Friday, March 28, 2008

Movie Review: The Spanking Machine

Pain4Fem (released in 2008)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Surrender to the cane-wielding robot overlords!

Victim Appeal:
Two Eastern European women by the names of Nicol and Shannon get an automated thrashing in this interesting and rather unusual flick. One is a blonde, the other a brunette. They both have nice bodies and could be described as the attractive girl-next-door type. Neither of them says a single word during the movie or does any discernible acting, so there isn't really anything else to report. Whatever appeal they have is strictly superficial, but they are cute girls, so I can't complain. I suppose no acting is better than atrocious acting.

There isn't much of a story, either: it all takes place in the same room, where the girls are caned by the spanking machine while a supervisor and his assistant watch. The Pain4Fem website mentions that they receive the chastisement for "serious misdemeanors", but you wouldn't know it from watching the film - the first victim is lead in, tied to a padded scaffold and punished without further ado, followed by the second one. The girls wear handcuffs as they enter, which is the only hint that this is supposed to be some judicial scenario rather than a technical experiment or a test run for the device (maybe it is all of the above?). Given the novelty value of the spanking machine itself, the lack of story isn't really a drawback, but you shouldn't expect an intricate plot.

Gratuitous Sadism:
As Pain4Fem films go, this one is pretty severe, which makes it moderate bordering on hard in absolute terms. Each girl receives 40 cane strokes. After five relatively light ones, the machine is set to "intensity level 2" and rattles off the remaining number in a pretty vicious manner. From time to time, the supervisor interrupts the proceedings to fiddle with the device and adjust its position. On the whole, though, these are two pretty steady and quiet CP scenes without a lot of fuss. Both victims are nicely marked by the end of the ordeal, their bottoms fully covered in welts.

Best Reactions:
Both girls give vocal reactions without getting excessively loud. A lot of weak squirming, as much as the restraints allow, accompanied by "Ouch!" and "Ah!" and other short yelps of pain. Shannon is stoic and collected while Nicol seems a little more agitated, her eyes filling with tears while she gives some mildly desperate looks to the camera. Nicol also grimaces a lot, making her scene the more satisfying of the two.

Best Line:
There aren't any truly memorable lines as the dialogue is very technical and matter-of-fact. One that stuck with me nonetheless: "Intensity level 1, 40 strokes, time interval 5, on automatic." The future of judicial corporal punishment? Time will tell.

Nice Psychological Touch:
I was surprised by how well the spanking machine works - not just literally, but on a psychological level as well. To be honest, I hadn't really expected to like the film. Sure, it's an entertaining gimmick, but without a flesh-and-blood human wielding the cane, there didn't seem to be a lot of eroticism in the idea. However, things aren't quite that simple. While the action isn't exactly steaming hot, it is a lot more intriguing than I thought.

There is interaction between the supervisor (the "top") and the victims here, it's just more indirect and more abstract than in the usual CP scene. The machine functions as in intermediary - it is not a device holding the implement, it is the implement. The supervisor controls the machine, feeds it with the right commands, sets it up to go, then watches with polite curiosity while the chastisement he ordered is carried out. Actually, the female assistant does most of the "programming", typing away at her laptop which is connected to the mechanical device - adding yet another link to the chain.

The results are quite interesting to watch. They have a detached, impersonal, strange charm. Not for everyone's taste - but if you're into "lab rat" scenarios, you will like the kind of psychology that is at work here.

How Good Is It Really?
First off, the movie deserves praise for daring to be different. Even if you are skeptical about the "mechanistic" vibe, you'll probably enjoy the sheer inventiveness of it all. Spanking machines have been tried before, but Pain4Fem advertise theirs as the first "truly serious" one, and it is hard to argue with that. Halfhearted experiments are a thing of the past, this is a fully operational prototype. It's obvious that a lot of work and love of detail went into the device - it has a "safety pin", a Pain4Fem logo, electrically adjustable height and two different severity levels. Now all we need is a speech output module, spouting random lines like "This is for your own good, young lady!", and we can launch a serious marketing campaign.

The film is very heavy on procedure. Victim one is lead in, the handcuffs are removed, she undresses, she is tied to the scaffold (with eleven different straps, no less), the assistant rubs the girl's bottom with water, the caning is carried out, the restraints go off, the welts are treated with lotion and the victim gets her clothes back on. Then we get to see the whole thing again with the other girl. The languid pace fits with the "technical" scenario, but I can't imagine anyone watching the full movie for a second time without fast-forward. On the plus side, the action is competently filmed, with many different angles and close-ups. The victims, their faces and bottoms, and of course the machine itself get a lot of attention.

For now, the presence of the sinister new device is enough to hold the viewer's attention for most of the time, but if Pain4Fem decide to produce a sequel, they should put a little more story in. Maybe they could enhance the "personality" of the machine. What if the gizmo decides to dish out more punishment than it was programmed for, because it feels that the offenders deserve it? What if it runs amok and goes after the sexy female assistant? Ample opportunities...

What You Learned:
If the dehumanized way in which the US applies capital punishment is anything to go by (where someone presses a button to launch the sequence of lethal injections), this is how judicial CP will probably look if it is ever brought back. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin will fight over the government contract, as usual.


tigerbutt said...

Thanks for the film review and picture. After the postings on Pandora's and Adele' blogs I'm starting to like the spanking machine idea more and more. This one is nice because of it's portability. What is it, a modified paint shaker? I suppose not at "level 1, 40 strokes, interval 5 (seconds?)". It doesn't look as savage as the ones I had nightmares about as a kid. Any other designs out there you know about? Please keep 'em coming.

Ludwig said...

I remember reading a review about a British (American?) film years ago that had some kind of spanking machine in it. I never saw that one, but by all accounts, it wasn't very impressive - the machine didn't work all that well and only gave out a small number of strokes, anyway.

So, while the idea has been done a couple of times, Pain4Fem are probably not exaggerating when they claim that this is the first "serious" machine, at least in a full-length movie.

It's an interesting gimmick, and despite the fact that most of us will probably continue to prefer "human" interaction for obvious psychological reasons, there is a lot of potential in it. You could do a nice "mad scientist" movie with a spanking machine, one that doesn't only focus on the device itself, but uses it creatively to enhance the scenario.

I'm not mechanically inclined, so I have no idea what the Pain4Fem machine originally was. Basically, it swings the cane around in circles. Do paint shakers rotate like that?

tigerbutt said...

Paint shakers are more of a side to side up and down motion but if you could harness that violence and transfer it to a cane you would have a formidable spanking machine indeed!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Totally impersonal caning machine with no capacity for mercy. Nope. Not my thing at all. Especially not with equally impersonal mad-scientist technicians tapping parameters into their keyboards. Doesn't push my buttons. Seriously.

tigerbutt said...

But Niki, how will you know for sure until you've tried it?

Ludwig said...

She knows because she only likes the soft, cozy stuff where a girl is gently spanked over the knee while she giggles and purrs. I have the same preference. As you can see from the types of movies I review, I get turned off by the rough stuff. I want to see the girls enjoying themselves, not crying and screaming and pleading for mercy!

tigerbutt said...

Oh, I see, I didn't realize that her work with Lupus, for instance, fell into the soft cozy category. Your review of the "Whipped Women" website must be of the soft and cozy variety as well. I'm saying this, of course, as someone who has never been able to grasp the concept of sarcasm. (ha-ha!)

Anonymous said...

Nothing to grasp here, Tiger. Everyone knows Germans have no sense of humour.

Ludwig said...

Of course Lupus is soft and cozy. It's all fake, anyway. Watching "Red Reformatory: Old friends" in slow motion reveals that there is no actual contact between cane and bottom. They use ketchup as artificial "blood" and alter the images digitally.

Anonymous said...

I saw one of these in action once.
I was giggling until the whipping began, and then I shut up right quick!
ps-I added you to my links, baby cakes!

Anonymous said...

You write very well.

Unknown said...

The machine is a modified Trap thowing machine. It is made to throw clay pidgeons.
Made by Do-All company.
I now own one, and modified it for a better purpose also.

Ludwig said...

@ elite: Yeah, I know a kinky penpal of mine here in Germany who has built himself a spanking machine from a throwing machine for clay pigeons. That seems to be a popular way of doing it, and it's quite possible that Pain4Fem used the same device.

Anonymous said...

@elite: The machine is indeed a modified Do All Aerial Assault automatic trap thrower. Watch the original launch some clay pigeons:

Available in the US for a few hundred bucks. It looks like Diseno's most complex mod was to replace the "wobbler mount" with that screw-based automatic vertical adjustment mechanism.

BTW, Diseno Media is soliciting offers to buy their machine, along with the rights to the existing videos and a promise not make a new, similar machine.