s the female using the male for sexual favors. That being said, it’s still horrendous.
Now one of Ilsa’s female assistants castrates the guy with what looks like a pizza cutter. Just thank goodness that don’t actually show it… but still… goddamn.
Oh, God, you know whenever you see a straight razor in film, you know it will never end well.
I think it is interesting that almost all the members of the camp are female, even the guards.
They’re building the tension well here, because you just know they are building to something goddamn terrible to see.
One of the newest members of the camp is an American man. Ilsa is surprised because he is blonde. Turns out, he was an American studying in Germany when the war broke out. I guess he’s going to be the hero of the film.
Well, that’s some horrific toe and eye torture. Toe torture is a form of torture that really doesn’t get talked about a lot… for good reasons.
So, apparently the Allies are coming. Good, hopefully that’s how the film ends, with the Army killing some Nazi ass.
Oh, great another rape scene, and this one a gang rape. You know, it’s really terrible how many rape scenes I’ve been forced to see this month. This one might be the worst, though. The oom-pa-pa music just makes it even worse. Possibly worse then banjos.
Goddamn, this whipping scene has gone of for a while. You can almost feel the pain.
I’d say the full frontal nudity is the most shocking part of this whole film, but it’s not even in the top 10.
The only thing I have to say on seeing and hearing this sex scene is… I’ll have what she’s having. Wait, no, she’s a Nazi and she has a penis inside her. I’m good, thanks.
So, the American is so good at sex, Ilsa decides not to castrate him. That’s nice.
I don’t know why they’re focused on the face of the other guy when the American brags about how good at sex he is.
Now Ilsa is torturing the girls in camp with an electric dildo. That’s pretty gross.
Now they’ve killed a girl by putting her in a high pressure tank, crushing her from the inside.
And here’s a girl they’re boiling alive. That’s perhaps the most horrifying death thus far, as her skin is literally flayed off.
Now Wolfe, the American, has to sex up two of Ilsa’s subordinates in order to prove he’s worthy to keep his balls. So, I guess the formula for the film is sex, torture, sex, torture, sex-torture, sex, torture.
Ilsa has fallen in love with Wolfe… as if the heart of a Nazi is capable of actual love.
I just realized, they have this stain of blood on the back of one wall pretty much permanently. Do they not have a janitorial staff?
I thought the sets looked familiar! I just looked it up and apparently, they shot this movie on the old sets for Hogan’s Heroes after the show was canceled. There has to be a good Bob Crane joke in there somewhere…
Ilsa seems content now just torturing one girl. She uses a lot of electricity and other methods on her because she planned escape.
Aw! They’re doing a live, awake vivisection of a woman’s vagina! God, that’s disturbing as hell!
Same goes for these maggots being put into the leg of a live woman.
Finally, the give another woman gangrene. You know, I know a lot of these “experiments” actually took place during WWII, but seriously… Goddamn.
The woman Ilsa’s been torturing is still alive and has still not cried out. That’s either a lot of guts or little brains.
The freaking General character is almost more creepy than Ilsa… Actually, he’s more creepy, but Ilsa is more horrifying.
Eww… The General made Ilsa pee on him… jeez, even Ilsa thinks that’s gross and she’s a sociopathic killer.
Ilsa is playing the sub for once in her twisted relationship with the American Wolfe. Note to self: steal name American Wolfe for a wrestling and/or comic book character.
Wolfe is, of course, tying her down so the rest of the camp can kill their captors and escape. Good on him… hopefully we’ll have a full Nazi bloodbath on our hands very soon.
Damn, that woman is straight razored that guy’s throat. It’s pretty convincing, too, apart from the obviously fake blood. And she just kept cutting!
One of the guards fell down dead before the shot went off. There’s a mistake.
While some of the camp victims want to escape now, the rest want to stay to kill their captors. While this happens, the tortured woman from earlier finds the now bound and gagged Ilsa. The scene is horrifying, with this bloody, one-eyed woman slowly crawling towards Ilsa, a knife in hand. Before she can bring it down on Ilsa though, she dies.
Unfortunately, more Nazis arrive and kill the remaining victims. A Nazi comes into find Ilsa and shoots her in the head, her head exploding, Hitler at the end of Inglorious Basterds style. I don’t see how she could survive that, but she comes back for 3 more movies.
The General order the camp destroyed and everyone killed so the Allies would never know of the horrific crimes perpetrated there. But Wolfe and Anna (the main tortured woman), have escaped and look back in horror. Over the credits is an upbeat German song sung by kids. My God, it’s creepy.
Ok, I’ll make this quick… I don’t know if I can recommend this movie. I can if you are a fan of exploitation films. The acting is solid, particularly from Dyanne Thomas, who plays Ilsa. The blood and gore effects are good. However, this is the definition of grind house garbage. While it is important to show the horrors of what the Nazis did and their terrible experiments, it can be done classier than this. Countless documentaries did it better. Schindler’s List DEFINITELY did it better. But then again, I think you need the exploitation film to break the ground first, so you can have the good, artsy film to take it’s place. I’ll mention one last thing and that’s the script. I didn’t like the story arc, mostly because I didn’t think it was told very well. While there was one, it was relegated to the background in favor of sex and violence. Again, I have a hard time saying my opinion about the film. I can’t say that I liked it, but I can’t say that it’s entirely terrible either. I can say, I’ll never forget it.
Hooray! I’m done! It’s been a pleasure bringing you 31 movie reviews. I may or may not do this again next year, as this year almost killed me… but then again, that’s what Death By Cinema actually means. Hopefully I’ll be back on Movie Motorbreath in the near future, but until then… Happy Halloween everyone!