Trash-movie fans might think, before seeing this infamous film, that a softcore-porn/bondage exploitation flick set in a Nazi concentration camp sounds so politically incorrect — so defiantly foul — that it has to be good, or at least worth a look. Think again.Ilsa, the first of four films, is inept and profoundly disgusting in all the wrong ways. Great exploitation, whatever else it lacks, has a human heart. This one doesn't; it's cold and grotesque.
The ample-chested Dyanne Thorne stars as Ilsa, a sadistic doctor who performs experiments on prisoners (mostly female) at a secret German medical post. She's known for taking male prisoners to bed and then castrating them, sending their penises to a colleague to support his theory that Jews are inferior even in genital size. (One good joke comes of this: a prisoner explains that he escaped emasculation because "it would have spoiled the doctor's theory.")
But Ilsa has the most fun with the women, whom she uses to back up her own theory that females can withstand far more pain than men can. So we watch as women are whipped, hanged, shocked, boiled, raped — all served up for our titillation by Don Edmunds, a director who once decked an actress on the set of one of his movies because she complained too much.
The film's recurring visual is a large, painful foreign object shoved into a woman's vagina — we see this at least three times. To add insult to puerility, at the beginning there's a note from the producer making this piece of shit sound like a daring, honest inquiry into the horrors of the Holocaust.
The whole affair stretched even my considerable tolerance to the breaking point. I stuck it out primarily so I could say I viewed the whole thing and could therefore judge it fairly. Despite a lot of competition, this is perhaps the most poisonous thing passing itself off as a movie that I've ever seen.It was apparently popular enough to warrant three sequels, and there were dozens more like it in the years to come. There still are.