As a longtime admirer of the shocking Ilsa series and being a fairly jaded bloke to boot, I have to say the character of Ilsa (played by the amazingly busty Dyanne Thorne) is not only one of the most sexy characters in film history but without a doubt she's as equally one of the most reprehensible. That’s why we love her though! Don Edmond’s and David F. Friedman’s baby Ilsa: She Wolf of The S.S was so popular back in the 70’s that it spawned three sequels – Ilsa - Tigress of Siberia, of Ilsa - Harem the Oil Sheiks and the sorta sequel, Jess Franco’s Ilsa - The Wicked Warden.
Cheezy Flicks has taken two of those films, Ilsa - Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks and Ilsa - The Wicked Warden and released their own version. Both have been previously released overseas and in the States with extras with solid transfers, these however are a mixed bag.
Ilsa - The Wicked Warden is directed by one of Euro-cult's most loved and maligned directors, Jess Franco. It even stars his wife, the lovely Lina Romay. Greta (no, her name isn’t Ilsa in this one.) runs a mental hospital in the middle of the jungle. This entry lacks the violence and grue of the previous films but it easily packs the most nudity. With that said it does seem to be missing some bits of said nudity. There’s still a lot here, even Ilsa soaking in a hot bubble bath. The print looks surprisingly colorful and generally in good shape.
In Don Edmonds Ilsa - Harem Keeper of the Oil Shieks our voluptuous siren takes her talents of torture, seduction and slavery to the Middle East. Sinister oil sheik, El Sharif (Jerry Deloney) employs Ilsa’s services so he can gather his own group of women to satisfy his every need.
Watch out for appearances by three other sexy exploitation actresses from the 70’s- Uschi Digard (Super Vixens), Haji (Faster Pussycat... Kill!Kill!) and Marylyn Joi (Mean Mother, Black Samson). I prefer this one to “Warden” a bit more because it has more of the feel of “Tigress” and “She-Wolf”. With some pacing issues set aside, Ilsa Harem Keeper of the Oil Shieks is quite fun.
Both DVDs include the usual Cheezy Flicks extras, some trailers and vintage intermissions. I’m hoping someone can take all four of these titles and put them on Blu-ray but for now these bad boys are cheap enough to be had for fans of nazi-sploitation.