Plot: What’s it about?
Ilsa (Dyanne Thorne) is back…meaner and hornier than ever. While her days of Nazi experiments may be over, Ilsa has a new profession that allows her to exercise her sadistic side and indulge in all of her sexual desires…while she picks up a paycheck. Ilsa now works as a harem keeper for a perverted and depraved sheik, El Sharif (Spalding Gray). The sheik likes his women to be young, innocent, and eager to please and Ilsa makes sure that is exactly what he gets. At her side are Satin (Tanya Boyd) and Velvet (Marilyn Joi), her lesbian guards who obey her each and every command. Ilsa instructs the young girls of the harem in the ways of pleasure and teaches them how to perform to their potential to please their sheik. The harem gathers these young women through a white slavery ring, but since the sheik controls the government it doesn’t matter. Soon however an American spy (Michael Thayer) posed as a diplomat takes aim on the sheik and seeks to close down this slavery ring once and for all. Can this American agent overwhelm El Sharif and his corrupt government to end the brutal slavery ring, or will Ilsa make sure the harem remains open for business?
This is the second installment in the Ilsa series and if you were a fan of the first, you’ll want to explore this sequel also. As if seeing Ilsa as a Nazi commandant wasn’t enough, now we find her as a harem keeper and she even has assistants in the form of “lethal lesbian” guards. If this seems even stranger than the first film there’s a reason for that, as this movie is much stranger than the original. Where the original was more serious in tone, this film is over the top at times and delivers a more humorous package, which I feel makes it more enjoyable to watch. In case you’re worried though, this one has just as much graphic nudity as the original and almost as much violence, though not in the same serious tone of the original. This one has much better dialogue as well as a more entertaining storyline. I mean, what more can you ask for than seeing Ilsa train the young innocents on the proper techniques for their tongues? I recommend this to fans of the Ilsa series as well as exploitation cinema lovers everywhere, and once again Anchor Bay has issued a terrific disc that is well worth the cash.
This film was directed by Don Edmonds, who also directed the original Ilsa movie. While the series switches gears with this film to an extend, Edmonds keeps enough spirit of the original around to satisfy fans. Edmonds uses many of the same visual tricks in this film, making sure to sometimes reveal just enough to make the audience visualize for themselves, which is cool. If you want more films from Edmonds’ resume, check out Tomcat Angels, Wild Honey, Bare Knuckles, and Tender Loving Care. Dyanne Thorne is back as Ilsa, but be serious who else could play this role as good as she? Thorne (Sin In The Suburbs, Hell Hole) has the same charisma and sex appeal as always but seems even colder in this film, which is not a bad thing in my eyes. This film has an interesting supporting cast as well, with Spalding Gray (True Stories, Diabolique) giving one of my favorite turns in the film as El Sharif. Other noteworthy performances include Tanya Bond (Roots, Black Shampoo), Marilyn Joi (The Kentucky Fried Movie), Michael Thayer (Planet Of The Dinosaurs), and Wolfgang Roehm (Ilsa She Wolf Of The SS).
Video: How does it look?
Ilsa, Harem Keep Of The Oil Sheiks is presented in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This release uses a fine source print with only minor wear signs, and I found no compression flaws worth discussing. The colors range from vivid reds and blues to drab tans and browns and the entire spectrum is free from distortion, while flesh tones also seem natural and consistent. The contrast is also excellent and shows no traces of obscured detail or murky shadows.
Audio: How does it sound?
This isn’t the movie to choose if you want to show off your surround sound, so don’t expect a powerful mix. This movie is driven by visuals so the audio is used for background for the most part, aside from dialogue. The original mono track is used on this release and it gives an acceptable mix to this film. The music shows no distortion signs and the effects are loud and clear as well. I also noticed no volume or clarity issues with the dialogue, which is the key portion of the audio mix.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains the theatrical trailer, some talent files, and an audio commentary track. The commentary features director Edmonds, actors Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer, and humorist Martin Lewis. This is a terrific track but tends to contain much of the same information as the other Ilsa audio commentaries. Nonetheless I am very pleased that it was included on this release.