“Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS” (1975)
If history doesn’t present us with enough examples of inhuman atrocity, leave it to the movie industry to feel compelled to invent a peculiar hybrid combining the attractions of sex and a form of domination and sadism which treads far beyond the questionable behavior favored in the average “roughie” vehicle.
Constantly in search of the latest exploitable trend whose only purpose was to separate the public from the contents of its wallet, the Nazisploitation film was born; a degrading genre dependent on combining the lure of the skin flick with a brutality based upon the most lurid aspects of the Third Reich, but susceptible to expansion and reinvention by a cadre of filmmakers for whom the actions of those who brought about the death of millions clearly didn’t go far enough. The eternal debate as to why a predominance of violence in film is deemed acceptable to moral cultural watchdogs while sexual content is condemnable is rendered largely irrelevant by the Nazisploitation film which uses fairly recent examples of state sanctioned butchery as a jumping off point in the advancement of endurance tests of savagery and proudly immersed in a level of tastelessness that is nothing short of contemptible.
To avoid confusion that the filmmakers are only motivated by any but the purest of motives, “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS” begins with a mission statement of sorts, assuring the audience that the film is based upon historical fact and concludes with a rather disingenuous caveat that such global offenses should never happen again; except of course, in enthusiastic representation on movie screens everywhere. As a rule of thumb, it is generally a sound policy to approach with suspicion when a film features such a self-serving pronouncement as this; a fair indicator that the producers are trying to deflect accusations of pandering to the audience’s more base misogynistic proclivities; especially since the film undeniably leans heavily toward the gratuitously detailed and graphic torturing (including death by decompression chamber, gang rape, the use of electrically enhanced cavity probes and being boiled alive) of primarily young, nubile and buxom women. Just whose fantasies are being satisfied here anyway?
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