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Original Review by John O'Connell

Ancient regime

Mood Pictures recently opened their site and begin their production career by offering three videos, Ancient Regime being the first. As with all new companies, there is a bit of skepticism as to what their product will be like and if they are just some fly by night company trying to make a buck or if they are a legitimate corporal punishment producer. After watching this production, there is no doubt in my mind that Mood Pictures is serious about their commitment to the scene and has provided us with an intense first installment to their video collection. The first thing I was pleased and surprised with was that DVD's are offered right off the bat. DVD is starting to become widely preferred over VHS tapes and Mood Pictures has responded by offering all of their products in this format right from the beginning.

The video is shot in Hungary, so there for the dialogue is not in English. However, the subtitles are well done and able to be read and understood with ease. After a short introduction, we see 2 members of a secret police organization bring a young brunette into a cell-like room to face an older gentleman. She has been accused of stealing documents and denies any such wrong doing. She is subjected to a quick strip search which turns up nothing. Wearing only her white thong, she is lead to a wooden table in the middle of the room and her hands and feet are bound to the table with rope. Her panties are lowered and she is informed that she will received 50 strokes with the cane. The older man orders her to count after each stroke and then begins his interrogation. After several strokes he asks her where the documents are and she continues to plead that she doesn't know. As the punishment continues, marks begin to form on her bottom and she begs to be let go.

Her silence only angers the tormentor further and he starts to use more force with this strokes. Deep red lines are stripped across her bottom like a telephone pole of power lines had fallen down on it. Trickles of blood begin to appear, but the young lady remains vigilant. That is until he informs her that if she doesn't talk, she will be brought in the next day for 100 strokes. Crying and broken, she promises to testify. The man in charge finishes off the 50th stroke and then orders her to get dressed. For a first video, this is really quite good. The caning is hard and real, the subject is pretty, and the choice of having DVD is huge. And, the DVD includes extras such as an interview with the girl being punished and trailers to their up coming releases. All in all, an outstanding for dip into the world of spanking erotica.

2nd Review posted 10/3/2008 Reviewed by Ludwig (first published at Ludwig's Rohrstock-Palast

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Hungarian communists torture student girls

Victim Appeal:
The movie is divided into two nearly identical segments - each time, a girl is arrested by the secret police under some pretense and given a sound caning. Part one stars a brunette going by the handle Vivee, part two a pornstar named Demi Cool. The victims are reasonably pleasant to look at, with round spankable bottoms, but fail to make any sort of impression otherwise. They're pretty terrible, actually. One is shy and quiet, the other bored and bitchy. Both look and sound as if they can't wait for the shoot to be over.

Mind you, it makes for interesting viewing if you are turned on by non-kinky, moneygrubbing models going through something they are really not enjoying at all. I'm usually not, but Demi is so annoying that I confess to a certain amount of wicked amusement over her unpleasant ordeal. Watch her flippant, bubblegum-chewing behind the scenes interview to have your worst "empty-headed bimbo" pornstar stereotypes confirmed. She obviously received more than the free ride she expected and says afterwards that she will never, ever do a CP film again. Which is undoubtedly better for everyone, especially us viewers.

Gratuitous Sadism:
Each girl is forced to strip, tied to a table (with some rather flimsy-looking ropes, it must be said) and given 50 strokes of the cane. There is a fair bit of dialogue, actually, from the secret police officer (played by Mood regular Maximilian Lomp) who administers the thrashing and wants to extract information about the "conspiracy" the students are involved in. The canings are not as ultra-severe as some of Mood's later work, but fairly respectable nonetheless, leaving the victims' bottoms thoroughly covered in nice red stripes.

Best Reactions:
Vivee is the more animated of the two, crying and whimpering. Demi Cool, even though she squirms and groans quite a bit under the cane, resorts to a mixture of stoicism and sarcasm. Before long, she starts talking trash towards the police officer. "You son of a bitch. Are you enjoying this? Sadistic pricks. Can't you fuck a girl's cunt?" Later on, she admits to a conspiracy - with her lesbian girlfriend. "I am active, she is passive. I lick her. I love it when she comes." It's all pretty low and bawdy, but almost funny with her deadpan, venomous delivery.

To leave aside my elitist sadistic banter for a moment, it's good to know that the experience wasn't traumatizing for Demi. While she certainly won't do another CP film, she manages to navigate this one with casual (and foul-mouthed) defiance. That's refreshing to see. I'm almost starting to like the girl in spite of herself. Her reactions aren't great in a conventional sense and I don't find them the least bit erotic, but they are undeniably memorable. In a Full Metal Jacket sort of way.

Best Line:
"I bet when you're done here, you'll jerk off in the toilet!" Demi Cool's gutter mouth again. Ouch.

Nice Psychological Touch:
While the action itself is pretty formulaic and straightforward, the framing stories are interesting. The interrogation and caning scenes are presented as a flashback. In the first part of the movie, the secret police officer, now with a new job in the post-communist era, is sitting in a pub, smoking a cigarette and reminiscing about the "good old days". He recounts how they could do whatever they wanted, how much he enjoyed his work and how he caned girls just for the fun of it. Maximilian Lomp really looks the part of the seedy, unapologetic ex-torturer and does quite a good acting job.

In the second part, Demi Cool is riding in a car, with some people looking for the former secret policeman. When they confront him, he denies ever having met her and claims that he never hurt anybody. "I really sympathise with you and I am deeply shocked, but I can't help you!" Now he's the one who is scared, to her obvious delight. It's a fun little scene, not superbly acted, but a neat idea.

How Good Is It Really?
The two parts of "Ancient Regime" were originally released separately. Part one was the very first movie by Mood Pictures. They themselves openly admit that it isn't one of their stronger efforts. It was still a learning experience, the camera work is a bit shaky and in an email to me, Pedro (the director and producer) once described the shoot with Demi Cool as "really terrible". Still, I think it is a respectable debut by any standard and Mood fans will like it. The interrogation room is cool, really run-down and dirty-looking like something out of Hostel. The movies are now sold as a single DVD and at a good bargain price.

What You Learned:
Counting up to 50 in Hungarian.

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