The 'Hogan's Heroes' set was blown up to make an exploitation film
'Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS' led to the demise of Stalag 13.
A triangular wedge of land in Culver City, California, the Forty Acres backlot was a fantasy factory where past, present and future were built. A stones throw from the massive studio buildings of Desilu, the filming lot was home to many seminal series of the Sixties. The Main Street of Mayberry ran through the heart of the land, where Sheriff Andy Taylor and, on a few occasions, Kirk and Spock patroled. At its widest spot, on the west end, the barracks of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. were tucked away along the concrete waterway of Ballona Creek. In the opposite corner sat the prison camp of Stalag 13, the set of Hogan's Heroes.
In the 1960s, the Forty Acres lot belonged to Desilu Productions. Desilu had purchased the property in 1957, after it had fallen into disuse after years of oversight by RKO Studios and Howard Hughes. However, a busy decade later, Lucille Ball sold her company to Paramount.
Meanwhile, Hogan's Heroes was filming away on its Stalag 13 set. When the show ended after six seasons in 1971, there was little need for a permanent Nazi prison camp set. However, dismantling, demolishing and hauling away a large outdoor television set costs money.
Fortunately for those in charge, a seedy World War II sexploitation film was looking to blow up a prison camp. The trashy 1974 flick Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS was filled with topless women and German accents. In the final scene, the prison camp setting is set on fire. The poster for the B-movie proclaimed, "WARNING: SOME MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC MAY FIND CERTAIN SCENES IN THIS FILM OFFENSIVE AND SHOCKING."
The rather terrible grindhouse movie has since garnered a minor cult following. At the very least, it helped Hogan's Heroes clean up. These days, you can find a gym, furniture store and offices for Beats by Dre headphones on the land.
Watch Hogan's Heroes on MeTV!
Weeknights at 10 PM & 10:30 PM*available in most MeTV markets
It has Ben a long time since I saw that show and me and my family would enjoy it again.