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Tales of the Sin District: The Cat House

Lupus Pictures (2006)
Vendula Steinova - Elen
Linda Nova - Tonka
Maria Kralova - Frona
Vaclav Josef Rejnek - Chief Constable
Directed by Zbysek Podhajsky
Czech with English Subtitles
Running Time: 31 minutes (no bonus features)
Guest Review by: JBI posted 12/14/07

SUMMARY: This followup to Sin District: Close Encounters is a standard, but less satisfying "three-girls-get-caned" scenario dressed up in fancy '20s period costumes and inserted into a more complex story. Unfortunately, despite the superb production, the canings (the reason most people watch these films) are a bit disappointing.

INTRO: Rigid East/Lupus has always struck me as either a theatrical troupe that wanted to make legitimate films but gave up to produce CP flicks -- or a group of eccentric fetish-film buffs who bought all these amazing costumes and props from a bankrupt theater or studio and decided to make high-class kink.

Making the most of their classy sets, costumes, and props, Lupus is trying to have it both ways. They want to create the illusion that you're watching a "real" movie, and that the punishment scenes are incidental rather than the main focus of the story. It is a delicate balance, and this one tips a bit too far toward storytelling while short-changing us in the CP department.

STORY: Set in the same 1920s police station with characters and props (and amazing museum-piece wall phone) from the earlier film. A madam bribes the Chief Constable so her hooker girls are released. There's also a subplot about a safe-cracker who drifts in and out of the story.

CANINGS: Without wasting too much time, we cut straight to the caning segment in the parlor of the cathouse. The set is richly decorated with vintage trappings, old music playing, and even a haze of smoke in the air that adds nicely to the mood. First, lovely blonde Vendula Steinova (Elen) is caned. The positioning here is very awkward. She gets on the floor with her left knee up on the edge of the couch. The madam canes her with good force (44 strokes), but the scene is spoiled by the constant squirming and pauses. After every couple of strokes, Vendula screams, falls out of position, grabs her ass and begs for mercy. She did the same thing in Hidden Camera 2 (see my review). This is very annoying. In the previous "Close Encounters", she played the same role and took a terrific caning straight through without any nonsense or breaks in the action.

The second girl is even worse. Brunette Linda Nova ("Tonka") can't take it and falls to the floor crying after nearly every stroke. (Same clumsy one-knee-raised position.) Finally a patron (Achnaton Kual) in a very bad hairpiece offers to hold her down. This is better, but we soon cut away, twice, to Vendula in bed with the constable for some pointless dialog.

Finally we get to the adorably elfin Maria Kralova ("Frona"). A real cute girl with a great body and a pixie-ish innocence. She's taken a severe beating in countless videos. Once again, she assumes the odd position and takes about 46 strokes -- this time delivered by the male patron. She does better than the others, but still does the lurch, grab, and beg maneuver every 3rd stroke or so.

MORE STORY: After that, for those who care, there is about 10 minutes more about the cops, the thief, and a Commissoner-like "Counsellor" (played by director Podhajsky) who reprimands the constable then asks to see the brothel. At the end we hear him thrashing the girls off camera.

CONCLUSION: Despite the excellent production, this has a "Been there, done that" feeling. We've seen canings before, and we've seen them done much better. Stay with "Close Encounters" -- at least it delivered three severe, rapid-fire canings that made sitting through the story worthwhile.

Lupus would be so much better if they took half of that creative energy they squander on character and story development and invested it in devising an exciting variety of punishment scenes instead of merely dressing up the same old caning scenario over and over.

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