Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)

I’m trying to remember the last time I felt quite so… wrong while watching a film. If any genre of film can be called inherently conceptually repulsive, “Nazisploitation” is probably it; though Love Camp 7 probably invented it, Ilsa seems to have really triggered it off. According to Refused Classification, Ilsa has been rejected three times here by the OFLC, the last time in 1983, and I somehow can’t imagine them ever changing their minds in future, so I’ll say thanks (?) to Youtube for making this… thing available to me. It was shot on the sets of Hogan’s Heroes, apparently largely because the producers of same were happy to save money destroying them by letting the film’s makers destroy them in the film, and I daresay some of the German accents in the films were leftovers from the show as well; story is based to some extent on the real Ilse Koch and others like her, but once the introductory “dedication” is out of the way, the film quickly reveals that it is quite literally really about sex and violence in true exploitation style: we see Ilsa getting it on with one of the male prisoners, then castrating him. This is, arguably, not the worst thing that happens in the film; Ilsa is otherwise more interested in torturing her female inmates to prove her theory that women are more resistant to pain than men. Apparently producer David Friedman was so ashamed of the thing he took his name off the film, which is remarkable given some of the stuff he did put his name to (including the aforementioned Love Camp 7); even more remarkable is that only two of the actors involved followed his example if IMDB is right. This is another one of those films where I frankly don’t know what to really make of it—some bits of it I’m not entirely sure I want to admit to myself let alone anyone else how I felt about them—other than to congratulate it on achieving what I presume was its goal to be as tasteless as possible. Like any good comic book villain, death would be no obstacle to Ilsa returning for sequels, although now that I’ve seen this (plus Jess Franco’s knockoff) I think I can live without going that far…

One thought on “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)

  1. DeC July 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    if you want tastelessness raised to an art form, try Ebola syndrome. it is a hong kong / south African collaboration that is wrong in nearly every way possible!

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