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17 July 2012

Karin Heske

Karin Heske (1940) was a German starlet of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The blonde appeared in leading and bit roles in two dozens of cheesy comedies, Euro-westerns and braindead soft-sex films.

Karin Heske
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/191. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Glamorous and Sexy Photographs
Karin Heske was born in 1940. Where she was born is unknown, nor if Karin Heske is her birth name. IMDb and other sites offer only the titles of her films and TV-productions: 24 between 1959 and 1976. Several glamorous and sexy photographs of her can be found on the net. Karin posed for Peter Basch for the November 1964 issue of Playboy magazine and probably in the same period, she posed for the lens of the legendary pin-up photographer Bernard of Hollywood (aka Bruno Bernard) of which the picture for this postcard is an example. Heske started her film career with a supporting part in the comedy Paradies der Matrosen/Paradise for Sailors (1959, Harald Reinl) with Margit Saad and Boy Gobert. In the following years she appeared as one of the seven gorgeous girls on vacation in Die Insel der Amazonen/Seven Daring Girls (1960, Otto Meyer) with Adrian Hoven, and she was billed second after Ingrid Andree in Nachts ging das Telefon/The Phone Rings Every Night (1962, Géza von Cziffra). During the 1960’s, she continued to play supporting and small parts in forgettable comedies like Mit besten Empfehlungen/With Best Regards (1963, Kurt Nachmann) with Georg Thomalla, Wenn man baden geht auf Teneriffa/When You Go Swimming at Tenerife (1964, Helmuth M. Backhaus) with Peter Kraus, and Unser Doktor ist der Beste/Our Doctor is the Best (1969, Harald Vock), a vehicle for Schlager star Roy Black.

Karin Heske
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag. Photo: Wiener Stadthalle / Bavariafilm. Publicity still for <i>Sing, aber spiel nicht mit mir/Sing, but don't play with me</i> (1963, Kurt Nachmann).

Wehrmachtsploitation
Karin Heske was quite busy during the soft-sex-comedy-wave that flooded the German cinema in the early 1970’s. Her first entry in this genre was a leading part in Wer weint denn schon im Freudenhaus?/He’s at it again (1970, Rudolf Lubowski) about a brothel. Other (stereo)typical examples were Krankenschwestern-Report/Nurses Report (1972, Walter Boos), Matratzen-Tango/Secrets of Naked Girls (1973, Eberhard Schröder), and Eine Armee Gretchen/Fraulein Without A Unifrom/She Devils of the SS (1973, Erwin C. Dietrich), with Birgit Bergen. About the latter, Bogeyman writes at IMDb: "This film, Eine Armee Gretchen (1973) by the European trash/sleaze/soft porn-producer-king Erwin C. Dietrich is among those very few grade Z films that really make feel angry for many reasons.(...) this goes way under all the categories in its level of braindead. It has no plot or any dramatic moments to make it at least marginally interesting for a second, the acting is not acting, only reading lines in front of the camera, the scenes are ridiculous (the final battle in green grass with tanks must be seen if you thought your home video was bad) and the editing done in 2 seconds with garden scissors." The alternate English-language title, She-Devils of the SS, hints at the notorious 'Naziploitation' subgenre, but according to Brian Lindsey at Eccentric Cinema it belongs to another subgenre: "She-Devils of the SS, makes absolutely no sense. None of the girls is a member of the Schutzstaffel, nor are they in any particular respect 'she-devils'. (...) it's uncharacteristically genteel. Oh, there's plenty of sex and nudity on display, rest assured on that point. But if you're expecting sadistic torture or grisly inhuman experiments along with the tits, bums and bush, I suggest looking to the ones made in Italy. Perhaps this movie belongs to a hitherto undefined sub-subgenre... Wehrmachtsploitation." In those years, Heske also appeared regularly on TV. She could be seen in such Krimis as Dem Täter auf der Spur/On the Track of the Suspect (1970) and Percy Stuart (1970) with Claus Wilcke, and she played Toulouse Lautrec’s model in the operetta Der Opernball/The Opera Ball (1971, Eugen York). She played the lead in the sex-western Ein langer Ritt nach Eden/A Long Ride to Eden (1974, Günter Hendel), co-starring with the later TV-star Ingrid Steeger. On IMDb, reviewer Stefan Kahrs calls the film “An incredibly bad piece of trash. (...) We are talking bottom drawer stuff here, of a hundred-drawer cabinet, rivaling anything Edward Wood Jr., A.C. Stephen and Demofilo Fidani ever made.” It was followed by another Euro-western, Dallas/Ten Killers Came from Afar (1975, Juan Bosch) with Anthony Steffen. Another IMDb-reviewer, Michael Wotruba, calls it “A Real Timewaster”. Karin Heske was last seen before the cameras in two episodes of the popular Krimi TV-series Derrick (1975-1976). We couldn’t find more information about her on the internet. Do you know more about Karin? Let us know.


Trailer for Eine Armee Gretchen/Fraulein Without A Unifrom/She Devils of the SS (1973). Source: CheezyFlicks (YouTube).

Sources: Brian Lindsey (Eccentric Cinema), Stefan Kahrs (IMDb), Michael Woruba (IMDb), Bogeyman (IMDb), and IMDb.

3 comments:

The Vicar of VHS said...

Wow!

Anonymous said...

Karin Heske was born
03. July 1940
(BRAVO Nr.23/1963)

Bob of Holland said...

Many thanks. We've added the information.