26th Apr2017

‘Elsa Fraulein SS’ DVD Review

by Mondo Squallido

Stars: Malisa Longo, Oliver Mathot, Patrizia Gori, Pamela Stanford, Claudine Beccarie, Erik Muller, Rudy Lenoir, Jean Le Boulbar, René Gaillard, Thierry Dufour| Written by Victor Hardia, Marius Lesoeur, Patrice Rhomm | Directed by Patrice Rhomm

elsa-dvd

As much as I adore exploitation cinema, I have to say that Nazisploitation is one of the least enjoyable branches in this crusty, inbred cinematic family tree. There are only a handful of titles I enjoy from the genre and yes, I think Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS is probably one of the most overrated pieces of exploitation cinema ever. I just find the genre to be lazy, repetitive and wide of the mark. Will Patrice Rhomm’s French offering – Elsa Fraulein SS – be one of the few exceptions? Unfortunately not.

So, the story is simple. Things aren’t going too well for the Third Reich. They’re getting a battering from Allied Forces causing their soldiers to lose confidence and morale is at an all time low. This is of course causing more and more soldiers to lose faith in their generals and leader and even forcing some to plot against him. How can you resolve such a situation? With plenty of booze and women of course! The task is handed down to princess of the streets turned Honorary Stasi Elsa Ackermann (Malisa Longo). She devises a plan to arrange a lovely train ride through France. Her mission is to help relieve the stress of those who are feeling a little yellow as well as weed out the traitors who all seem to open up very easy when presented with a pair of boobs in their face and a couple of glasses of champagne. It should be plain sailing (or whatever the train equivalent would be.), but to throw a spanner in the works, French Resistance fighters are planning to sabotage her plans and help put an end to the tyranny of the Nazis. Still, they’re probably in for a smoother ride than anyone who has experienced the Deutscher Bahn recently…

Meh. That pretty much sums this film up to be honest. It’s just another middle of the road, paint by numbers affair. I don’t think anyone was expecting a masterpiece, but this is as vanilla as they come. There are a few moments here and there that make you raise a smile, but this isn’t even one of those “it’s so bad it’s good!” affairs. It’s just a boring film. Don’t get me wrong, Malisa Longo is a solid enough lead and very easy on the eye. She sort of reminds me of a poor Frenchman’s (that is a PC term, right?) version of Barbara Bouchet. For those looking for cheap thrills, there’s plenty of flesh on show. I think overall, this is a film that needs to be a bit more explicit and sadistic. The foundations are there, but one can’t help feeling that the boat could have been pushed out a but more. When you’re making a film like this, you need to be as outrageous as you can! It sounds weird to say, but even something like hardcore inserts could have helped this film. I know I’m sounding like a big pervert right now, but I love to see the borders of taste pushed as far as they can be. Take for instance Bruno Mattei’s SS Girls. It’s technically an awful film, but it’s so camp and ridiculous that it works beautifully!

One thing I will say is that Elsa Fraulein SS has an interesting concept being set primarily on a train. It just could have been utilised and expanded on much further. I sound like I’m repeating myself now don’t I? That is the film in a nutshell. It’s a bit too repetitive and you feel like there should have been more. You’re DEFINITELY going to feel that way when you reach the end of the film!

If you’re a fan of the genre, you’re probably going to appreciate this a lot more than I did. Is it the worst example of the genre I have seen? Not at all. Is it one I will rush out to see again? I don’t think so. The release itself is pretty bare bones with only a few trailers to speak of, but it is great to see even this film getting a somewhat proper and of course legitimate release in the UK.

Elsa Fraulein SS is out now on DVD from Screenbound/Maison Rouge.

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