Review: Helga, She Wolf of Stilberg
DVD: Helga, She Wolf of Stilberg (1978)
While the Nazi sexplotation genre (yes, there IS such a thing!) could well be attributed to beginning with Love Camp 7 (so notorious that it was on the original BBFC ‘Video Nasty‘ list), it is Dyanne Thorne in Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS who kickstarted the genre into overdrive with her curvaceous performance as the titular character in what would then become a series of movies which would see her travel the world. As the saying goes, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and so once again a variety of movie production companies jumped onto this strange subgenre bandwagon and proceeded to put lots of naked women into Nazi camps in the likes of; SS Experiment Love Camp, Nazi Love Camp 27, The Gestapo’s Last Orgy, SS Girls and many more.
It is at the tail end of the popularity (read that as ‘financial viability) of this subgenre that Helga, She Wolf of Stilberg was released in 1978. No doubt wanting to piggyback on the previous success of Ilsa, Helga was proffered as a sexy alternative with a possible franchise also incoming.
What Ilsa delivered across her movies, Helga failed to capitalise on with She Wolf of Stilberg. Malisa Longo certainly had the looks to compete in the ‘eye candy’ front with Dyanne Thorne, but Patrice Rhomm’s uninspired direction, coupled with shoddy editing (even in comparison to previous movies within this genre, which says a hell of a lot) and an insipid storyline that meanders along at such a sedate pace that you could watch the entire movie at double speed and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, meant that a possible franchise of Helga movies was cut off quicker than male testicles usually are within this genre.
What little plot there is; trapped women, torture, rape, political shenanigans, shoot out, is all done with such a degree of incompetence that it makes you think that the Ilsa movies could well have been Academy Award material. Even the antagonists are ‘Nazi-lite’ and are part of some strange republic where they dress their female prisoners in nothing but a variety of knee length footwear and a Frank Spencer trench coat that has buttons which easily open to expose their naked bodies on a regular basis.
If you have seen an Ilsa movie then there really is no reason to watch Helga strut her stuff. In fact, if you HAVEN’T seen an Ilsa movie and are somehow in the mood for some Nazi sexploitation, your time would be better spent with her rather than with Helga. Not even an unintentionally hilarious final shootout at the end of the movie can save it from being anything other than a cheap cash-in on a niche subgenre that had already outstayed its welcome.
Sorry Helga, but like the prisoners in your cells, most viewers would probably not enjoy their time with you.
One for genre completists only I’m afraid.
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from an online streaming link kindly supplied by Aim Publicity.