We’re back for round 3 of Ilsa She-Wolf of SSeptember Month here at B-Movie Enema. Last time, I mentioned that this week’s installment, Ilsa, The Wicked Warden, was a bit of the redheaded stepchild of the series. It’s not because Ilsa is a redhead this time around (I mean… yes that too), but it’s really because this movie was never meant to be a part of the series.
The first two, as well as next week’s installment, were legitimately made to all be about a ball-busting chick (sorta) named Ilsa who ran a prison camp or a harem. This was actually meant to be entirely separate. This film was legitimately filmed to be like those other women in prison, sexploitation flicks and be marketed overseas. What better way to sell them than to have Dyanne Thorne be your villainess? And how do you give it more of the European flavor?
Why… you bring in Jess Franco! Typically billed as Jesus Franco overseas, Franco was pretty well known for cranking out movie after movie in his massive 160-film career. Think of him as something of a Spanish Roger Corman. Yes, he’s even had a movie featured here on B-Movie Enema, Oasis of the Zombies (one of the worst films covered on this blog dating all the way back to October 2014). He also directed The Castle of Fu Manchu which was featured in the 90s on Mystery Science Theater 3000. So, yeah, he’s made some stinkers, but he’s also really well known for some fairly decent thrillers earlier in his career as well as bringing some serious eroticism to his films.
I’m betting he’s got some of that ol’ European filmmaker charm with the violence and gore too.
Okay, I’m a bit off topic. This film was originally named in Germany as Greta: Haus Ohne Männer (translated to English as Greta: House without Men). It also carried the titles Greta, the Mad Butcher and Wanda, the Wicked Warden. With Dyanne Thorne involved and with the Ilsa character well endowed… er… well known over here, it began adopting the Ilsa title as well with Ilsa: Absolute Power being one title, and, as in the version I own, Ilsa, The Wicked Warden. Minor touch-ups to the overdub in some versions allowed for Ilsa to be used for English-speaking markets instead of the names Greta or Wanda as heard in Europe. it also brought it into the Ilsa canon without it actually ever meaning to be.
Instead of running a prison or imprisoning women in a harem, this time Ilsa is looking after a psychiatric hospital for young women. I emphasize young to let you know that these are not old hags in this hospital but supple, barely legal ladies. That shit is important in these movies, goddammit!
The movie begins with the sound of women being whipped and tortured. I guess that’s one way to start your movie that surely delves into respected psychiatric practices. But fuck all that! The first actresses we see in this movie are shown showering in full on awesome full frontal glory. Now that is a way to start a movie that will surely delve into respected psychiatric practices. And I’m not talking about brief shots of showering girls. No, this is a full on lingering look at each girl going under the shower, then rubbing soap on themselves, then rinsing off. In another area of the wash room, we have Isla lovingly photographed taking a nice, relaxing, sultry bath.
I mean, shit. This movie is like barely 3 minutes old and there has already been about 42 minutes of nudity.
One girl has a freak out which allows for a girl named Rosa to attempt an escape. Two nurses, though they are dressed as women on a jungle safari to bag themselves a fucking tiger, chase after her. She is also chased by two men, who I believe work at the hospital – which also means that German title is horseshit. This is not a House WithOUT Men! After Rosa kills one of the men, she loses the other. Wounded, she finds help from a man who lives on the other side of the jungle named Dr. Arcos who is actually played by Jess Franco himself. He hears her talk begging for no more shock therapy and such. He goes to call the police but, uh oh… Joan Fucking Crawford is here to take care of this situation like the hard bitch that she is!
Nah, just kidding. It’s Ilsa. Dr. Arcos is forced to hand Rosa over to her institute, where he learns that Rosa died within a few weeks from a “rare blood disease”. He asked to examine her corpse, but was refused with the hospital claiming due to heat and humidity, they had to cremate her immediately. He goes to a boardroom of a bunch of stuffy looking dudes to give a full report of his concerns about her hospital.
You see, the Los Palomas clinic is set up to treat women for lesbianism, nymphomania, and various other women sexuality issues. He was also pretty confused by how she was chased down by guards with guns with a couple wounds on her back from bullets grazing off her in the pursuit. Despite feeling his concerns are justified, the board turns down the request to forcibly investigate the goings on there. The clinic had already declined a formal request by the board and in order to pursue any further concerns, they need firsthand accounts from someone other than a delirious fugitive – like a released patient or former staffer. Arcos says that will be nearly impossible. No one has ever been released from the clinic and the staff is too loyal.
It’s a good thing we have Hot-Tits McSexymic here to volunteer to be the inside gal. Her name is Abbie and she just so happens to be Rosa’s sister. She could have just approached Arcos and ask him to commit her so she can be the witness. However, Abby instead hides in the back of his car and holds a fucking gun to his head to demand he commit her.
Why? Seriously… Why? Yeah, I get it. You’re really upset about your sister being scared enough to run away from the clinic, and rightfully so. You’re even more upset about your sister winding up dead. You know that Arcos is kind of on the payroll at the clinic when he’s needed. But you also know that he was sitting there presenting a case to a group of doctors to research the clinic’s wrongdoings. You know that because you were there. Recording that testimony. I feel like you could have just asked him to speak to you and then you present your case. Whatever. Sure, pull a gun on the guy you want to work with.
It does work, though. He falsifies info for her to go undercover. He already sent a police record to the clinic and provided an entire fabricated set of “illnesses” – sexy, sexy illnesses – for her to use as cover. And so, she’s off! Off to take down Ilsa’s insane asylum from the inside.
These two butch nurses bring her in and push her around like a fucking prisoner, then admit her. They then strip her down and hose her down. As a side note… I know this was 1975 or 1976 or something… But goddamn this girl playing Abbie (Tania Bussellier) has a bush about the size of OJ Simpson’s joke afro in the third Naked Gun movie. No shit, her bush is bigger than mine. It’s almost so much so, that I could have shown it without censoring it because you’ll think she’s wearing a fur bikini.
Anyway, she’s given her outfit which is only a blouse without pants. She’s given the number 41 which will now be her only identity. If she’s ever found giving out her name, she’ll get her number branded on her.
She gets to meet her fellow cellmates. She meets #10 (who also demands to go by the name Juana) who tears open her shirt so the other girls can see, and have a feel. #24 makes friends with Abbie and shows off that she had been branded when she gave her real name instead of her number.
Ilsa calls for #10, and the pixie-cut cutie is told to undress her wicked warden. And Geoff is a fan of where this is going.
#10 gives Ilsa a bare naked massage. And holy shit… The D cups in this scene alone pretty much fills the entire 2018 quota for B-Movie Enema alone. Jesus Franco Christ these ladies are endowed. Also, the shot is perfectly placed to where you see Ilsa and #10’s butt cheeks perfectly resting on top of one another. #10 tells Ilsa about her meeting Abbie and that she likes her. Isla decides to stick needles into #10’s tits for fun saying if she moves or makes any sounds, she’ll throw Abbie into solitary confinement. She then tells #10 she can now scream and climbs on top of her to push the needles in deeper.
One might say that is pretty… wicked?
Abbie meets a transsexual and they have a heart to heart about love or something. I can’t say that I am paying that much attention because every fucking person in this scene is tits out and one girl is rubbing her nipples in the foreground.
Abbie meets Ilsa and her assistant Pablo. We learn the story that Arcos came up with for Abbie – she was a school teacher who molested “several” students. It’s almost so ludicrous that it has to be a cover story. Anyway, Abbie tells Ilsa about her first occasion of stroking off one of her 10 year old students. Zounds.
Later, Abbie starts asking around about Rosa. One of the girls says she hadn’t been there long enough to know her, but Abbie could ask #10 because she probably knew her. I kind of get the feeling that #10 is like that one kid in middle school that is like 17 and drives himself there every morning. Like he’s been there for so long he knows all the students who ever went there and is on a first name basis with the teachers as he bums smokes off them in the teachers’ lounge.
Wait… Hold that thought… Pixie-cut Aubrey Plaza is about to get soaped down by Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Abbie and #10 get into a fight when Abs decides she’s done all the washing she’s gonna do. Nothing wrong with some naked girl shower wrestling. Apparently, though, the clinic is not a fan of sexy naked girl shower wrestling because they take them both off and Abbie wakes up strapped down. Ilsa is there and tells her she was very violent and scared the other patients. She then proceeds to inject acid into Abbie’s box and gives her an electroshock to calm her down. She’s then taken to solitary confinement to cool off and shit.
While in solitary, Abbie meets #20, a black lady who has been in the cell next door for many months. She tells Abbie that they aren’t sick, but actually political prisoners. She starts listing off names of people who had been there before and had died and Rosa’s name is one of them.
There’s another subplot going on with Pablo selling off some of the treatment and torture stuff that he films to a man in town who dresses exactly how you might expect a Spanish smut dealer to dress. Whatever you’re picturing right now in your mind is exactly what he looks like.
So Abbie is brought back to her room and #14, our transsexual patient, caresses and gives Abbie some comfort (and sexy make outs) before sleep. Abbie tells #14 that she’s looking for info on Rosa, and #14 seems to know who that is, but warns Abbie to be careful about asking questions. Also, how cute is it that #14 and #41 are making out and like each other so much? Ain’t that just so sweet how you can find love even in the deepest darkest rooms of a anti-lesbian mental hospital?
#10 goes to see Ilsa and gives some skinny on Abbie and #14 asking around about Rosa. #10 claims she knows nothing about her, but surely Ilsa knows. And she does. It turns out that Rosa is not actually dead. She’s actually in solitary and has been for the last year. Ilsa orders #10 to tell Abbie some info to play along so they can better find out who Abbie really is. #10 even has permission to play with Abbie a little bit to earn more trust from her.
While Ilsa goes around on her daily whippings for those in solitary, we learn that Rosa really is still alive, but in pretty bad shape. Rosa confirms she knows who Abbie is and how they are sisters. Rosa says that Abbie is not involved in anything and only wanted to find out what happened to Rosa. Ilsa asks for the name of the leader of some terrorist group(?) in exchange for Abbie’s freedom. Rosa tells her it is Dr. Arcos.
Okay, wait. Like I can get behind the idea of some of these girls being problems for society and locked away as political prisoners based on some twisted idea for decency or something. I also like the idea that this little torture place is somewhere they stash these girls away just for whatever idea doesn’t fit theirs or whatever. But a terrorist? This is kinda shoehorned in kind of willy nilly. Is Ilsa running some sort of government thing, or trying to overthrow a government? What’s this about terrorists? Dr. Arcos is a leader of some group? Earlier those other people on that board he went to for help said he was a man of the people always fighting for rights and stuff. Was that meant to be the tether to this terrorist thing? Hmmm… I dunno about this. It doesn’t matter, because Arcos gets killed by Pablo and a couple clinic goons.
Anyway, #10 sends for Abbie and they have a chat in the shitter.
#10 tells Abbie that in order to find out what she knows about Rosa, she has to lick her boots, and also clean her butthole with her tongue to make up for earlier not washing her all the way in the shower.
After all this toilet talk, Ilsa visits with a man who runs the prisons in the country. She teases him with her body as he talks about her in lots of superlatives. Oddly, though, most of the time she is on the bed doing sexy clothed things, she’s out of focus, but the moment she pops out them milk jugs, she’s in perfect focus. It’s almost like… I dunno… this movie only cares about dem tittaes. I will give credit to Jess Franco though… Once he gets her naked body into focus, she starts crawling around on the bed, and you can see pretty much all the way up between her legs.
In this scene with this guy she’s fucking, they keep up this whole third act reveal of this terrorist plot thing. Even Pablo comes into the following scene to drop off papers and stuff linking Arcos to that whole thing. However, I think that is completely excised from the movie for the next handful of minutes because now they are talking about having these depraved inmates who haven’t been in the company of a woman for years come into the hospital to fuck all those bitches as much as they want in any way they want. So when she says go, the inmates go bonkers wild and just start raping everything. Naturally, it is getting filmed so that one pervert in town can make some scratch off Insane Asylum Cock Sluts #47 when they release it to video stores later in the year.
And just think – a scene with women slapping, crying, and scratching while convicts rape the fuck out of them probably turned on several people who went and saw this in a movie theater.
#10 brings Abbie to Rosa where Pablo and Ilsa spring their trap. #10 isn’t so sure about what will happen next. Ilsa promised her that Abbie would not be poorly treated, but Ilsa decided to modify her deal a bit. Ilsa interrogates Abbie about revolutionaries and who her comrades are, etc. They are really going for that terrorist subplot thing, huh? Seriously, I feel like the first half of this movie was scripted. Then, the second half of the only script anyone had on set got left out in the rain and Franco was like… I-I-I dunno… Terrorists! Freedom Fighters!!! BOOOOOOOOOBS! Then everyone was like, cool, whatever, I just want to go home and see my kids and take a shower.
When Abbie tells the truth about not knowing anything, Ilsa still believes she is lying so she puts a plastic bag around Rosa’s head and suffocates her to death. I’ve gone through three of these movies so far this month, and this is a first for Ilsa – she killed someone with her own hands in a very personal way. Sticking a bag over a girls head and watching her struggle and die is not a usual Ilsa move. It’s really brutal.
In the final 10 minutes of the movie, we see our porn peddler again. This time he asks for a straight up snuff film and Pablo is all like, “Yeah… I think I can make that happen.” But before we can get to anything interesting in that snuff movie subplot, finally those top board guys that Arcos was reporting the shenanigans to at the beginning have shown up for inspection. They ask for Abbie to be released. After being fairly pleased with what they saw, Ilsa has Abbie brought out to them – she’s been lobotomized.
Seeing Abbie in the state she is in, #10 in crushed. That night, out of revenge for what happened to Abbie, #10 comes to Ilsa’s room with #14, and the other girls from solitary confinement. They close in on their cruel captor and kill her with their bare hands (and teeth! they actually start tearing her apart with their goddamn teeth and eat her!) at #10’s command. To top it all off, Pablo is there to film it all for the smut peddler’s snuff film.
I should note that this movie was listed, naturally, as a “video nasty” in the UK when it was released to VHS. Interestingly enough, though, this is the most tame of the Ilsa movies to this point. Okay, sure, I mentioned above that you rarely saw her actually, physically committing murder in the previous films, and goddamn no one ever ate another human being’s flesh in one of these movies like the inmates did to Ilsa here, but generally, it’s pretty tame. The boobs and all the other naughty bits are probably a little less gross in this movie as the girls, even while getting treated, are shot very prettily. It most definitely has the highest volume of bush of any in the series.
Shit, just from Tania Bussellier alone we see more pubic hair than I have body hair and I’m a very, very hairy man.
This does have some better quality to the movie. It’s likely that it being 100% shot in Europe helps give us something other to look at than sand, concentration camps, etc. Knowing this wasn’t meant to be an Ilsa movie also places a weird asterisk on the movie. I feel like it should be compared to the others in contrasts as opposed to being part of the overall saga.
(Oh my god, I referred to the Ilsa series as a fucking saga. I’ve been doing this too long.)
Overall, despite the goofiness of having that terrorist subplot crammed in there in the second half of the movie, this isn’t that bad. There was purpose to what characters were doing (for the most part) and there was a little plot to keep you rooting for Abbie. However, I really pretty much hate how the movie ends for Abbie. It’s a weird movie that gives us two things that don’t play out in terms of protagonists.
First, Arcos narrates the beginning, which does turn into his testimony to that board for them to investigate Las Palomas, but you kind of have to figure that shit out for yourself. Then, there’s the heroine of the movie, Abbie. We follow her story to help her find her sister, only for her to be lobotomized and completely railroaded by the monster that is Ilsa. Yeah, I know… She’s the bad guy and you expect her to do bad shit to people – much like she did to the “hot one” in the first movie but still. It’s a bummer, man.
We have just one more for this month to talk about. This time, Ilsa heads to the barren tundra of Russia where she earns the title the Tigress of Siberia! See you all back here in 7 days for the titillating conclusion to Ilsa, She-Wolf of SSeptember!