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Kidnapping of the Butcher's Daughter: Added 12/15/06
Guest Review by Adele Haze

"Kidnapping of the Butcher's Daughter" is another of Lupus's historical productions describing an incident at a girls' school. In a departure from now familiar territory, it is not the school of the "Headmaster's Study" universe. Here corporal punishment, though common in the home, is no longer legal at schools, and so in the hour of need the Headmaster has to seek help from... I'm getting ahead of myself here; we should start from the beginning.

The film is not as sinister a production as the title suggests: it is closer to a farce than to a drama. It opens with a scene in a chic hotel room, in which an escaped schoolgirl Magda (Ester Slaba) is eating sweets and planning the incidentals of her marital bliss with her seducer Lexa (Maxmilian Schubert). They have eloped together, but they have no money to live on, and so they have come up with a cunning plan. Before escaping from her bedroom at school, Magda had left a note, which purported to come from her fictitious kidnappers. The note demanded that her father, a wealthy butcher, pays a ransom, and threatened with various dire tortures for Magda if he even thinks of going to the police. The plan looks seamless, and Magda is looking forward to buying a country villa with French windows.

Meanwhile at her school, the Headmaster (Vaclav Josef Rejnek) and a female teacher (Alexandra Wolfe) are facing ruin: Magda's father the butcher is one of the school's wealthiest donors, and his wrath would leave the school neck-deep in debt. The Headmaster is drowning in bills, and even though the teacher selflessly offers to marry him and sacrifice her dowry, even this would be a drop in the ocean. He is willing to call the police, but the enraged butcher (Lars Moebius) insists that the kidnappers' demands be met, and the police hear nothing of this: his poor daughter's life and limb depend on this.

Luckily for the hapless Headmaster, the teacher has a plan. She suspects that the escaped Magda's two best friends might have some information about the incident. Rightly expecting that they won't give up the secret willingly, she suggests that they apply for help to the school gardener (Pavel Stastny), who had served in the war, and therefore must know a thing or two about extracting secrets from unwilling persons. (Having seen some of Mr. Stastny's handiwork in previous Lupus films, including the Headmaster's Study series, we suspect that he is indeed up to the task.)

The gardener eagerly agrees, and even provides his own implement: a supple garden cane.

Magda's two friends know nothing of their elders' plan, but they do indeed know the secret of the false kidnapping. In fact, Magda had given one of them, the small, nervous girl by the name of Hermina (Nicol Nova), a pair of earrings to ensure her silence. Hermina doesn't think this such a good idea any more, though her more courageous friend Viola (Nora Kristoff) urges her to keep her word. We watch the girls argue about this as they walk about the school grounds, dressed in their uniforms.

The uniforms are quite a change from the deliberately unflattering potato sacks used in "The Teachers' Exam Meeting" and "Exchange Student"; nor are these the Soviet Pioneer outfits of the Stalin series and other films set in the 1950s. These are much more glamorous than anything we've seen Lupus schoolgirls wear.

The girls are dressed in fitted navy blazers, straight white skirts, white school shirts and striped blue-and-white ties. When the uniforms come off (as they tend to do in these films), we discover nylon stockings, white singlets and white silk pantalets. Their black Mary-Jane shoes have heels. (Not stilettos, but respectable grown-up heels.) They are allowed small earrings, and overall they look like spoiled wealthy girls who really need some strict discipline.

The discipline is quick to follow. No sooner do the girls take a solemn oath not to say anything about the matter, than they are summoned to the Gardener's den, where the man himself, as well as the Headmaster and the Teacher are waiting to begin the interrogation. Although the Headmaster has previously expressed worry that the girls may be harmed by such methods, he has been suitably reassured by the Gardener that a girl's bottom can withstand quite a lot. Now he is ready for action.

The girls enter; even the brave Viola looks suitably nervous and clutches a white handkerchief. The Headmaster gives them a chance to volunteer knowledge, but they remain obstinate, and Viola even threatens to complain to her parents. The Headmaster has no option but to separate the girls: Viola has to wait outside while the questioning of Hermina continues.

Hermina is visibly scared (the actress Nicol Nova is great at playing apprehension), but she answers all questions with a resolute: "I don't know." It is obvious that the Gardener will need to employ his special method of persuasion. The girl is stripped and ordered to stand straight, with her hands behind her head.

This is a hard caning position, but as always Pavel Stastny is competent with his implement, if harsh. Only a couple of strokes are a little low, and none wrap. The bruising soon turns trademark Lupus purple, but Hermina braves it out, maintaining her position beautifully. The camera alternates between her welted bottom and her pained face. For the last several strokes the Gardener makes the girl bend over with her hands on her thighs, and it's obvious that her determination is waning: she struggles to stay in position, her pain-filled cries become louder.

The camera shifts outside, to the corridor, where the previously self-assured Viola is listening to her friend's anguish. (Hopefully, the caning was not actually continuing off-camera: it would be a shame for the actress if nobody could see her final few strokes.) Viola is torturing her crumpled hanky, now looking very subdued and scared. After several more licks Hermina's resolve crumbles: to Viola's dismay, we hear her confess that this had not been a real kidnapping.

Back in the room, we hear the tearful Hermina spill the beans on Magda and her beau Lexa. The only thing she doesn't know is where the two love-birds had gone, but, encouraged by an ominous swish of the cane through the air, she readily suggests that the Headmaster ask Viola, who is, after all, Magda's best friend.

With Hermina sent to kneel facing the wall, the makeshift court now summons Viola. She feebly attempts to protest by threatening to call the police, but the Head calls her bluff by offering to call the police himself. Still, she doesn't give up easily, and is in no hurry to reveal the address of the hotel that Magda and Lexa had eloped to.

In due course she too is stripped, and is standing with her hands behind her head, while the cane descends on her bare bottom, with a few hard strokes striping her thighs. She too braves it out for a while, keeping position if not her composure, but finally the pain of the whipping takes the better of her, and she tearfully offers to fetch the address of the hotel from her room. A final several strokes are delivered with Viola bending over with her hands on the edge of a desk, and then both girls are kneeling side by side with their caned bottoms on display, as the teachers can at last let out a sigh of relief.

The butcher is not happy when he hears of his daughter's behaviour: he has already paid the supposed kidnappers ransom for his daughter. Swearing that Magda won't be able to sit for a month when he is done talking to her, he storms out of the Headmaster's office. In the hotel he finds his hapless daughter - but no Lexa, who had just left with all the money in his bag, supposedly to buy the villa that would be their love nest. Magda's father opens her eyes on the dealings of her boyfriend, as he'd already been to Lexa's house, where he had found a thick heap of love letters from a rather large group of wealthy girls and women, all professing their adoration, and offering to elope with their fathers' or husbands' money.

Poor Magda sobs on the bed while her father reads out these letters, and when he orders her to bend over the bed for her inevitable whipping, she lifts her pink frilly peignoir and kneels down with her bare bottom displayed for her daddy's belt. What follows is a classic paternal whipping Lupus-style. The doubled belt is a fearsome weapon in the butcher's hands, but Magda has no choice but to endure it. She ends up with a crimson bottom (and a scary stray mark on her lower back), but the butcher has no intention of stopping until she has paid for her misdeeds, and is left to kneel tearfully at the foot of the bed.

Thus ends the film, with a happy ending of sorts for all the characters: the girls have been punished, the butcher presents the school with a basket of his best blood sausages, the Headmaster finally gives the Teacher a passionate kiss, and handsome Lexa has moved on to start a new game of seduction, with a new pretty, wealthy girl.

Adele Haze run's the excellent blog 'A Spanking Models Speaks' http://adelehaze.com

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