ELSA: FRAULEIN SS (FRAULEIN DEVIL)

PrintE-mail Written by Michael Coldwell

Nazisploitation! There’s one sub-genre you won’t see getting an Eli Roth-style reimagining of any time soon. Dare to utter the ‘H’ word in 2017 and watch out for low-flying political correctivists ready to frog-march you back in line, head bowed in shame. Which makes the prominence of Nazis in 1970s entertainment - shouting and goose-stepping their way through everything from beloved BBC sitcoms to extreme grindhouse cinema - all the stranger considering how much closer we were then to the actual event. Even more so when you reflect on just how much of this material was simply scheiße. Yes, even that episode of Dad’s Army with Phillip Madoc is starting to pong these days.

 

Which brings us to this decidedly limp addition to the genre. The plot sees a dedicated young officer looking to impress the Führer with a plan to smoke out high-ranking traitors from the SS. This involves filling a specially-commissioned luxury train with scantily-clad ladies of the night then putting all of the most suspicious Nazi officers on board with them. Once on the move, secretly observe the inevitable pairings and wait for the dodgy officers to drop their guard along with their lederhosen and shoot them dead. Repeat ad infinitum! And who’s to host this rolling bordello? Enter Elsa, She-Madam of the SS (Malisa Longo), the greatest and most revered femme fatale of the Third Reich, apparently. Alas, even as she’s giving the mission her personal attention, some plucky French resistance-types are hard at work derailing this slow-moving load of totaler quatsch.

We weren’t even vaguely offended by this film. The sex is so chaste it could have been staged for regional theatre; the direction is completely flat and so are the performances. A suggestion of Salon Kitty-style kinkiness at the start is completely ignored thereafter. Of course, it desperately wants to be Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS (1975) but lacks that film’s ballsy violence and sadomasochistic verve. Most of all it lacks Ilsa herself; Malisa Longo has none of the commanding sexual electricity Dyane Thorne delivered in spades. The only positive is the humour. Director Patrice Rhomm (who specialised in this kind of thing) is clearly having laugh with the material; no sooner has the officer with the train ruse suggested it to his superiors and he’s marched off to be shot for having knowledge of it. This Monty Python touch carries through to the subsequent assassinations but that’s scant reward for 80 minutes of tepid costume play, unsexy fumbling and extended trainspotting.

 

ELSA: FRAULEIN SS (FRAULEIN DEVIL) (1977) / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: PATRICE RHOMM / SCREENPLAY: VICTOR HADRIA, MARIUS LESOEUR, PATRICE RHOMM / STARRING: MALISA LONGO, OLIVIER MATHOT, PATRIZA GORI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW 



Suggested Articles:
The Climber is from the period Joe Dallesandro spent in Europe during the 1970s making movies after
Described by Samuel Beckett himself as an “interesting failure”, the 21-minute Film is the Nobel
She’s back! Evil is reborn as Samara, the creepy dead kid in a well who crawls out of the TV scree
Let’s face it; if you choose to watch Headshot then you’re not here for the strength of narrativ
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE CLIMBER 24 May 2017

FILM / NOTFILM 23 May 2017

RINGS 22 May 2017

HEADSHOT 21 May 2017

AN AMERICAN TAIL 21 May 2017

UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS 20 May 2017

XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE 20 May 2017

POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE: UNLEASHED (VOLUME 1) 20 May 2017

YU-GI-OH! THE MOVIE: DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS 20 May 2017

RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO 19 May 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner