Wanda, the Wicked Warden (1977)

ilsa_wicked_warden_poster_0Gone is David Edmonds, gone is the original storyline, and in remains the shameless exploitation. Also, there’s Dyanne Thorne. How could you possibly dislike her? You can’t. Ilsa, who yet again hasn’t aged a day, nor does she resemble corpse, is now a brunette warden for a cruel prison. Hey, I don’t ask questions, I just go where the boobies are. This prison is being touted as a clinic, yet it is being operated as a concentration camp treating “disorders” such as lesbianism, nymphomania or prostitution.

After an escapee arrives at his door by accident, a local doctor is intent on finding the secrets of the camp. A young girl named Abbie Phillips agrees to go undercover, and the plot ensues. Once again Ilsa (Greta) takes a further backseat into this series, as Dyanne Thorne and her sadistic warden becomes a secondary element in Abbie’s attempts to discover the inner workings of this camp and butt heads with the fellow in-mates. This is more of a women-in-prison movie than the previous films, as now we’re more thrown into the lesbianism, and eroticism.

However, Franco never shies away from letting Thorne have the spotlight every once in a while, and Thorne is once again a sight. She purposely teases women, and even tortures her slave with pins in a rather grueling sequence. Then there are, of course, shower fights, a transvestite inmate, whippings aplenty, and even a scene where young Abbie is forced to wipe the behind of an inmate with diarrhea. Yes, it’s all there. This is sadly the weakest of the entire series. Save for the performance by the gorgeous Lina Romay who plays “number one,” “The Wicked Warden” is short on anything interesting, and Franco really can’t follow up with the rest of the franchise.

Franco does however stick true to the recurring themes of the “Ilsa” films. She’s a victim of her massive ego. She becomes much too confident and loses all control of her inmates. Hint: her end is not pretty.  It may be the weakest of the franchise, but Franco does pull off some feats. Thorne is as good as ever, Lina Romay manages to hold her own against Thorne in terms of beauty and raw screen presence, and Franco gives us one of the most gruesome perverse endings I’ve ever seen in a film.