Thursday, April 29, 2010

Movie Review: The Godfather

Lupus Pictures (released in 2010)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Don't mess with the Russian mob

Victim Appeal:
Five Czech dívkas get their bottoms soundly punished in this newest (as of spring 2010) offering from Lupus Pictures: Ester Slaba, their redhaired long-time star, plays a sadistic schoolteacher who at the end of the story receives a taste of her own medicine. Sara Ronheim, a blonde who I see for the first time here, plays the other main female part, a schoolgirl with a "well-connected" father. The remaining three appear as extra schoolgirls: Michaela Trmotova, with white blonde hair partially dyed pink, Veronika Bartakova, a brunette, and Martina Vavrova, dark-haired and a bit on the chubby side.

The main appeal for me in this one is to see Ester Slaba switching. Aside from bending over for her usual werewolf-style caning (how many has she had on film by now? did anyone keep count?), Ester also tops a great deal here, and she does it very well. Actually, because this is one of those "role reversal" films, one could say that it also includes an MM/M scene. The headmaster of the school, played by Timur, also gets his comeuppance in the end. And although the abuse Timur suffers is (mostly) simulated, the headmaster's fate is even worse than Ester's...

Gratuitous Sadism:
A Russian mafia boss (Alfi Grovio) whose wife has been murdered by rival gangsters fears that his daughter, Lenocka (Sara Ronheim), will be the next in line. To get Lenocka out of harm's way, he enrolls her at a small boarding school for girls. The headmaster and his wife (Timur and Ester Slaba) assure him: "We have a friendly, informal, almost family-like environment." The father, on his part, tells them that he is an entomologist about to go on an expedition. So, he has to give Lenocka into their care in the meantime.

Once he leaves, it quickly becomes clear what the school's definition of "family-like" is: beatings and sexual abuse. We see a scene where Martina Vavrova, fully naked except for her socks and bent over a wooden horse, is caned by the headmaster. Forty vicious, welt-raising strokes are shown on-screen, but it is implied that the thrashing goes on for much longer. Lenocka hears the screams while she is being escorted to her room. She starts to realise what kind of place her unknowing father has left her in.

When the girls are in class writing a test, Ester uses a pretext to punish three of them, including Lenocka. One after the other, they have to bend over the teacher's desk while Ester whacks their behinds with a wooden paddle. The headmaster helps to hold them down. Michaela Trmotova gets 43 strokes, followed by another 43 for Veronika Bartakova (why that number, I wonder?). Sara aka Lenocka is last. After 26 whacks, she jumps up, throws a major screaming fit and refuses to continue: "Leave me alone, you swine! I'll tell my father!" They take her to another room and tie her to the wooden horse, naked down to her socks. The headmaster gives her 42 fast-paced cane strokes and then rapes her from behind (the beating is real, the penetration isn't).

Later, in her schoolgirl uniform again, Lenocka sneaks into the classroom at night and manages to call her father with a mobile phone which she finds in the teacher's desk. She begs him to rescue her. There follows an extended scene where Ester tortures Lenocka and two other girls by making them perform knee bends. They are nude during the gymnastics and Ester has a leather tawse in hand, but she is not using it much except for the occasional "motivational lash". The exercise is demaning enough as it is. Just when Ester has exhausted the girls to the point where they are literally collapsing to the floor, the mafia boss and his henchmen storm the school.

Cue revenge, terror, excruciating pain. The headmaster and his wife find out, the hard way, that the father of their latest victim is no entomologist after all. Ester is violently stripped of her clothes and has to go over her own desk. The mafia boss gives her 53 hard cane strokes while Lenocka cheers him on. Once Ester's bottom is covered in welts, the henchmen go to work on her husband in the next room while Ester has to listen. They tie him to the horse, naked, and burn him with a blowtorch (it's simulated, of course, and mostly happens off-screen). Then they shoot him, and when the crime boss and his daughter leave, it is implied that the henchmen will rape Ester before they leave as well.

Best Reactions:
No one among the spankees shows the restrained, defiantly suffering reactions I like so much. Which is excusable, I suppose, given that the beatings have the usual Lupus-style severity - Ester really leans into it with the wooden paddle, turning the schoolgirls' bottoms a very deep shade of red, and when she gets caned herself at the end, some blood is drawn. I suppose I liked Michaela Trmotova's reactions best. She is fairly hysterical like everyone else, but... nicer somehow. More pitiful, more arousing. I dunno. Watch the movie for yourself.

Best Line:

When the mafia boss instructs his henchmen to take the headmaster to the next room, he tells the poor guy: "Now your ass will taste the Middle Ages!" Actually, they didn't have blowtorches during the Middle Ages as far as I know. But we understand what he is trying to say, don't we?

Nice Psychological Touch:
While the movie's title is obviously inspired by Francis Ford Coppola's timeless masterpiece, I was reminded even more of Dogville by Lars von Trier: daughter of crime boss gets abused and abused and abused even more, until an apocalypse of revenge comes over her tormentors at the end. On second thoughts, comparing this flick to Lars von Trier is probably a bit far-fetched. But it allows me to show off my supreme taste in cinema.

What I'm really trying to say is: I like role reversal stories in spanking movies. This one was done well in terms of premise, and even better in terms of execution. Good stuff.

How Good Is It Really?
Another enjoyable offering from the Czechs. The acting during the quiet scenes is a bit lame and the locations are ordinary (how many times have we seen a classroom in a spanking film?), but this is more than made up for by the sheer intensity of the good parts: The Godfather is a nasty, violent, darkly comical film, even by Lupus standards. While it is definitely not for everyone, fans of the company and their trademark black humour will like it. The frantic finale where the mafiosi storm the school is quite a treat. The CP segments are fairly good throughout. I'm not a huge fan of the wooden paddle myself, but if you are, and if you want to see some really hard whackings with that implement, this is the movie for you.

What You Learned:
This is the first time that I've seen Ester Slaba as a top, and I must say, she is quite formidable. She seems to enjoy the job, her demeanour and tone of voice while bossing around the girls are convincing, and she really dishes it out during the action scenes, too. It shows once again that spanking models are wicked when given the opportunity to switch - obviously, after experiencing as many severe thrashings as Ester, you're not going to be squeamish when you wield the instruments yourself... It's also good to see that she takes her responsibility seriously and manages to be on target, unlike some other Eastern European tops I could mention.


Pandora Blake said...

Thanks for this review, which introduced me to some delightfully hot scenarios while reminding me how little I would probably enjoy actually watching them acted out on someone else, rather than merely imagining myself as the victim.

Like most Lupus films, this pushes most of my buttons conceptually, but if I actually watched it I would probably have to fast forward through the action scenes. That's okay, though; in my experience Lupus are often worth watching for the costumes and dialogue alone, even if I do have to shut my eyes during the most violent bits.

I didn't enjoy Dogville. It was clearly a good film, but despite how crucial they are to my fantasy life, when they're by other people I get bored with gritty abuse stories very quickly. As inconsistencies go it's somewhat inconvenient, but I think a lot of masochists have the same problem - something to do with an overly active sense of empathy, I think.

Ludwig said...

@ Pandora: An overly active sense of empathy? Well, I've always believed that empathy is the foundation of kinky sadism as well - otherwise, there wouldn't be much "fun" in it as far as I'm concerned. So, are these different kinds of empathy? Or is it the same kind and we simply deal with it differently, which enables me to enjoy the action in the Lupus films while you don't? Food for thought.

As for Dogville, I was a bit tongue-in-cheek when I cited it as an example of "my supreme taste in cinema", actually. The film has a significant number of detractors who call it tedious, pretentious, "avant-gardism for idiots" and so forth. Although I don't agree with them, I'd say that Dogville is certainly not without flaws. At times, it does veer dangerously close to a smug exercise in Art Cinema with a capital A. Overall, I like it and I find it interesting, but there are other films by Lars von Trier which I like a lot more.