Helga: She Wolf of Stilberg Review

Malisa Longo and Patrizia Gori oppose each other in this derivative Nazisploitation flick from the Seventies

Eurocine was a French production company who specialized in Nazisploitation and other salacious exploitation genres back in the 1970s with fairly middling production values. Their Helga: She Wolf of Stilberg is a lesser known cult film known under various names as low-budget films back in the Seventies tended to change names depending on what territory or country it was seen. Helga: She Wolf of Stilberg is a clear rip-off of the popular Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. This is a film solely for those with a fondness for the women in prison sub-genre, one which mostly thrived in the Seventies.

The women-in-prison film is directed by Patrice Rhomm (under an assumed alias) and features a full cast of Eurocine regulars. Star Malisa Longo plays Helga, a sadomasochistic woman in charge of a fascist regime’s corrupt prison and filled with a bevy of young, female political prisoners. Fans of this genre may know Longo from her work with soft-core auteur Tinto Brass, the Italian exploitation filmmaker known for his sexy films. Longo is the big star here as a domineering commander, though the uninspired English dub does her no favors. The native French soundtrack features a more enthusiastic vocal performance for Helga, if you catch my drift. Sadly, the DVD edition by MVDvisual contains no English subtitles. So unless you are fluent in French, tough luck.

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Oddly set in South America despite the obvious pseudo-Nazisploitation themes, it’s not a particularly memorable sexploitation flick that’s going to win any converts to these genres. Prior fans will know what they are getting into and likely find more satisfaction. If you have never seen a Nazisploitation film or something featuring women in prison, this is not the first movie I would try. It’s a lesser known entry because the action is rather timid, even by the standards of its original era. There are copious amounts of nudity from the female cast, including Longo as she forces herself on the prisoners.

Prior fans will know what they are getting into and likely find more satisfaction.

This is a sleazy 1978 French production built around a sadistic, loathsome character in Helga. The sole woman advising the President of this unnamed South American country, she is “promoted” to warden of Stilberg to keep her from meddling in his leadership. A prison filled with female political prisoners that support a band of rebels against her fascist government, Helga shows a penchant for torturing any of them that don’t submit to her lesbian advances. She also allows the male soldiers under her command to rape the prisoners. Stripping and torturing the female prisoners at will, Helga soon comes across the daughter of the rebel leader, Elizabeth (Patrizia Gori). The nominal heroine of this movie, Elizabeth has to become Helga’s sexual plaything if she wants to survive and eventually escape.

For a movie that borders on soft-core pornography, it drags with stock footage of military soldiers and slow pacing. Running over 93 minutes, this is not a crisp slice of exploitation. It does have a potpourri of raw prison imagery and sexual violence, though its pseudo-nazisploitation themes aren’t quite the taboo today it was in Europe back in 1978. Helga: She Wolf of Stilberg is strictly for genre fans that have already seen most of what the genre has to offer and already enjoy this kind of fare.

  • Helga: She Wolf of Stilberg

Summary

This Eurocine production is a clear rip-off of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. It’s strictly for fans of women in prison films.

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Notes on the DVD: MVDvisual distributes the 1978 movie on DVD in America for the first time, presented uncut and in cooperation with Eurocine. A handful of cut scenes run after the main feature ends. No English subtitles are included, making the presence of the superior French soundtrack an odd inclusion. Video quality is fairly high for this kind of dated exploitation material, coming from a clean film print in solid shape.