Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Headmaster battles crime at his school
From the single sentence synopsis I just gave, you could think that this is a remake of the James Belushi cult classic The Principal. But it's a Lupus video, so the action is set in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, not modern day California, and the headmaster chastises his unruly students with a cane, not with his fists. Which makes it all the more interesting, of course. Moreover, while Belushi is a cool guy (and a seriously underrated actor), he is not nearly as cool as Pavel Stastny. The protagonist of the From the Headmaster's Study series gives another superb performance here.
On the victim side, there is Niki Flynn in her second adventure with the werewolves, a couple of months after The Exchange Student was made. In my opinion, "Crime and Punishment" is among the best, probably the best, of her films. Not least because the other girls, three Czech models by the names of Klara Kopeckova, Kristyna Stankova and Katerina Flegrova, are all lovely to behold, too, and turn in some great scenes of their own. In terms of cast, it doesn't get much classier than this.
Lupus Pictures are among the tiny handful of spanking video producers who try to make actual, real films instead of mere wank fodder (not that there's anything wrong with wank fodder, mind you). "Crime and Punishment" has a proper storyline, period sets and costumes, over half a dozen supporting characters, and a slew of subtle comedic references. I'm not going to recount the whole thing here, you should just see it for yourself. Suffice to say that it is probably the only CP video in existence that opens with a full-blown gunfight and has an appearance by the young Dr. Sigmund Freud later on!
Like the other Headmaster's Study videos, this one is set around the turn of the 20th century, when Bohemia was part of the fading Habsburg Empire. In the latest turn of events, Headmaster Stastny discovers that some of his students have done nude pictures for an American photographer who preys on Czech girls. Needless to say, he decides to punish them severely for their "immoral blasphemy", the shame they brought on his school. One by one, he calls the three culprits into his office and orders them to strip down and reenact the poses they did - just to point out the indecency of their behaviour to them, you see, although I can't help but imagine that he is also having a bit of secret fun behind his stern, outraged exterior. One student shows him how she posed as the Greek goddess Diana with a bow, another how she played a clown, bending over and holding her head between her legs.
The girls are contrite and embarrassed. One of them confesses that it was Miss Czermak (Niki), a Czech-American student from the eighth class, who set them up to this. With her mixed family background and having only recently moved to Bohemia from the US, Miss Czermak was an ideal accomplice for the foreign photographer. She contacted the girls, arranged the shoots and brought them the money afterwards. Obviously, all four of them get soundly caned before the film is over. Strapped to the headmaster's wooden punishment bench, the three Czech girls receive 40 strokes each while Miss Czermak gets 50 (Niki's longest on-camera caning, as far as I know, and certainly one of the hardest).
The werewolves from the east are known for their no-nonsense approach and Pavel Stastny was one of their most severe tops. As one would expect, the CP action in "Crime and Punishment" is very, very vicious indeed, and what's more, it is delivered with Pavel's near-perfect style and accuracy (unlike some dommes from a rival Hungarian company I could mention). Truly a feast for the eyes and ears of sadistic viewers like me. All victims have beautiful bodies, all writhe and scream under the headmaster's cane until their asses are covered in gorgeous, vivid stripes. Even Niki, who is notoriously difficult to mark, ends up with rather nasty welts, some of them bleeding. History records that they lasted for well over a month.
Before Miss Czermak's ordeal is over, though, she receives yet another punishment, a forced haircut. Niki has wonderful, long dark curls here, and in their usual authenticity-obsessed manner, Lupus used antique scissors with blunt blades. It's probably one of the best forced haircuts ever filmed, a dream come true if you're into that kind of stuff. Even if you're not, the scene is interesting and a great finale to an already great title.
All four action scenes are good, but it is Niki's that really stands out. She plays the "villain", so her caning and subsequent haircut are scheduled as the main course, and that is exactly what they turn out to be. The dramatic buildup, when the headmaster questions an at first unsuspecting Miss Czermak in his office before bringing in the other girls and confronting her about the naughty pictures, is excellently done. Then there's the caning itself, 50 full-arm, full-force strokes from Pavel Stastny. I always love the Lupus punishment bench and how the girls' upper bodies jump up and struggle against the restraints. Niki is a particularly delicious sight in this regard.
In Miss Flynn's own words, this was the second-hardest caning of her life, to be surpassed only in 2007's "Red Reformatory: Old Friends". But the latter is an inferior scene for me and I consider this one here to be her best. The perfection of "Crime and Punishment", aside from the buildup and the chemistry, lies in the the fact that the beating is not just hard, but beautifully filmed as well. Great selection and editing of shots, showing the whole scene, facial reactions and closeups of that lovely bottom. Pavel's pace is exemplary as well - measured and deliberate, but not too slow, then speeding up at the end.
Moreover, I love Niki's reactions, and this isn't true of all her films. Sometimes, especially in her Lupus work, she simply gets too loud for my taste. I don't blame her, but that's the way it is. Here, she is basically screaming her head off, again - and somehow, I like it this time. The measured tempo prevents the scene from becoming too frenzied, and there's something in Niki's shrieks that is just really enjoyable. You can hear the agony and the growing desperation. My favourite moment comes around stroke 25, the halfway point exactly, when an already-battered Niki, perhaps realising how far she still has to go, starts wailing in both languages: "Please, please, pleeeaase...! Prosim!" Pavel's unmoved reply: "Cesty!" ("Fifty!")
As the video opens, the police break into the American porn photographer's studio. A gunfight erupts and they blow away both the photographer and a model who is there at the time, the latter by mistake. One of the policemen bends down, determines that the girl is dead, and glares reproachfully at his colleague: "It would seem someone has poor aim here!"
It would seem so, yes.
Nice Psychological Touch:
The scene with Sigmund Freud, of course. Before showing us the famous founder of psychoanalysis late in life in The Last Case of Dr. Freud, Lupus already had a "cameo" by a much younger doctor here (played hilariously by Jan Zacek). He explains to the headmaster: "I believe that all that naughtiness is actually caused by suppressed human sexuality. When the students at your school do something wrong, they know they'll be punished. And they want it! When you punish them, you actually... how should I put it... have sex with them." I'm not much of a Freudian myself, but as someone who believes that sadism is an expression of affection, I'd like to think that he has a point there!
How Good Is It Really?
In case you haven't noticed it by now from my lengthy, rave review: this is one of my all-time favourite spanking videos. Pavel Stastny at his magisterial best, Niki Flynn in her prime, a good supporting cast, wacky Lupus humour, ultra-severe canings and a forced haircut scene... What more can you really ask for?
We all have our own criteria and individual taste, but in my book at least, this is quite simply the best film of Niki's career. She has done others that were more interesting or unusual in terms of story and setting. She's done some that were just, or almost, as good in terms of CP action. But this is the one that, in my mind, achieves true excellence in both departments, and that is why I rate it as the best.
What You Learned:
Probably more than any other of his videos, "Crime and Punishment" is responsible for the PIC Syndrome (Pavel Inferiority Complex) I suffer from as a top.
The myth is finally acknowledged. Lupus did fake a scene in this film. There is positive proof. They faked the shooting of the model and the photographer in the prelude to this film. The police broke into the photographer's studio and, a gunfight erupts between the photographer and the police. Eventually the photographer and the nude model are killed by the police. Or, so we are led to believe. The evidence is on their web site, all documented in photographs. They actually did not kill two people. The blood is faked. The death scene is faked. Unfortunately, that is the only thing that they faked.
When the police search the photographer's after his death, they discover his portfolio book showing the naked girls. The police inspector gets the brilliant idea that they must be college students of good families and takes it to his friend, the headmaster. The two have a good time looking at the pictures. Of course the headmaster can not believe that his students would have posed for such explicit photographs. He has only "good" girls in his institution. Still, he will keep the book to study it for a while. He can hardly contain his expression when he notices one of the girls. She is indeed a student. She is a student as his institution. The shame will be almost too much to accept.
He summons the girl into his office and confronts her with the photographic evidence of her indiscretions. He slaps her across her face in a fit of rage. (This is a first for Lupus.) He demands to see how she posed for the photographs. After much anguish, she relents and removes her clothing to pose as an ancient Greek goddess with a bow.
The second girl poses as a clown, bending forward and peering through her legs. Faced with a possible expulsion, she relents and informs upon Miss Czemak. It seems that Miss Czemak has been arranging for the photographic sessions and paying the models. The headmaster wants the complete list and a complete confession. He will have it. He can hardly believe what he is reading when she finished.
The scene with Dr. Sigmund Freud (who must have been visiting Prague from Vienna), was interesting too. The good doctor started to give the repressed childhood syndrome to the headmaster; that the girls hated their mothers and longed for their fathers. Therefore were led astray by the photographer. They must have transferred some desire for authority to the headmaster. He even went on to suggest that his head resembled a male sexual organ. Perhaps the headmaster hated his father too.
When the subject comes to Miss Czemak, the good doctor suggests neutering the poor girl. He suggests disfiguring her, removing her beauty. They finally agree upon cutting off her hair.
Suddenly, we are shown the three ladies who posed for the pictures standing naked in the room, their hands on their heads as the headmaster proclaims that they are to be punished for their sins. When he asks them "how much do you deserve?", they reply "25". Sorry, girls, it is not going to be 25 because they can't realize that what they have done is against both God and nature. (It seems that he has been thinking about the doctor's comments after all.) Again he asks. 100. No, that is too much. 30. No, more. 35. More. 40. Ok, he shows the first girl to the bench.
He ties the girl to the bench and selects the cane. The other two try to close their eyes but are cautioned to watch what will be happening to them shortly. He starts to cane the girl with his left hand. He keeps his right hand in his pants pocket. The first girl cries almost immediately as the tears flow. By the time that he reaches 30 strokes, the girl is now uncontrollably yelling. He rushes the last ten and with a flick of desperation, tosses the cane on the desk. The young lady has a typical Lupus' well caned and badly marked bottom when she manages to hobble to the wall.
The next girl is the Greek goddess model. She is the tallest of the group, obviously older than the others. She manages to place herself over the bench and is strapped down. Like the one before, she starts to cry out from the first stroke. Soon, she is pulling at the strap restraints. It is obvious that she would have a hard time holding her position if it wasn't for the fact that she was strapped down to the bench. Her bottom marks much more severely than the first one. Soon, there are deep red bruises from the cane strokes and it is not even half way finished. She too, is crying hysterically at the end and when the pace picks up. Un-strapped from the bench, she hobbles to join the first girl, her bottom a mass of deep blood-red bruises. She won't be sitting for the next day or so at all.
The last girl is short with dark hair, the "clown". She has a very high pitch voice which she loudly uses when the cane is applied to her bottom. After about ten strokes she must be thinking that earning money in this fashion is not worth the pain. Still, the pain continues as the headmaster is determined to give each girl her due. Her light skin shows the marks very well as they stand off like furrows of a plowed field. Finished, she too is released from the restraints.
When they ask that he no longer be mad at them, he smiles. He knows why they did what they did; his bald head reflects the grin on his face.
The next scene shows Miss Czemak talking to the headmaster. It is now her turn to explain her situation. She has trouble speaking Czech and explains that only her father is from Czech. Her mother is American. She is asked if she is having trouble with her classmates. "The classmates are very friendly. We like each other very much.", she replies. That is good. He has three classmates in the outer office which he shows into his office now. Who should come in? Why, the three freshly caned young ladies.
She gets three looks of absolute hatred from her three "friendly" classmates. Niki can only fake a smile and try to greet her friends. Her response is simply a scowling look from the three; just before they turn and raise their dresses to show Niki their well marked bottoms.
The headmaster asks if she knows why they were "spanked"? The reason is that this book of photographs fell into his hand as he tosses the book to Niki. When it falls to the floor, it opens and now Niki looks defiantly. She wants her USA constitutional rights. Niki, don't you know that those rights only apply in the USA? When you travel, you are subject to the "laws of the land". Oh, well. I guess not.
Still defiant, she is told about the new penile institution for young ladies. It has such amities as concrete beds, cold baths and barbed wire fences. This is definitely a five-star institution. She quickly changes her tune and asks that the case not go to court. She is willing to do whatever she can to avoid the court. The headmaster goes on to explain that she is still his student and she must obey his every command; his every word. Niki agrees.
"Get Naked" he commands. "What! Are you out of your mind? I want to speak to my lawyer right now!" she replies. Apparently, she is still defiant. She is "helped" off with her clothing by the three classmates. She is forcibly stripped. Stripped naked. The girls were all too willing to help.
Don't let anyone tell you that Lupus is not without humor. Apparently the headmaster can not manage to keep in his chair as he slips out of it and fall on his fanny. Niki can not help but crack a smile at his discomfort. Niki's Czech needs correction and the headmaster is more than happy to correct her vocabulary. It gives the scene a bit of the power relationship that is required and to reestablish the authority figure.
Still, she is planning to leave for the USA. She has the money for the travel. She is packed. All that is missing is a warm bottom. She must be getting pretty cold by now, standing there naked. That won't last very long. He still owes her something for his students as he pats the spanking bench. It is not until he finally offers her the choice of the police or the caning that she decides to accept the caning.
This is the first time for Niki to be caned over the bench. She does not know that she must first select the cane. Going to the rack, she eventually chooses the same cane that is used in most of the headmaster series, the senior cane; not the nursery cane; not the junior cane; but the senior cane. Returning to the bench she balks at being caned before the three students who have been recalled back from the outer office. It is still the same choice; the police or the cane. Niki relents and lies over the bench. A bit of justice is served when the three classmates secure her to the bench.
Niki, too, is asked how many strokes she deserves since they received 40. A classmate immediately offers "100". Niki complains that she does not like pain and to have mercy. He will. He will give her only fifty.
Niki is a screamer. She screams "No" from the first stroke. She stomps and tries to break free from the bondage almost from the start. Soon, her bottom starts to look like a caned bottom from across the room. You can easily tell the marks. They are etched on her skin in red as every part of her body moves and twists; yet her bottom remains true to the restraints and in place for the onslaught of the cane. Under the pain, she can only seem to speak her native English. That does not help.
Fully caned, untied, she collapses on the floor in a heap. Now her bottom is on fire. The headmaster remembers the Doctor's advice. He will neuter her. He removes a pair of scissors and then starts to cut her hair. Niki struggles. Shortly, there is a pile of hair next to her and Niki has a short haircut. Now her head matches her bottom. They both are on fire. The haircut is not that bad and I am sure that it was properly trimmed to be a nice style when the shooting ended. Besides, Niki, it does grow back.
The film is finally draws to a close. The headmaster returns the book to the police officer and tells him that he does not recognize any of the present students at his institution. The officer has trouble accepting that but is faced with the little other choice. He leaves, vowing to return with a rather lame joke about the emperor.
This film is much like Salin in that it pokes fun at some current issues. The treaty referenced by this film is real. There really is an international treaty on the circulation of obscene publications. The headmaster can't believe that he pays his taxes for this commission. And, given the U.S.A.'s administration for the last four years, the treaty has almost a humorous light; in much the same manner as Stalin's ending had with Germany and England.
The film has many subtle comedic references that you may find; beyond the collapse of the headmaster's chair.
Perhaps, if there was anything to complain about, was that this film seemed to jump from one scene to another. It lacked the continuity so carefully performed by Lupus before. In one scene, the headmaster and the doctor are talking. The next scene has three naked girls. There is nothing between. The girls are not summoned. They are not undressed. They just end up naked. Perhaps it was cut because the film was too long.
On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Lupus is a full production company and produces movies, not videos. Pavel is the headmaster to me. He plays the part to perfection. It is hard to think of someone else playing that role. The use of the bench is also a good feature of the film. It adds an air of non-consensuality that would be present in real life.