Monday, April 20, 2009

Movie Review: Schizo - The Black Part


Producer:
Mood Pictures (released in 2007)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Office mouse by day, blood-thirsty dominatrix by night

Victim Appeal:
Lara C. Nord is the main victim in the first part of the "Schizo" saga (there is also a "White Part"). She made several films with Mood Pictures and this is her last, as well as the hardest in terms of CP action. I always liked Lara - she was a foxy brunette with a full figure and, judging by the behind-the-scenes footage of her, also one of the more interesting personalities among Mood models. This video includes a short interview with her which fans should enjoy.

The other two spankees are new, Enicoe (Eniko?) Shoemaker and Erica Jo. One is brunette and the other dark-haired, they are both fairly cute in their way and also seem like nice girls in the interview. But my focus was more on Miss Nord.

Gratuitous Sadism:
Lady Jessica Lee plays Emily / Amanda, a woman with a split personality. Emily is a meek, mousy secretary at an unemployment office. She wears her hair neatly and has huge, thick glasses, she is frequently bullied by her bosses, still hasn't found a man who wants to marry her (much to the disappointment of her mother) and is too embarrassed to go to class reunions. After work, she transforms into Amanda, a sexy, self-assured vixen who dresses in black leather and lets her hair fall free as a wild mane of curls. It turns out that Amanda does, in fact, have a husband, and that the two of them hold kidnapped girls in their basement, locked in cages like animals, for torture and sexual abuse (I thought I had a pretty wicked double life, but this is something else again...).

One of the captives is Lara Nord. She tells the husband, who is watching them in Amanda's absence, that she is diabetic and needs her daily insulin shot. Eventually, he allows the girl to go upstairs and get a syringe from her handbag. She thanks him and subsequently tries to seduce him: "Sir, I owe you a debt of gratitude, I'm all yours and I would do anything for you!" Is she planning an escape or just hoping to gain favours? In any case, the man falls for it. While Lara gives him a (simulated) blowjob, Amanda comes home and surprises the two of them. Furious, she barks at her husband: "Take this slut to the others! Down there we will teach her what she hasn't known."

As you can imagine, the "teaching" involves a long, severe caning. Lara has to kneel on a platform, with her lower arms on the top of the cage where the other girls are held. The chastisement is excessive even by Mood standards - as Pedro (the director) remarks in the behind-the-scenes segment: "I think we haven't seen such a brutal bottom before." Lady Jessica aka Amanda fires off almost a hundred ultra-vicious strokes which, simply put, turn Lara's backside into one big bloody mess. After number 97, even the fellow captives plead for mercy. "Please stop it!" begs one, while another adds: "It can't be endured!"

Amanda punishes them for their insolence by splitting the rest of the punishment between the two other girls instead, who now get caned themselves. Tied up side by side where Lara was kneeling before, they receive 50 strokes each. Amanda goes from one spankee to the other, giving them five swishes at a time, until the numbers are complete. The thrashing isn't as insane as the first one, but it has the usual Mood-style severity, producing dark welts on both victims and drawing some blood from the girl on the right (Erica).

After the beatings are over, Amanda goes upstairs and welcomes a new, unsuspecting girl she ordered from an escort service. Actually, we've seen the young lady before - she was at the unemployment office in the morning, where "Emily" sent her to the escort agency in the first place! It's plain to see that everything is falling into place for the next torture session, and the video ends with a few brief glimpses of "Schizo - The White Part"...

Best Reactions:
The caning inflicted on Lara C. Nord here is undoubtedly one of the most extreme ever recorded in a kinky movie. It should come as no surprise that her reactions are vivid and vocal, even though they aren't quite as frantic as one might think - Lara is a brave girl and manages a remarkable degree of self-control under the circumstances. She screams and howls, she looks increasingly desperate as the ordeal carries on, and from time to time, she squats down on the platform to get a quick break from the unrelenting strokes. But she never breaks down completely, as some other spankees have done in less severe videos.

However, while Lara's scene is impressive, I wouldn't call it the best in terms of reactions - which goes to show that, even for an admitted sadist, "hard" doesn't automatically equal "good" and sheer physical force doesn't directly translate into eroticism. I actually find the second CP segment more enjoyable. It's considerably less severe in absolute terms and the victims' reactions aren't as loud (even though they, too, scream and cry by the end). But it is a lot of sadistic fun to watch them counting aloud in a forcibly calm manner, struggling for composure, then losing it more and more until, finally, tears flow and teeth clench.

Best Line:
One of Emily's bosses at the unemployment office sees her in the parking lot while she is arriving late for work. When she apologises, he cracks a joke: "Sure, you're sorry! Come into my office at once and do a blowjob." While the line is coarse, Emily's reaction to it - a shocked little "Oh!", followed by her running away - is hilarious.

Nice Psychological Touch:
I liked the general idea behind "Schizo". While the "Secretary Jekyll and Mistress Hyde" plot isn't entirely original, I haven't seen it in a CP film before and it is executed well here. I'm not the biggest fan of Lady Jessica as an actress or as a domme, but her portrayal of wallflower "Emily", with her dorky glasses and comical, exaggerated short-sightedness, is surprisingly funny. Who knows, I may still grow to like her with a few more performances like this.

I thought that "Emily" sending the girls to an escort agency so that "Amanda" can kidnap and torture them was a particularly nice touch. At the same time, Mood emphasise that the two personalities have no direct knowledge of each other. They live in different houses and drive different cars, with a stark contrast between Emily's mundane little vehicle and Amanda's more glamorous one. Before her transformation, Emily wonders: "Why does this car always park in front of my house? I've never seen who it belongs to..." Later, when she comes out of the house as Amanda, she asks herself the same question - about the other car!

Finally, I loved how the husband reads the captive girls an excerpt from "The Little Prince" at one point: "That's right, said the fox. You're nobody else to me at present but the same little boy as the other hundred or hundred thousand. And to you, I am the same fox as the other hundred or hundred thousand. But if you tame me, you will be the only one for me in this world and I will be the only one for you..." When Lara interrupts him, begging for her insulin shot, he declares: "I am reading to you, bitch, so that you understand what is happening to you!" It's a moment of pure brilliance, lost in a vile, bloody torture flick. So typical of Mood Pictures, and one of the reasons why I like their work.

How Good Is It Really?
A good video from the Hungarians and interesting in several respects. Many viewers will find that Lara's extremely gory thrashing goes beyond their limits (it challenges mine, actually...). But if you can't stand the sight of blood, you probably shouldn't be watching Mood videos in the first place. Here, there is a lot of it, glistering and trickling down... If nothing else, it's a superlative, and you will be glad to know that even in this case, no permanent physical or mental damage was caused. As a matter of fact, Lara is cheerful and relaxed in her interview right after the shoot while the other two models, the newcomers, look more "battered" than she does.

What You Learned:
As I wrote under "Best Reactions": even for a sadist, "hard" does not equal "good". Of course, I knew this already - I've always argued strenuously that "severity" is something quite different from "physical force", and that many things come into play to make a video sadistically enjoyable. Furthermore, not every sadist will like every severe video! The psychology behind all this is a lot more complicated than the "Brutal + Savage = Cool" equation which is sometimes used to explain severe CP videos, or the supposed state of mind of their audience.

While none of this is news to me, "Schizo - The Black Part" is a perfect illustration. It contains the single hardest caning (of a female victim) I've ever seen, and trust me, I've seen a few. But I wouldn't rate it among my personal Top Ten favourites, probably not even the Top Twenty-Five. Like the movie as a whole, I put the scene in the "good, but not great" category instead.

16 comments:

frants said...

- But I rate it among the best ones for me, maybe THE best!
- Are you saying that Lara (now in the UK? working where?) is not coming back to Mood Piectures? Was this caning too much even for her? Or she enjoys life in the UK more than in Budapest?
Or has she found a love in UK?
In any case, I wish all the best for her, my little heroine.

Ludwig said...

frants: "But I rate it among the best ones for me, maybe THE best!"

Well, it's all a matter of personal taste, isn't it? Yours is as valid as mine. And I know that many viewers love Lara's scene from "Schizo". Personally, though, I rate it as "good, but not great", just like I wrote, and I wouldn't inlcude it among my favourites.

For one thing, the scene is simply too long for my taste. I find that 100 stroke canings get a bit boring and repetitive no matter how good they are. Adding more and more strokes in a very severe caning is a game with diminishing returns - after a certain time, you only prolong the suffering without really "adding" anything to it in terms of quality. On the contrary, the scene tends to lose cohesion.

I'm not squicked by 100 stroke canings as such, I don't find them abhorrent - I just find them overlong and unncessary. As a rule, they don't offer anything a shorter scene couldn't, and you simply do a lot of extra damage for little gain. I think 30, 40 or 50 strokes is a better number, giving a scene more cohesion - and certainly still high enough to cause all the pain and marks one could ever want! Given the right technique, you can give someone the beating of their lives with "only" 30 swishes.

As well as that, there are other things in Lara's scene here that are less than perfect for me. In terms of reactions, for example, I liked her debut in "Love Story" a lot better. Also in terms of general feel. But like I said, all of this is obviously a matter of strictly personal taste.

"Are you saying that Lara (now in the UK? working where?) is not coming back to Mood Pictures? Was this caning too much even for her? Or she enjoys life in the UK more than in Budapest?"

I just meant to say that this was her last movie to date. I don't know if she will be back or not. Since she is living in the UK now, it could be a while, though.

I don't think the "Schizo" caning had anything to do with it. Yes, it was extremely severe, but as an experienced model who had worked with Mood several times before, she knew what she was signing up for with 100 strokes (97, actually). She looks perfectly fine in the interview afterwards, cheerful, smiling and joking that she'll do "150 next time".

No, I assume her break from shooting is simply because she moved to the UK, for whatever reason (job, studying, relationship...). And who knows, maybe she'll be back in Hungary to do another movie one day. Given that she always seemed much kinkier than the average Mood model, I wouldn't rule it out.

(Although I'd recommend against actually doing 150 strokes...)

Anonymous said...

aha, finally I get to agree with you on something. I really felt that Lara's performance in 'the love story' was actually my best scene because the severity was just right. I feel this was principally because of the fact that the lovely POKEMON was doing her thing and she gave it an erotic touch.

I felt that she was not as abrasive as Jessica and all the strokes landed what we used to call 'official govt property' in our primary schools. As a result, I find myself watching this movie over and over again...and I think one time I asked you what happened to her as she is no longer doing spanking films.

IMHO I'd say the love story is my best CP movie. I love spanking but bloody butts such as the ones in the Schizo black part really give me the creeps. I guess I'm not a true spanking fan/addict. But yes I'd like to know yo best 10 list if you don't mind sharing.

I know mood claim to be the hardest spankers but surelyas you wrote, 30 good swishes would . if done properly, achieved the desired effect much better than the 100. How can mood not know this???

Val said...

Greetings, Ludwig. Thank you for the review. I agree with your assessment of "hardness" in this movie. I think this is one of the better Mood movies, perhaps because we also watch Lady Jessica's alter persona being dominated a bit?
About Lady Jessica: I like her presence, and I think that she adds to the mood. To each his own, of course, but how do you characterize that look in her eyes when she approaches, or toys with her next subject? It is the same in Castings, in Mood, and a couple of other snippets where we have seen her. She appears to me as if she really enjoys herself, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. She enjoys herself knowing that you will hurt big time, and there is nothing wrong with that either. So maybe this is why she doesn't seem to take that "accuracy" aspect too seriously, don't you think? And because this is about phantasy as well as reality, and because I occasionally switch, I am thinking: given the occasion, would I want her behind me with a cane, or anything else for that matter? I think that my answer would depend on the mood at the time.
Tangentially related, why do some people like Mood more than others?Not that the following would really be the reason, but funny how things work: around seven to nine years old I had a Hungarian-speaking nanny, more like a babysitter. She kept making me learn a few words, and counting. Did a lot of practice at that.

frants said...

Hungarian: difficult language, but I too am starting to pick up the counting, that our fav films insist so much on. And the 'fai' of course. The only other thing I can say properly is Vörösmarty ter, though I never read any by that writer who lends name to the charming square in the centre of Budapest. It's many years now since I was there, but I liked the city a lot.
Is it crowded with tourists now?

frants said...

50 or 100?
I a so depraved that I feel the drama rises when they go beyond the 50. As the suffering increases. In The Maid they all got 100, and some of the girls in other films too. But Mood was not the first producer who presented 100 very hard strokes. Nicky Montford won her fame whe she took the 111 for Firmhand. Actually I never saw any blog or forum protests over that, not even in BSF, but maybe that is because she is English and not from 'a poor East European country'. And anyone who thinks she may be nuts and in need of a psychologist can call her and have a 1-2-1 chat...

Ludwig said...

Val: I didn't see your comment until today, but it touches on a very important subject. So even though it's been over two months, I'm going to make a reply.

"About Lady Jessica: I like her presence, and I think that she adds to the mood. [...] She appears to me as if she really enjoys herself, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. She enjoys herself knowing that you will hurt big time, and there is nothing wrong with that either. So maybe this is why she doesn't seem to take that 'accuracy' aspect too seriously, don't you think?"

I'm sorry, but what you are writing there is utter nonsense. When someone is a kinky sadist and enjoys inflicting a severe beating, it doesn't mean that they would, or should, ignore safety. Safety is a crucial part of BDSM play and has to be taken seriously at all times, *especially* when you are into hard beatings.

As a spanking top, I'm probably as sadistic as they come. I've dished out canings that drew blood and left the girl's bottom marked for a month or more, like in my own shoot with Mood Pictures. I've dished out some pretty severe ones in private play, too. And I've always thoroughly enjoyed myself. As you say, there is nothing wrong with that. Of course there isn't.

But, apart from the fact that this level of severity was, obviously, always agreed upon and consensual, I've also always made sure that it is safe, that I wouldn't inflict any dangerous injuries or leave any permanent damage. Even and especially as a vicious kinky sadist, I care deeply for the well-being of my "victims", and I take my responsibility as a top very seriously. Sadism, to me, is an expression of affection. It is not unfeeling brutality, and it doesn't mean that you don't care about the person you play with.

The reason why Jessica doesn't take accuracy seriously or why she doesn't practice her caning technique is not that she is a sadist. The reason for her neglect is that she is *not* really kinky, actually. So she isn't all that involved in it, she doesn't know all that much about it, and she basically doesn't give a toss.

Jessica obviosly gets quite a lot of sadistic enjoyment out of beating the girls. That much is clear when one watches the videos. I have no doubt that she enjoys the money that comes with it, too. But she isn't kinky in her private life, as far as I know, she is not a member of "the scene", and she has never really involved herself in the subject, in the mindset as such. Neither has she ever been caned like that - she has never been to the other side, so she has no idea how it feels or what it is like from the girls' perspective.

Again, that is a major difference between Jessica and me - I've switched, and I've taken canings every bit as hard as the ones I dish out. Broken skin, marks that lasted for months, the whole deal. So I have that experience and that perspective, and I know what it is like.

Ludwig said...

(continued)

I'm not saying that every top has to switch, or that you can't possibly be a good top without it. If you have no desire and no curiosity about it whatsoever, then you probably shouldn't do it. But it is a valuable experience, and I do strongly recommend it if you have any interest at all. Especially when you are the kind of top who is into hard, vicious, ultra-severe canings and whippings - taking one of those yourself will provide you with a lot of insight. For one thing, it will teach you the importance of safety and accuracy if you didn't already know it!

I believe that Jessica, in particular, could benefit from that insight. But, like the other Mood dommes, she is not too keen on ever trying the other side! Which is understandable, I guess, when you aren't into CP as a lifestyle, anyway. The bottom line is: she doesn't care. And frankly, I get the impression that, even from a purely "professional" point of view, she doesn't reallly care about the girls, either.

Jessica undoubtedly has a good, interesting presence in many of her films. I noted how I liked her acting in "Schizo - The Black Part", and elsewhere. She is also a pleasant person to meet and work with - we were in the "Inmates" video together, we chatted a bit off-camera, she was nice and polite, I have no complaints there. But as a top, when it comes to safety and accuracy, she is really pushing the limits. In that department, my admiration for her is fairly restrained, to be honest...

Anonymous said...

Does somebody know how long took Lara to recover from the 97 cane strokes to a look of "never touched by the cane"? I think they actually use some cream or medicine to help erase those welts from their skin and improve cicatrization when bleeding occurs.

Ludwig said...

@ Anonymous: Since this was Lara's last movie for Mood, and she did not appear in another one five or six months later with a "virginal" bottom, there is no way of knowing for sure how long the marks lasted.

Healing time depends on many factors, in addition to the basic severity of the thrashing. The sex, age, general health level and skin type of the spankee all play a role, as well as the amount of medical aftercare. As a result, the time can vary quite a lot from person to person. For instance, when I get caned during one of my rare switches to the bottom side, I mark very easily, but I also heal quickly. With my partner Kaelah, it tends to be the other way around - she is more difficult to mark, but whatever marks she gets take longer to disappear completely.

As spanking film producers go, Mood provided excellent medical aftercare for their models - they actually had a nurse attending the shoots for this. This, as well as Lara being young, probably in her twenties, should have shortened the healing time somewhat. Still, with a caning this long and vicious, I would estimate that it took at least five or six months until the last traces had disappeared. Maybe up to a year. That is my best guess.

Lady J said...

*winces, having run into that picture quite without intent*

Uhhhhm. Far be it from me to judge such things - movie or otherwise - but good grief! The picture itself turned my stomach. (I have no objection to a few bruises - at least not on me - but dripping blood is definitely not my kink.) It makes sense in the movie - I suppose, but a few questions...

A) Even in such a setting, would the "victims" not feel Jessica's - shall we say - ambivalence to their safety? I would strongly - *strngly* suspect that there is a difference. A caning handed out by someone who cares about you that leaves marks that are that, hmm, excessive (imnsho)and draws blood almost *has* to feel different than a caning that does the same thing from someone who - as you said ' - just doesn't give a toss.

Just curious. You said you've been there, done that, on either side, Ludwig, and my play has been extremely mild by comparison. Although I hope to expand my kink horizons - I don't ever expect to expand it quite *that* far. Hence I must pick your brain for an answer.

(P.S. Brutality and severity have bloody little (no pun intended - honest!) to do with each other. You're exactly right. Drawing on my own (limited) experience - I've been thrashed with a belt for - oh - a good 75 swats (prolly more? we don't count - just go til the ends are achieved) to the point of bruises. But the only spanking that ever drew me to tears had far less physical impact/damage. Oh - it hurt like hell - but my fiance got into my mind (the bugger) - and got to me that way far, far, worse than the hairbrush he was wielding at the time.)

Lady J said...

(Okay - there was supposed to be a B) to that last post too - but I forgot what it was....LOL!)

Ludwig said...

@ Lady J: How would the models have felt about Jessica's lack of accuracy? Well, you have to remember that the majority of Mood models were not spankos, but "vanillas" who did the movies strictly for the money. They had no interest in spanking or BDSM and very little knowledge about it. In all probability, they had never seen a spanking video before starring in one themselves.

So, I think it is quite possible that most of them thought that this is just how things are supposed to be - that it is normal and okay if the caner misses the odd stroke. In fact, this is the attitude that Pedro (one of the producers) himself had once expressed to me, that in a caning this long and severe, it's just bound to happen that one or two strokes go off-target. No big deal.

He has a point insofar as that even a very experienced and safety-conscious caner can miss the odd stroke during an extremely severe thrashing. I put a few strokes too high during my shoot with Lupus Pictures, so I can't claim to always be perfect, either. However, the difference between Jessica and me is that I try my utmost not to miss strokes, that I do long practice sessions on a pillow or some other dummy before a hard scene, and that I am very conscious and self-critical about the issue of accuracy. My criticism of Jessica is not merely that she missed strokes, which can happen to anyone, but that she did it frequently and that she really didn't seem to care.

Which is a pity, because many of the other Mood dommes, like Lady Jenny or Mistress Larissa, had excellent accuracy. But Jessica did more films than anyone else, so Mood will forever be associated with sloppy thrashings in the minds of many people.

I have taken canings of 100 strokes or more, drawing blood and leaving marks that took up to a year to disappear completely. But I always felt safe because I am very picky about the tops who get to cane me, and one important factor is of course safety and accuracy. I would not let Jessica anywhere near me with a cane.

Lady J said...

Ludwig,

I wouldn't let her near me with the little wooden paddle from those "paddle ball" sets they sell to unwitting children (and the quite "witting" rest of us), quite frankly!

I did not realize that the people in those movies aren't spankos. I suppose there's some deep psychological reasoning for it (or that you'll at least be able to convince us that there is - heh.) But it still seems like - even if you're *not* a spanko - that the well-being of another human being would be at least of vague concern to you. I believe (hope?) that even were I *not* a spanko, I would still know that a cane is - ya know - supposed to be applied to the ass, not to wherever it happens to land - and take some care to ensure that I got it there.

Of course, it also seems strange to me that a company that is supposed to cater to spankos would use people who - and I hate to sound like a broken record - don't give a toss about what they're doing. If I'm making a movie about basketball, I'ma hire someone who *knows* basketball. If I make a movie concerning thievery, I'm going to find a thief (or at least an ex-thief). If I'ma make a movie for/about spankos, I'ma use people *all the way around* that are spankos - or are interested enough to do some research and be able to fake it convincingly.

What's the point of Lara making a sacrifice like that - at the hands of someone who sees her as a means to an end and nothing more?

Okay - I'm done. At least for now - lol.

Lady J said...

(What should have been at the end of that last comment. I realize looking over it that it wasn't 'finished'.

What's the point of *having* Lara make a sacrifice like that at the hands of someone who looks at her solely as a means to an end. (Namely, money.)

As in: Wouldn't it make a considerably better movie if they had used someone who took your view - who knew what they were doing, and had enough respect for themselves and Lara (or any other, ahem, victim to do it *right*? I definitely don't have the stomach to watch it - that picture was bad enough, thank you - but it still seems like that would be better - more interesting - etc.

Ludwig said...

@ Lady J: The debate about "vanilla" performers in spanking videos is an old one.

The fact of the matter is that many spankees in these videos, just like many models in any other kind of porn, are in them purely for the money. This applies to a fair number of the female spankers, the dommes, as well. It is pretty much an industry standard, not just in the Eastern European videos, but also in Germany, the UK, the US and so forth.

In moral terms, it does not really make a difference. As long as performers give their free and informed consent, it does not matter whether their motivation is money or genuine kinky enthusiasm. So, whether you like the fact that many performers in spanking videos are vanillas comes down to a matter of aesthetics.

I guess that, for some people, it takes some of the romanticism out of spanking videos to know that many of the models are only doing them for the money. But it is not something that concerns me, to be honest. What I want first and foremost is to see many good and interesting videos made. I believe that a video can also be good and interesting with vanilla performers in it, and I understand very well that producers get a much bigger pool of performers to work with if they use not just kinkey enthusiasts, but "hired hands" as well. So, for me, the acknowledgement of the realities of filmmaking outweighs any purist notions of wanting to see only True Anointed Kinksters in videos.

Would Jessica be a better, more accurate caner if she was kinky? Possibly, but not necessarily. I think that whether someone is kinky or not and whether someone is responsible or not are two different questions. I know some kinky people who are very enthuasiastic and genuine, but irresponsible. I have also heard of pro dommes who are mercenaries and don't really get anything out of BDSM, but who are said to be very professional and safe and accurate nonetheless.