Directed by: Pierre Chevalier (as Peter Knight), Jesus Franco (as A.M. Frank)
Actors: Brigitte Parmentier, Jean-Marie Lemaire, Henri Lambert, Monica Swinn, Michel Charrel
Also known as: Convoi de filles, SS Nazi Convoy, East of Berlin, À l’Est de Berlin
Description: German officer Erich von Strässer fought somewhere in Africa, was wounded and returned to Berlin with the Iron Cross and the glory of the hero. After a little vacation, he had to go to the Russian front. Suddenly, a brothel in Berlin, he met Renata, girl he met before the start of his military career. Eric found out that her family hid in her house a Jew, for which his father went to prison, and Renata at the insistence of the Gestapo officer has signed a contract to enter into a kind of “woman’s auxiliary unit” has turned into a brothel …
After being treated to some spectacular WWII footage of desert warfare (that would later crop up in 1982’s ‘Oasis of the Zombies‘), the first thing that strikes me is the presence of terrific Jean-Marie Lemaire (as Erich von Strässer). In 1979, the strikingly handsome Lemaire would play a lead in Jean Rollin‘s wondrous ‘Fascination‘. As fallen heroine Renata is the extraordinarily pretty, blue-eyed Brigitte Parmentier, while talented regulars Monica Swinn (in a fairly unconvincing wig – no brunette girls allowed in this depiction of Nazi Germany) and the wonderful Pamela Stanford play Greta and Helga respectively. Parmentier’s acting is a fairly distant second to her looks. It would be unkind of me to mention how she appears to be looking around at cue-cards during her speeches.
This is a little-known Jesus Franco film. He is billed as A.M. Frank (one of a number of aliases he adopted throughout his lengthy career), and this is a typically cheap Eurocine production. (although many of the locations are impressive and there is good attention to period detail). It is essentially a doomed love story between Strässer and Renata, but it is typically difficult to define.