Friday, 3 March 2017

Helga, She-Wolf of Stilberg (1978)

“Nothing Like The Box Art”

In a change to our regular programming, and because Screenbound’s forthcoming UK DVD release of HELGA SHE-WOLF OF STILBERG really is a piece of utter tat from French trash specialists Eurocine, I thought the best way to review it would be to summarise the salient points and then let the reader decide for themselves whether or not HELGA is a movie to be avoided like the plague or given a treasured place on the shelf next to PLAN 9 NINE FROM OUTER SPACE. Ready? Then here we go! 

Ten Reasons to Watch / Not to Watch HELGA SHE-WOLF OF STILBERG

1 The opening title music which, rather than something sombre or even sensual, sounds more like the first track from ’20 Golden Greats’ by Go Go Sanchez and his Easy Listening Troupe. Note also how the track they’ve selected runs out well before the credits are over, and that it has to be started again in a way that can be described as ‘Not Seamless At All’.

Can you guess which one is Helga?
2 The opening scene which depicts. gathered around a board room table, the various potentates and villains of our story, including Helga herself. Not part of our story is the member of the crew who wanders into shot reflected in the huge mirror behind them, then realises he’s in shot, and runs away.

3 The only posh bedroom where they were presumably allowed to shoot the sex scenes in the (lovely) schloss location that doubles for Helga’s women’s prison. Does it have a big mirror in the corner? And do we see someone reflected in it who has nothing to do with the scene at all? Eroticism was never so poorly rendered.

4 That same bedroom in which the people who actually are having the softcore sex have to negotiate the (obvious) coils of lighting cable running across the floor.

They tripped over the lighting cables, honest
5 The sound! Namely the foley artists, who are either five years old or just decided to have as much of a laugh with this as possible. Has someone let a horse in the castle? No it’s just Helga coming downstairs in heels. Never have coconuts been more gainfully employed in a women’s prison movie.

6 More sound! See vehicles standing still but somehow making accelerating, braking and gear-changing noises! 

7 Yet more sound because this deserves its own bullet point! Yes it’s the farm where the girls get sent on work detail, a farm that seems to have every invisible animal under the sun. Why is that mooing so loud and so frequent when there are no cows around? Admittedly we see a couple of chickens and my god we hear them too. Never has a rape scene had so much clucking overdubbed onto it.

You can hear chickens in this scene
8 Inept whipping! This one's a proper point of safety, kids. The naked whipping scene looks unsafe and the girl looks as if she’s getting thrashed in all the wrong places. This is not how you do a whipping scene, or even a whipping. I expect.

You can still hear chickens in this scene
9 Shoes! Every prisoner is required to wear different styles, ranging from heels to Go Go boots. If it was my film I would have tortured the clog wearers first. Of course.

10 The smallest tank in the world. It is crap. 

Perhaps the only way to ensure someone watches this till the end
         I still haven’t mentioned the Ed Wood prison guards, who have no idea what to do with their rifles so they use them to scratch their chins, as walking sticks, etc, nor the terrible stock footage of explosions that isn’t just from another film but from another era of film-making.
HELGA SHE WOLF OF STILBERG is terrible. I laughed a lot. You might too, or you might just end up throwing the disc across the room. Either way, the informed decision is now yours.
Extras: clothed versions of the nude scenes. And didn’t we all want those to watch when this was over.

Screenbound are releasing the hilarious load of old rubbish that is HELGA, SHE-WOLF OF STILBERG as part of their Maison Rouge collection on Monday 13th March 2017