Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks | Varied Celluloid

Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks

Posted by On March - 10 - 2009
The Plot: Ilsa is back at it again with an entirely new location and an entirely different flock of young girls that she can abuse and humiliate! This time around she’s looking over a harem of lovely young ladies for an evil oil Barron who also makes a profit by selling these beautiful girls into slavery as well. Ilsa’s job, as always, is to keep the girls in check and this more times than not comes down to her torturing women for information. However, things take a turn when a young American comes into Ilsa’s life who is trying to oppose the evil oil Barron but who pleases Ilsa in ways no other man ever could. Will Ilsa give her heart over to love or will she continue along with her master’s plans and kill the American?


The Review: My journey through the world of Ilsa the She Wolf comes to a close with my final review, the last of the series that I have not seen: Ilsa Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks. This has been roughly a four or five year journey now, starting with Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, suffering through Ilsa: The Wicked Warden, having an ‘alright’ time with Ilsa: Tigress of Siberia and culminating here the actual second film in the series. Although I won’t lie and say that these films are really all that great, but there’s something appealing about them. Maybe it’s just Dyanne Thorne and her gigantic breasts or maybe it’s the cheesy torture sequences, it’s hard to pin down. The one thing I know for sure is that here I am, four movies in and I’m still interested in more Ilsa stories! The entire series never really deviates much from the set pattern of the first film, and Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks continues in the same vein even moreso than the other films in the series. Ilsa is here in all of her German accent speaking glory (in the desert), with another pair of twin bodyguards to protect her before she runs into an American man who knows how to give her everything she could ever want. The biggest difference this time around is the fact that Ilsa, well, she shows her softer side!

Ilsa, the woman who shoves cattle-prod-like dildos into unsuspecting young women actually demonstrates some heart! Ilsa as she has her confrontation with love actually derails the flow of convention that the series generally has. While the film still delivers everything you expect from an Ilsa movie, it at least changes up the pace of things in a fairly dramatic way. The violence is pretty consistent although certainly not the goriest entry of the four films. The best bits of violence are usually dealt offscreen or are simply bloody rather than featuring much in the way of special FX. A memorable bit arrives when Ilsa has her two bodyguards, two beautiful ebony darlings named Velvet and Satin, demonstrate their tremendous skills in the art of combat on some poor unfortunate loser. The two women then beat and pulverize the gent until his face is almost literally hamburger. The most powerful imagery from the film however would have to be the inclusion of the sex-bomb subplot. Somehow Ilsa and her people devise a scheme to essentially impregnate a woman with a bomb that is armed by sexual penetration. during a test sequence Ilsa sets up a sex machine to act as the male, then as the woman begins to finally get into it (and god knows how she possibly could at this point as her eye has been scooped out, her breasts crushed in a vice and her leg chewed off by ants) her stomach EXPLODES. Regardless of how the film ultimately turned out, no getting past it, that’s definitely one of the best deaths throughout the entire Ilsa catalogue!

The sex doesn’t get as kinky as some of the films in the series, but it definitely gets the job done. Lots of naked ladies cavorting around, Dyanne Thorne is as lovely (and buxom) as ever and there’s even a tiny bit of girl-on-girl! We’re definitely talking about an Ilsa movie now! However, the exploitation elements may be all here but overall it just feels like another Ilsa movie because of it, and the lack of any “extreme” dimensions sort of leaves it at a cross-road within the exploitation genre. The addition of a love interest for Ilsa and the ultimate turn-around in the third act is the best thing going here in my opinion and generally saves it from being bland. I’d have to say it’s certainly not the best film of the series, but it definitely holds its own. The second and last Ilsa film from the original director Don Edmonds, he leaves on a high note by actually progressing the series somewhat, even if he didn’t take it to the perverse extremes it would later take upon in Tigress of Siberia. A film likely only for completists and exploitation aficionados, but amongst the rest of the series it’s not too terribly bad. My rating is a three out of five, about average for the Ilsa series but certainly not the worst of the bunch. It would make for a fine double feature with the original She-Wolf of the SS.

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