Ilsa - The Wicked Warden Review

5 out of 10 Skulls
Written by: jmh314   

After two successful films staring the evil Ilsa, we get a third installment entitled Ilsa, the Wicked Warden.  This is considered the thrid film in the franchise, but is it really?  With a main character that is called named Greta, but suppoisdly is Ilsa, and an alternate title being "Greta the Torturer" one can help to wonder how this became the thrid film in the series.  Shortly after this film was released there was a 4th and sometimes forgotten Ilsa film called Ilsa, the Tigress of Siberia.  It is sometimes debated that this was meant to be the 3rd film ratehr than Wicked Warden, but Wicked Warden is the considered the Offical 3rd film in the franchise here in the US.

In this third installment, Dyanne Thorne is back playing our favorite evil torturer Ilsa.  This film shows us that Ilsa is now a warden in an asylum in South America.  The asylum is a maximum facility and other than housing women, also houses male convicts, many of which rapists and murderers.  Ilsa tortures these inmates, and the torture is filmed by one of the guards who sells them for money. 

An investigation on the asylum is ordered and in comes the character Abbie Phillips.  Abbie chose to infiltrate the asylum by poing as a sick patient, but is really working to discover the truth of the asylum.  Why would anyone want to subject themself to such a place?  Well it's simple: Abbie's sister was an inmate there and mysteriously disappeared so Abbie wants to also try and find out what happened to her sister.  Unfortunately to do so she has to put up with the same torture and degrading acts as all the other inamtes.

Unfortunately, I feel this film is the weakest of all the Ilsa films.  I dont know if it's because it isnt as gory or not as much torture, or if it's because it feels forced as an Ilsa movie.  I just got the overall vibe that because of the "Greata the Torturer" angle that this film was never meant to continue the Ilsa series, and it makes things off putting.  Dont get me wrong, there was still the typical gross outs like in the previous movies, but this one felt flat.

Dyanne Thorne also doesnt seem sold on her role like she usually is.  She does a decent job but it almost feels like she is starting to get tired of it.  She still plays a good evil bitch, but at the same time feels less convincing this time around.  However, there is a wonderful role by Lina Romay.  She plays Juana, who is Ilsa lesbian sidekick in this film.  Juana's character was pretty good, and Lina Romay did a good job making Juana her own type of character in an Ilsa movie.  I guarantee you you will never forget one scene with Juana.  It involves some licking of the body and is one of the most disgusting scenes  I have ever seen in a movie.

Sleave king Jess Franco directed this film and he decinately pulls out some of his usual sleazy tricks.  Unfortunately I think he lost some of the vision that the Ilsa films used to have.  The first film was very demented, and the second one added an element of fun.  This one is kind of flat and lacks a true identity.  It just feels like and average sexploitation film.

The special FX take a small step back i nthis film as well.  The gore and torture are not as plentiful in this film, as the torture stems more from rape in this film.  But the gross parts of the film do have a certain charm to them, but still dont feel right for this franchise. 

Overall, the third installment of the Ilsa film falls a little flat.  It is good for a lot of nudity and sex, but the torture and gore is not up to par with the other films.  Even Dyanne Thorne's role seemed a little elss entertaining this time around.  Is it because the Ilsa series has ran it's course, or because Jess Franco's vision didnt work?  I think it may be a little of both.  But despite this, the film was still enjoyable, but not as memorable as the first two films that helped define the sexploitation genre. 

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