Title: Ilsa, the Wicked Warden

Also known as:
Greta - Haus ohne Männer (Original title)
Greta, the Mad Butcher (Alternative title)
Greta, the Torturer (Alternative title)
Greta the Sadist (Alternative title)
Ilsa: Absolute Power (Alternative new title)
Wanda, the Wicked Warden (US title)

Year: 1977

Genre: Sexploitation / Women In Prison

Language: English

Runtime: 90 min

Director: Jesús Franco

Writer: Jesús Franco & Erwin C. Dietrich

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076112/

A woman goes undercover as a mental patient at an institution run by a sadistic warden to try and find out what happened to her sister. She quickly comes to realize that there is something awful going on in the institution. Something which they are making money off of. The patients are used in abusive pornographic films.

Our thoughts:
As the Swedish saying goes, "a loved child has many names". This movie has many names, but I don't love it one bit. The common name for it is "Ilsa, the Wicked Warden", something which I find is a pretty bad name to go with considering the differences between the other Ilsa movies: "Ilsa, the She Wolf of the SS", "Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks" and "Ilsa, the Tigress of Siberia". Those three, which I thinkl constitute as a pretty tight trilogy, are all following similar patterns, are all very violent and not just sexploitation. The trilogy contained some shocking material and had a tone which was quite serious. "Ilsa, the Wicked Warden" is just one in the line of many nazisploitation/sexploitation/women in prison flicks inspired by the first "Ilsa".

Ilsa/Greta/Wanda (or whatever you want to call her) is running a mental institution like a prison where patients are used for sexually deviance in sadistic pornographic films that are sold to rich men. Abbie is a woman whose sister was admitted to the institution a long time ago, but has since gone missing. Abbie decides to threat a man with force to help her be admitted under a false name to find out what happened to her sister. What she finds is worse than she could ever imagine.

"Ilsa, the Wicked Warden" doesn't offer horrific violence, it's not shocking in the least, and the only reason it carries the alternative title as an "Ilsa" movie is because Dyanne Thorne plays a similar. It really should have carried its original "Greta" for every release. But then that didn't sell enough, and it's an exploitation market so what can you really expect? The issue with the movie is that it's just another women in prison sexploitation flick. The director's interest was only to make it loaded with nude girls - some brief whipping, off-screen torture, etc. but nothing nearly as gory as what we get in the "Ilsa" movies. This movie is one of many dull attempts at the genre, going the simple route of throwing in nude women into a prison/institute and just let there be sexually loaded and degrading scenes. But that doesn't have much effect after you've seen a few, whereas something like "Ilsa, the She Wolf of the SS" still packs quite a punch.

Then you get to the positive aspect, which contradicts my previous paragraph. It has plenty of nudity! I mean, if you want to watch sexploitation, then that's a requirement. So yeah, if that's what you want, you got it. Other than that, there is only one thing I liked about the movie. There's a scene towards the end of it where all the scarred and bruised patients are lined up, ready to attack. It's actually a pretty strange shot, one that was more powerful than the entire movie.

Dyanne Thorne stars as whatever-you-want-to-call-her, but she is nowhere the evil that her Ilsa character was. I don't think this should be thought of next to those movies, this isn't the same sort of a movie. It might want to be, but it isn't. Jesús Franco makes what Jesús Franco makes, and that's far from high quality or groundbreaking. It's just a smutty women in prison movie, one that doesn't feature a single torture scene that stands out as shocking or powerful. It's very sleazy, but that doesn't save it from being an extremely dull cash-in title.

Positive things:
- The scene towards the end.
- Lots of sex and nudity, if you want that.

Negative things:
- It only has sex and nudity to offer. Lacks all the shocks and violence you'd want from movies carrying the "Ilsa" name.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 4/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 1.5/5
Comedy: 1/5

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