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My Unfair Lady

Prof. Otokar Haloun, (Lars Moebius)
Liza Sekalova, (Ester Slaba)
Mici Sekalova, (Jarmila Hejdukova)
Maid, (Helena Kubecova)
Ferda Sekalova, (Jan Zlatousty)
Pepek Crha, (Petr Podhajsky)
Policeman, (Lukas Wolf)
Directed by Zbysek Podhajsky
Czech with English Subtitles
Running Time: 28 minutes (plus 10 min. of bonus scenes)
Guest Review by: JBI (November 5, 2007)

Inspired by the 1964 musical comedy "My Fair Lady" (adapted from Shaw's "Pygmalion"), this is Lupus' most charming, but not most severe or exciting, film to date. An especially deft touch is the background music ("The Rain in Spain") is also taken from the original film. All the production details, late-19th century costumes, sets, and atmosphere are splendid.

Although hefty Lars Moebius as the professor and redhead Ester Slaba as Eliza Doolittle (shortened to Liza) aren't exactly Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, they're fine in this diverting take on the old classic. Fortunately, everything is played pretty straight without any strained or clumsy attempts at humor. However it would have been amusing to see a Czech-language version of the elocution lesson ("The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains.")

Story: A professor of "ethopedia" (ethnology?) bumps into Liza and her sister Mici (lovely first-timer Jarmila Hejdukova) on a street corner where they sell flowers and sexual favors. He bets his colleague he can turn this poor guttersnipe into a proper lady by changing her environment. But the girls slip away after stealing his wallet.

Back at home, their pimp-like father demands money from the girls. When they protest, he explodes and orders Mici is strip naked, bends her over the kitchen table and gives her a furious 40 strokes of the cane (which is the Lupus minimum, by the way). The caning ends when the professor and a cop burst in, retrieve the wallet, and strike a deal to have Liza come and stay with him for this social experiment. For some reason he doesn't notice gorgeous Mici standing there naked the whole time. Jarmila Hejdukova has a jaw-dropping set of curves and such a saucy, unashamed attitude, she's one of the sexiest girls to grace a Lupus video. Let's hope she does more films.

Sadly, that's the last we see of Jarmila/Mici. At the professor's house, Liza insults the maid after getting out of the bath. The angry maid bends her over the tub and whacks her with a long-handled brush. The dark, poorly lit scene is just a throw-away teaser, only 18 quick whacks before the professor bursts in. (Damn these interrupting characters.) Why can't Lupus give us long, intense hairbrush, bath-brush, and paddle scenes like they do at Pacific Force? The rest is a departure from the usual three-girls-get-caned scenario as we switch to the tawse -- a wide leather strap cut into three strips. In the next scene the professor quickly gives up on the bratty Liza. The maid puts the naked girl over a stool and applies 20 lashes, then she has the professor lay on 13 more. Liza is now somewhat tamed. Then we abruptly fade into the middle of her next tawsing (presumably, the next day). The professor gives her a good 26 strokes that adds to her collection of pink, diagonal stripes.

In the final scene, director Podhajsky and assistant director/editor Alexandra Wolf have a cameo as a high society couple. The professor and Liza, now attired like a lady, meet them in a park. This ends on a punchline, but it's so poorly translated into English that you almost have to make up your own joke. This underscores the continuing problem with the subtitles. (For example, at one point the girls are called "wrenches" instead of wenches.)

DVD Bonus material: Three scenes, the caning and two tawsings. We see both camera views (medium shot and closeup) all the way through, uncut. One of the best ideas in the history of fetish films. We get to see the full-length action scenes before they got edited. Everyone should do this. Plus, a one-minute interview with Jarmila Hejdukova.

Summary: Appealing premise and setting, one pretty good caning of medium intensity (by Lupus standards), wimpy bath-brush use, two respectable tawse-whippings. Recommended for those who like tawsings and whine that Lupus' canings are too severe.

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