Celebrating The Life Of Cult Movie Queen Dyanne Thorne! “Ilsa” Kicks Off The “2022 Sex Kitten Countdown!”

Celebrating The Life Of Dyanne Thorne!

I’m kicking off my “2022 Sex Kitten Countdown” with a look at the life of one of the most notorious Cult Movie Queens of all time: Dyanne Thorne!

Thorne had a surprisingly versatile career, especially since I knew her primarily as “Ilsa”, one of cult cinema’s most polarizing characters!

The “Nazisploitation” genre was very popular in the 70’s, and no one was more provocative than Dyanne, portraying the evil “Ilsa” in a series of films that were as popular as they were controversial.

Thorne died in 2019.

The movie website “Horrorcult films” shared this note at the time:

“After a 30+ year career in show business with her husband, musician and actor Howard Maurer, Dyanne and Howard went on to run a successful wedding company in Las Vegas.

Dyanne will be missed by film fans around the globe but she will be remembered by her wonderful work and the memories she created with her fans, colleagues, friends and family.”

The website shared this loving homage to her – you can see the entire story here:

Dyanne Thorne had a very unique resume. She was known for her stage work in Las Vegas, made personal appearances around the world – but was best known for her role in the controversial and notorious “Ilsa” film franchise of the 1970s!

Note: there will be a few provocative photos ahead as we look at her career!

Thorne was in a number of interesting films in her career – among her early roles was the thriller “Point of Terror”, but no matter what else she did – she will ALWAYS be known for portraying the sadistic dominatrix and soldier of fortune “Ilsa”!

Her 1974 debut in “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS”, made Thorne a huge grind house Star – for good reason!

These films were nicknamed “Nazisploitation”: they combined nudity, sexual situations, torture and just general sleaziness, all in the setting of “Nazi-influenced prisons!

Yes, that is Colleen Brennan standing naked in the case – she also had a provocative career, which you can see here:

The controversial subject matter in the “Ilsa” films delighted fans of exploitation cinema, which was taking advantage of the new worldwide freedom in films at the time.

After the worldwide success of the first film, Thorne reprised her “Ilsa” role in many more movies to come, while also posing for provocative pictures like this:

Some of these titles are as wild as the films: check out “Ilsa, Harem Keeper Of The Oil Sheiks” from 1976!

A later edition of the series was also called “Greta, the Mad Butcher”, and also “Wanda, the Wicked Warden!”

The film is considered to be the third entry in the “Ilsa” film series, but was not originally filmed with that intent!

The film’s plot follows Ilsa (also called Wanda or Greta based on the varying titles of the film), a warden at a psychiatric hospital for young women, and a girl who feigns illness so that she can investigate what happened to her sister who stayed at the hospital.

This film was directed by legendary Auteur Jess Franco, who made such classic sexploitation movies as “Lorna The Exorcist” and “Countess Perverse”.

“Ilsa The Mad Butcher” co-starred Lina Romay, the decade’s other “anything goes” Actress!

Director Jess Franco made dozens of films with his wife Lina, with this perhaps their greatest effort:

Click here to see my story about the terrific new blu-ray release of the steamy “Night Has A Thousand Desires”:

In researching this post, I found this ad online, promising a new entry in the “Ilsa” series – co-starring Bruce Lee!

Even though she never made that film with Lee, the poster lives on!

Bravo to Dyanne for her unique career. Thorne has maintained a great public profile over the years, making lots of public appearances at fan conventions around the world:

Dyanne Thorne had an incredible career, but she will live in cult cinema history as the wicked warden Ilsa…

In 2022, I will be highlighting some of the most well known Cult Movie Queens like Thorne, as well as lesser-known Actresses like Sandy Dempsey…

Dempsey appeared in a number of wild 70’s Grindhouse films like “A Scream In The Streets” – in fact, she was part of an all-star, all-nude case – click here to see why!

If you like these stories, you can go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!


Let me know if you have any Actresses or cult films you’d like to see profiled in 2022!


Categories: 70's Films, Books / Media, Camp Cult Classics, Classic Action Films, Euro-Sleaze, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Lina Romay, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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10 replies

  1. I remember the Ilsa films on VHS. My local video shop had a special display of them, as they were so popular.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first Ilsa movie I watched was Tigress. The movie was on one of those premium channels showing lower-budgeted movies that HBO/Showtime and the others dare not show. One of the most boring movies I have ever seen.
    In time I saw all four Ilsa movies. Someone sent me a Q & A with Dyane Thorne at a theater nicknamed “The Dive” She was rather articulate considering the films she made.
    I even have a fan-made t-shirt that wows Neo-Nazis off all ages.


  3. I love Ilsa movie and I’m moderately amused by Bruceploitation, so I’d like to get my hands on Devil’s Triangle!


  4. I had the pleasure of meeting Dyanne Thorne at a celebrity show a few years back. I was astounded. I always thought of Ilsa as statuesque and tall—probably because the character was so powerful and demanded attention. But when I met Ms Thorne, I was stunned at how tiny she is. Yes, I know people shrink when they get older, but she was very short. Aside from the Ilsa flicks, she was also the Blue Fairy in THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO and, she starred in SIN IN THE SUBURBS alongside Audrey Campbell. Yes! Ilsa and Olga together in the same movie! (Too bad they were not playing Ilsa and Olga though… That would have almost been as good as the proposed Bruce Lee mash up. Ha!)


  5. On Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS they used the concentration camp set for Hogan’s Heros since it was due to be destroyed as the show was ending. When I first saw it I thought it looked familiar.



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