This film is intriguing. It is like a take-out Chinese dinner. After devouring it, it leaves you wanting more. You just know that there is a sequel in the planning. This film has all of the earmarks of a great masterpiece; sex, beauty, truth, honor, nudity, and, of course, spanking, caning, writing lines, "corner time", along with a bit of ginger root placed where it does the most good. Yet, the story is not complete.
It opens with the governess stoically spanking a young lady, who we learn later is named Hannah. Her simple dress pulled up over her waist. She is slowly being given a bare-bottom, over the knee hand spanking. I wonder if there is any consideration for her charges by this governess. Surly she must care for her young charge that accidentally broke some pottery. Yet, her manner casts serious doubt that there is any loving and caring relationship. It is one of simple cold hard duty. Blow after blow lands upon Hanna's bottom cheeks.
We also find the real minx of the family, her sister Maria, gleefully telling Hannah that she should not be so reckless while she is being spanked. It is obvious from the start that this will be a source of drama between the two sisters.
At the conclusion of the spanking, when Hanna is allowed to rise, she is instructed to write one hundred and fifty times that she is not to be reckless. Writing Lines! As if a spanking was not enough! Yet, she accepts the chore with regret and starts to write the sentence over and over again on her pad of paper with her antique fountain pen and bottle of ink. The ink bottle and choice of pens is not only consistent with the atmosphere but is required for the remainder of the opening scenes of the film. As she writes her lines, she accidentally splashes some ink on her dress and does not notice it.
After Hanna completes her task, she goes to summon the governess to check her work. Here is where the true character of Maria is shown as she hastens to cause her sister even more grief than she needs. She ruins Hanna's labor with the same bottle of ink such that, upon the return, the governess is incensed and proceeds to give Hanna another spanking; this time without the ink stained dress. The script had to have a reason to totally remove the dress; so we had the ink.
Unfortunately for Hanna, it she seems she lost one small piece of clothing. She had misplaced her underwear. That would not have been discovered if the dress was not removed either. That leads the governess to want to teach Hanna a lesson about wearing underwear and the obvious benefits that this simple garment has in keeping out foreign objects such as a ginger root fig. Did you know that underwear did this? Maidenform should advertise the fact that panties block ginger root from "entering your bodily openings." Their sales would increase dramatically if their customers knew that.
It is these small items that lead to a well developed plot. Lupus knows how to take care of the details. All of this leads to a believable film.
While the second spanking of the evening continues, Mary, the maid, is sent to the kitchen to prepare the ginger root fig which is inserted into Hanna's redden end at the conclusion of the spanking. A few moments later, after the root is peeled and cut to shape, she returns with it on a glass server. That is the time when the spanking stops as the spice is inserted, very graphically, between Hanna's spread cheeks and slowly pushed home.
Hanna is then instructed to write, not 150 lines, but 500 lines with the ginger root in place. I am sure that by the 50th line, her powers of concentration will not be on her writing but instead on the burning feeling inserted into her hind quarters.
The two daughters are sent to their room; Hanna to write, and Maria to bathe and go to sleep. While Maria bathes, Hanna can only squat to write her lines. The root still remains firmly implanted in her bottom. (Squatting is probably the worst thing that you could do. You can't help but squeeze the root when you are in that position!)
The plot thickens. It seems that Maria is expecting a visitor tonight; a male visitor. She must get rid of her sister tonight. So, she conniving suggests that she will write Hanna's lines if Hanna sleeps in the outer room. That will leave the room free for Maria's guest. Do you really believe that Maria would write the lines by the morning? If you do, then I have a good bridge for sale in Brooklyn. It seems that Hanna would actually buy my bridge because she believes her sister and goes to the outer room to sleep. There she removes the fig, her clothes, and slips into her bed. Her nudity will do her ill shortly.
The gentleman, Maximilian Schubert, arrives and quickly secrets himself in her bed while she performs an erotic strip-tease. Shed of clothes, she extinguishes the lights and the bed begins to rock. After a moment, we are treated to a loud crash which wakes the entire household.
At this point, the plot revolves. The two sisters change beds. Hanna ends up in the bedroom to furiously return to her writing, and Maria ends up in Hanna's innocent outer room. When the father and governess arrive they find Maria in the outer room bed who tells them that Hanna is in the other room. The gentleman is quickly escorted out while her father and governess have gone into talk to Hanna. The gentleman's lack of some clothing articles forms the plot thread to the film; it will be used later in the film.
Upon entering the bedroom, finding Hanna writing at the desk, he discovers the gentleman's underwear. In the same room as his naked daughter, Hanna! The conclusion is obvious. Hanna has been entertaining gentlemen in her bed. She tries to explain that he came to see Maria, but he does not believe her.
True to her character, when Maria is summoned and questioned if she knows anything concerning the clothing, she says that she knows nothing. Maria is not the sister that I would like to have.
Hanna, still naked, is dragged back to the living room. She is placed over a chair and the maid is sent for the riding crop. There is going to be a whipping tonight! When the maid finally returns with the thick rod, Hanna drops to her knees and pleads to her father to save herself.
He is unmoved. She has shamed him. She has shamed herself. She must pay the penalty for having a gentleman in her bed. She is draped back over the chair and the whipping starts. Hanna cries out and leaps forward as the rod is used on her bottom, over and over again. Soon, the marks blend into something that is indistinguishable. Her cheeks show the results of a typical Lupus whipping, well bruised and red.
Fortunately, Hanna's correction is interrupted by a knock at the door.
The police officer, Ferdinand Smikmator, is escorted into the living room. Hanna had previously taken up her place in the corner on her knees. For some reason, the police had found a man outside, and thinking that he was a burglar questioned him. He said that he was visiting a girl in the house tonight. He claims that Maria would vouch for his alibi.
At this point Maria begins to worry. For surly if she was discovered, her father's wrath would be considerably greater than what he visited upon Hanna. Maria would not only have been guilty of seeing the gentleman but allowing Hanna to be beaten in her place.
The father says that it can not be Maria; it must therefore be the maid, Mary. No, the officer is insistent, he said Maria. Maria is sent to gather the maid. When the two return, Mary is terrified as she is interrogated and accused of the indiscretion. Her defenses go disbelieved. "Don't lie to us! Maria was asleep on the sofa!" the father rebukes.
The maid is to receive the same punishment as Hanna for having acted as a whore in his house. She strips her nightgown and is bent over the same chair, naked. The whipping starts again for the second time this evening.
Mary is of fairer skin than Hanna and as a result shows the marks more pronounced than his daughter. Her bottom is soon very red, with the stripes suitable for the use of a thick rod. The officer enjoys the show being presented before him. His part this evening festivity is not over.
Finally but only after her entire bottom is red and swollen, she is allowed up to assume her station next to Hanna. She is to kneel in the corner for the evening.
The officer then completes the final scene. He informs the father that when the gentleman was searched, they discovered that he was not wearing underwear. This means that it could not have been Mary because the underwear was in the room with Hanna. At this point, the father, having just whipped an innocent girl, begins to break down. It is Maria who comes to his aid and the film ends with him telling Maria how fortunate that he is to have her, his darling little angel. She only smiles as the film fades to black.
Tina Skodova plays the role of a conniving sister, Maria, very well. Of all of the players, I feel that she represents her part the best. She is the person who you would love to hate in this film. It is her part that is left incomplete. She needs to receive her comeuppance in a future film. A character of this type has only one outcome, a meeting with the cane applied with vigor and relish to her posterior.
Hanna, played by Eva Sulistova, is the beauty in the film. She is a stunning girl who exudes innocence. Of the entire evening, her only crime was a small bit of carelessness in breaking the pottery. The rest of her plight comes from her innocent trust in her sister.
The father figure role is limited in nature and is played well by Tormans Elefernus. There is a bit too much "acting" on his part rather than making it believable. Yet, it was played well.
Mary, played by Ester Salbá, is an important part if only to give Maria an excuse to show her final underlying role with the father. The father needs an excuse for requiring medical aid. The whipping of the wrong girl, Mary, provides that vehicle to the film. It is an important role. Besides, Ester Salba looked great as her bottom got redder and redder under the crop.
The governess, played by Tereza Tomaskova, is the part that I understood the least. I still do not understand how someone could be so cold. Surly she must feel something for the two sisters. Even hatred, as an emotion, would have been something. Yet, as a cold and uncaring governess, it was well represented. She is a fine actor.
This film used an old style, leather covered, riding crop. Unlike the thin "modern" crops today, those objects were heavy, about three eights of an inch in diameter. The beating, I am sure, did more damage to the lady's muscles in her bottom than a cane. I am sure that they felt the outcome for a few weeks following this film. However, I prefer the cane. It is more graphic. The marks that showed up on the ladies bottoms with the crop were red, but the skin was not bruised. As such, the marks were not as dramatic when compared to a rattan cane.
Lupus is a full fledged film studio. Their technical ability to produce films of exceptional quality is reaffirmed with this film.
I'll go back to the Kung Pao Chicken and hold the ginger root. I seem to have lost my taste for it.