Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS
|Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Don Edmonds|
|Produced by||Herman Traeger|
|Written by||Jonah Royston|
|Edited by||Kurt Schnit|
|Distributed by||Cambist Films|
Ilsa is Kommandant of a Nazi prison camp, who conducts sadistic scientific experiments designed to demonstrate that women are more capable of enduring pain than men are, and therefore should be allowed to fight in the German armed forces (it is late in the war and the Nazi military is in dire need of reinforcements). Ilsa is also portrayed as a buxom woman with a voracious sexual appetite for men. Every night, she chooses another of her male prisoners and rapes him. However, owing to her hypersexuality, she is disappointed when her current victim eventually ejaculates, and promptly has him castrated and put to death. Only one American prisoner, who can avoid ejaculating, manages to use her weakness to his favor. He hopes that the Allies will arrive soon, but a faction of the SS wants to eliminate all evidence and witnesses.
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- Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa
- C.D. Lafleuer as Binz
- Gregory Knoph as Wolfe
- Tony Mumolo as Mario
- Maria Marx as Anna
- Nicolle Riddell as Kata
- Jo Jo Deville as Ingrid
- Sandy Richman as Maigret
- Rodina Keeler as Gretchen
- Wolfgang Roehm as General
- Lance Marshall as Richter
- Jacqueline Giroux as Rosette
- Uschi Digard as Pressurized chamber prisoner
- Colleen Brennan as Redheaded prisoner
- Peggy Sipots as Prisoner on ice block
- Donna Young as Prisoner with white scarf
- Janet Newell as Blonde prisoner
- Eve Orlon as Nude prisoner in bed
- Wayne Beauchamp as Prisoner
- Sandy Dempsey as Prisoner
- Meri McDonald as Nazi guard
- John F. Goff as Nazi guard with mustache
- Gary Schneider as First prisoner beside Wolfe
When Lee Frost and David F. Friedman's 1969 Love Camp 7 became popular in Canada, André Link and Cinepix's John Dunning created a script for Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. After offering to produce, Friedman agreed and brought in Dyanne Thorne to play the eponymous character. Friedman is credited onscreen as "Herman Traeger".
Friedman (under the pseudonym Herman Traeger) put a notice before the film opens: "The film you are about to see is based on documented fact. The atrocities shown were conducted as 'medical experiments' in special concentration camps throughout Hitler's Third Reich. Although these crimes against humanity are historically accurate, the characters depicted are composites of notorious Nazi personalities; and the events portrayed, have been condensed into one locality for dramatic purposes. Because of its shocking subject matter, this film is restricted to adult audiences only. We dedicate this film with the hope that these heinous crimes will never happen again."
The film was made on the Culver City set of the TV series Hogan's Heroes. The series had already been cancelled and the show's producers let the film be made on it once they learned that a scene called for it to be burned down, thus saving them the cost of having it demolished.
Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS has received primarily negative reviews, and holds a rating of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 11 reviews. The Independent Film Journal wrote, "Only the most dangerously sadistic mentalities will manage to sit voluntarily through more than ten minutes of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, a graphic, stomach-churning catalogue of Nazi medical atrocities that makes Texas Chainsaw Massacre look like a Sunday picnic ... Theatres catering to the lowest possible grade of audience could make a bundle of dirty money. Others would be wise to forget it." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film zero stars out of four and called it "the most degenerate picture I have seen to play downtown ... 'Ilsa' plays like a textbook for rapists and mutilation freaks." He identified the distributors of the film and advised them to "see it, because I'm certain they would then remove it." Vincent Canby of The New York Times reported walking out on the film and wrote that it "could possibly be the worst soft-core sex-and-violence film of the decade—and the funniest. It's set in a World War II Nazi concentration camp built in a meadow that looks very southern California. You can almost hear the freeway traffic on the other side of the hill." Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader described the film as "self-conscious Canadian-made camp", which "wasn't notorious until it was fiercely denounced in the high-profile media". The A.V. Club gave the film a scathing review, noting that it "has absolutely no sense of humor that might go where the obvious lack of moral purpose is". The film's director Don Edmonds described the screenplay as "the worst piece of shit I ever read".
Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS was followed by three sequels, all variations on the sexploitation women in prison theme: Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks in 1976, Ilsa, the Wicked Warden in 1977, directed by Jesús Franco (the film was also known as Greta, The Mad Butcher, Wanda, The Wicked Warden and Ilsa: Absolute Power) and–also in 1977–Ilsa, the Tigress of Siberia.
In popular culture
- In Jörg Buttgereit's 1989 horror film Der Todesking, a character rents a Nazisploitation movie called Vera - Todesengel der Gestapo (Vera, the Death-Angel of the Gestapo), which depicts a concentration camp prisoner being castrated by an Ilsa-like prison guard.
- The 2007 film Grindhouse features a faux-trailer for a film called Werewolf Women of the S.S. by Rob Zombie, whose characters have been referred to as resembling Ilsa. The lead female officer, Eva Krupp (played by Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon), can also be seen as an Ilsa-like character.
- The American speed metal band At War recorded the song "Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS", based both in the film of the same name and on the character of Ilse Koch.
- The New York Hardcore band Murphy's Law wrote the song "Ilsa" which was inspired by the movie.
- The Dresden files show refers to the teacher of one his classes as Ilsa the she-wolf of the SS
- "'Express' Sock 42½G, Hub; 'Ilsa' Lush 18G, 'G'father II' 28½G, 5th". Variety: 21. January 22, 1975.
- Ilsa, Tigress of Siberia review at Canuxploitation, retrieved April 17, 2013
- Sarracino, Carmine; Scott, Kevin M. (2008). The Porning Of America: The Rise Of Porn Culture, What It Means, And Where We Go From Here. Beacon Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8070-6153-4. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- "ILSA - SHE WOLF OF THE SS (N/A)". Oppidan Film Productions. British Board of Film Classification. June 9, 1975. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
- Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS at Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved December 1, 2018.
- "Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS". The Independent Film Journal. Vol. 76 No. 6. August 20, 1975.
- Siskel, Gene (August 14, 1975). "Two 'shlockers' a waste of time". Chicago Tribune. Section 3, p. 4.
- Canby, Vincent (November 30, 1975). "Now for a Look At Some Really Bad Movies". The New York Times. D13.
- Kehr, David, Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, Chicago Reader, retrieved April 17, 2013
- "One of the sickest exploitation films ever somehow spawned three sequels". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- "Past Winners: 1985". AVN Awards. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013.
- Florian Evers, 2011, Vexierbilder des Holocaust. LIT Verlag Münster. ISBN 3643111908, 9783643111906, p. 55
- Album "Ordered to Kill" by At War at Encyclopaedia Metallum, retrieved January 12, 2015