The seventies saw the release of three movies over three years that gave rise to a mini-wave of exploitation movies that capitalized on the Nazi chic seen in the dark arthouse films Salon Killy (1976), Salo (1975) and The Night Porter (1974).
While viewing The Night Porter might be an uncomfortable experience for many despite its classic status, no one of sound mind is going to come away from the experience feeling like the film has exploited the horrors of the Second World War. The film explores the dark desires, untold secrets and hidden taboos that arise from terrible events in an adult fashion but nothing is designed purely to titillate the viewer. Plus of course, the whole thing is beautifully crafted with fine performances from respectable acting talent like Dirk Bogarde. While Salon Kitty might swing a little more towards the salacious and Salo trades in horror movie levels of disgust and repulsion, it can still be said that all three movies are works of art. Troubling, difficult art but art nevertheless.
The interesting thing about taboo busting works of cinematic art is that, like box office smash hits, they often inspire B-movie producers to create movies that give the audience all the taboos without any of that troublesome art. In the same way that films like The Devils gave purveyors of grindhouse trash permission to create a raft of sexy nun-based softcore horror movies, so movies like The Night Porter opened the door to the likes of Ilsa She Wolf of The SS, SS Hell Camp and Gestapo’s Last Orgy.
While The Night Porter makes the viewer ponder the complex and obsessive interpersonal relationship between guard and prisoner as dangerous sexuality bubbles to the surface after years of suppression, Ilsa She Wolf of The SS prefers to revel in explicit sexual torture and pantomime shock tactics. Like most B-movie re-treads of better movies, designed to grab a quick buck of the back of more inspired works, the Naziploitation flicks are an aquired taste, much like the films that inspired them. A certain gallows humour must be employed before sliding one into the DVD player, but for those will the will and fortitude, here’s the trailer to Ilsa, a movie that completely fails to pay any respect to the tragic events of World War Two… Compare and contrast in with The Night Porter trailer today!
THE NIGHT PORTER TRAILER
ISLA: SHE-WOLF OF THE SS TRAILER