Ilsa the Tigress of Siberia
Director: Jean LaFleur
Stars: Dyanne Thorne, Michel-René Labelle and Gilbert Beaumont
Ilsa is back again, this time she’s working at a Gulag in the Soviet Union and “reeducating” enemies of the State. Dyanne Thorne is now at the point where she IS phoning in a performance. Gone is the passion behind Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. Here Dyanne Thorne is practically a caricature of the previous incarnations of Ilsa. She tortures a bit, has sex a bit but clearly she’s just not into this at all. That and this actress is just looking old by this point. It’s only been two years since Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, but looking at Dyanne Thorne you would think these Ilsa movies have been going on for decades. She’s showing plenty of wrinkles by this point. Those unnaturally plump breasts of hers that were such a focus in Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS are now just dangling bags of wrinkled flesh. It’s kinda sad, watching her try to be sexy; its like watching someone’s mom trying to be sexy. And I’m not taking like a MILF mom either. I’m talking the kind of mom whos pushing fifty and getting ready to start raising grandkids throwing one last fling through life before accepting the inevitable effects of age (and gravity). I guess working in exploitation cinema eventually takes a severe physical toll.
As I said, we’re now in Siberia in 1953 and Ilsa is retraining the minds of those who did not agree with the communists. The dialogue prison guards and prisoners shouting at each other: “You devil shit!” or “You’re pussy smells like a devil’s fart.” What I have learned from this movie is how the use of the word “devil” before any insulting noun can accentuate it. For instance, this movie isn’t just puerile shit, it’s puerile devil shit
Ilsa meets her match with a prisoner named Yakurin who simply refuses to break. Ilsa tries time and time again to get him to crack, fo finally submit and just say that Stalin isn’t such a bad guy after all. Despite everything Ilsa tries, Yakurin maintains his point-of-view despite how determined Ilsa is. She does not get her chance to continue, however, because Stalin has now passed away and this camp is shut down. Ilsa and her gang decide to cut their losses and so they kill the prisoners and leave. However, Yakurin lives.
Up to this point things were manageable. Sure, this movie was atrocious but at least it wasn’t trying to outdo its predecessors in terms of outlandish exploitation. The torture was tame and unoriginal, rape bareley even mentioned and then the prison camp was shut down. I thought I was getting off pretty easy. Suddenly, after the fade to black We’re in Montreal in 1976 at the winter Olympics. The Russian team has just won a hockey match and is moving onto the finals. To celebrate, they invite their coach Yakurian (yes, the same Yakurian) to go out whoring with them. They end up at a brothel which just happens to be run by Ilsa. She recognizes Yakurian on the monitors and vows to continue in her quest to break her.
Ilsa has her henchmen kidnap Yakurian and she gives him the tour of her brutal whorehouse. This brothel is, of course, managed using the Ilsa business model of inefficiency. This means sex slaves are unnecessarily tortured and murdered. This is not how a company is supposed to build loyalty from their employees. She kills competitors or former business partners by sticking them in a barrel and dropping the barrel to the bottom of a frozen lake (It’s Canada, there’s plenty of those). After the tour, Ilsa starts torturing Yakurian and trying to get him to “break.” Although the goal of torture here is no longer to get him to pledge allegiance to Josef Stalin – it’s just to get him to…. to… to break! As far as the women in prison genre goes, this film offers very little in that department. We get to see a girl get electrocuted. Big deal. Most of the last half here is just Yakurian. Though there is a really interesting sequence where a man is buried in some snow next to the side of the road. He wakes up just in time to see a snow plow clearing the road. What do we get? Pink snow.
Same ending as the others. People raid Ilsa’s brothel and kill her? NO! What a twist? Yakurian is saved and Ilsa is left alone in dangerous wastelands of Canada to die alone. *YAWN*
At this point Ilsa is basically the Ernest of exploitation films. Basically, we’re had Ilsa Goes to Camp, Ilsa Goes to the Desert, and now Ilsa Goes to Canada. At this point, I would not be surprised if the next film in this series is Ilsa Saves Christmas.