Wrapping around your slender frame with an unpredictable cruelty, the whip lashes against your flesh at the behest of The Fantom Whipper, the primary whip-wielder in the whip-tastic Mark of the Whip, the whipping fetish movie so whip-centric that when we do finally see a Polish penis going in and out of a Slovak vagina, we can't help but look at it with a cockeyed sense of wonder and befuddlement. Hold the rotary telephone, did you just spell phantom with an 'F'? Let me check. Well what do you know, it looks like I just did. You didn't just watch another film by Roman Nowicki, did you? Who? You know exactly who, the writer-director of Fantom Kiler, the erotic slasher flick produced by Teraz Films. Why wouldn't I...watch another one of his films? Do you really want me to answer that? Don't be such a pompous prick. Sure, there are a lot of things to bemoan about his films. But I have to admit, there's also something decidedly off-kilter about them. And I think one of the main reasons can be summed up by uttering two simple words. Are you ready? Eastern Europe. What does that have to do with anything? Hear me out. Take away this film's Eastern European component, and what you're left with is, well, not really worth writing about. Actually, that's not entirely true. There is, after all, the question surrounding the masks. You see, all the men in this movie wear rubber masks. Now, I can see why The Fantom Whipper would wear a mask, um, duh, he's The Fantom Whipper, it's par for the course that he wear a mask. But the police inspector, the construction worker, and even some of the extras in the bar, why were they wearing masks? It didn't making any sense. And therein lies another reason why this movie is so appealing.
Again, if the film made any sense, it probably wouldn't be as entertaining. Imagine if you removed the Eastern European babes (and their wonky grasp of the English language) and took away the masks. What's that? You don't want to imagine that because you have no intention of watching this film. Fair enough. Nevertheless, the film wouldn't be the same.
You'll notice that I mentioned that the Eastern European babes speak English in this film; if you remember, the dialogue in the Fantom Kiler was weird mix of incorrectly subtitled Polish and Russian. What's your point? My point is, their broken English, combined with their unorthodox approach to acting, was the reason the film worked on so many levels. Really? 'Cause in my mind that sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Yeah, it sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it totally isn't. Oh, sure, when Maria Vaslova first opens her mouth to complain about being lost in the film's opening scene, a felt a wave of nervousness trickle up and down my spine. But once I got used to her wooden delivery, it was easy sailing the rest the away.
I wish I could say the same for Maria Vaslova's Sylvia, a leggy Czech woman with fake breasts, as she finds herself in the middle of woods surrounded by a haphazardly assembled throng of masked reprobates brandishing whips. You're right, that doesn't sound like easy sailing. But then again, the film is called "Mark of the Whip," not "Mark of the Easy Sailing."
The fact, by the way, that Maria Vaslova had fake breasts was a tad distressing. Not to imply that they impeded my ability to enjoy the robust whipping she receives at the hands of the masked reprobates and The Fantom Whipper; I'm not a big fan of maledom (in fact, I loathe it), I much prefer femdom. It's just that one of the reasons I like Eastern European women so much is that they haven't been tainted by the garish excesses of the body modifying phenomenon that has infected the western world.
Since Miss Vaslova hasn't reveled her fraudulent titties yet, let's enjoy the sight of her wandering the mist-laden woods in a leggy manner, shall we? Girl, you wander those woods. According to her vaguely coherent ramblings, Sylvia, who is wearing a light-coloured mini-dress, says, "My car is broke. Need to find a bridge." Using a flashlight to help find her way, Sylvia's attempt find "a bridge" is repeatedly impeded by the masked reprobates I mentioned earlier. Crowding around her, the masked reprobates start to whip Sylvia en masse. To ease the chaos of the whipping, the reprobates tie Sylvia up. This allows each masked reprobate a chance to get his licks in.
I'm not really enjoying the whipping from an erotic point of view, but I have to admit, the atmosphere is fantastic. Apparently, the reason I'm not enjoying the whipping is because the people doing the whipping are amateurs. Stepping out from the shadows, The Fantom Whipper (Conrad Bismark) makes his presence felt. Sporting a white mask, a long black coat and carrying a huge whip, The Fantom Whipper tells Sylvia: "Forgive my children, for they don't know how to whip." He actually says that? He sure does. Amazing. I'm not an expert when it comes to whipping, but I could tell The Fantom Whipper was a first-rate whipper, as he makes mincemeat out of Sylvia's mostly real organic structure.
Lying bed in the hospital the next day, Sylvia, who is wearing a ball gag for some reason, explains to Detective Carla Nowak (Hana Liska) that she was first whipped by a bunch of "ugly village retards," but then she felt the lash of The Fantom Whipper. When describing being whipped by the latter, Sylvia's temperament seems to change. Instead bemoaning the fact that she was stripped naked and whipped for an extended period of time, Sylvia sounds like she enjoyed the experience.
Telling Det. Nowak that just mere thought of being whipped by The Fantom Whipper is making her soft, sensitive pussy wet, it's clear Sylvia is addicted to the crack of his whip. Oh, and the reason the nurse put a ball gag in her mouth was to stop her yelling at her fellow patients (she kept demanding that they whip her).
When the nurse starts to apply cream to Sylvia's whip marks, Hana Liska grabs the film by its haunches and never lets go. Huh? Check out the quality of Hana's acting as she watches the nurse rub cream all over Sylvia's fake breasts. Employing lip biting and inquisitive head tilting simultaneously, Hana Liska's acting style is unlike anything I've ever seen.
Don't believe me? Well, don't worry, you get to experience more of Hana Liska's unorthodox acting style in the next scene, which finds Det. Nowak tracking down The Fantom Whipper at a local pub. Wearing a slinky black dress, Det. Nowak, who is undercover, sits next to The Fantom Whipper at the bar (check out the bottle of J+B). You mean The Fantom Whipper is just sitting there, with his mask on? Of course. Isn't that a little conspicuous? Not at all. Lot's of guys in the pub are wearing creepy masks. He even tells Det. Nowak that "he whips women" when she asks him what he does for a living.
Anyway, getting back to Hana Liska's acting. Watch Hana Liska as she listens to The Fantom Whipper explain, in lurid detail, the appeal of the lash. Displaying the same talent for lip biting and inquisitive head tilting she did in the previous scene, Hana Liska adds smoking to her ever-growing repertoire of acting tricks. It was almost as if Hana Liska had never smoked a cigarette before, as she held the cigarette in a manner that was highly irregular. While that sounds like it would a bad thing, it's not. Everything Hana Liska does in this movie, from the way she walks, to the way she talks, hell, even to the way she holds a gun and dials a telephone, was out of the ordinary.
Informing The Fantom Whipper that his whip-based soliloquy has made her cunt moist, Det. Nowak invites him to feel for himself. Spreading her legs ever so slightly, The Fantom Whipper takes his gloved hand and pokes her vagina. Bringing the gloved hand up to his face, The Fantom Whipper declares her pussy juice to be a "delicious cocktail."
Despite the delicious cocktail, Det. Nowak is still unconvinced that whipping can cause women to experience orgasm. In order to prove it, The Fantom Whipper invites Det. Nowak to come see his whipping loft.
Am I crazy or does Hana Liska have legs for miles?
Unlike Sylvia, Det. Nowak is all natural. And I must say, it's a beautiful thing. The Fantom Whipper seems to agree, as he calls her "magnificent." Which is high praise, considering the fact that The Fantom Whipper is famously stingy when it comes to giving out compliments.
As The Fantom Whipper is inserting the handle of his whip into Det. Nowak's private cubbyhole, she pulls a gun out of her purse and starts reading him his rights. Ha! Ha! Busted! Ahh, look at the way Hana Liska is holding her gun. It's so fucking singular, it makes my spirit soar. Unfortunately, this singularity allows The Fantom Whipper to turn the tables on her with relative ease. Knocking her unconscious (even they way Hana falls to the ground is unique), Det. Nowak wakes up tied to the ceiling with a ball gag in her mouth. Prepare to feel the sting of the lash, Det. Nowak, because you're about to be whipped by a professional.
To the surprise of no one, Det. Nowak, just like Sylvia, is now addicted to the lash, and is craving a good whipping the very next day. However, in order to feel the crack of his mighty whip, Det. Nowak must do something for him in return. And you know what that means? That's right, put on your nicest black fishnet body stocking, Hana, 'cause your Polish and/or Czech ass has got some jewels to steal.
If I had to hurl one criticism in the general direction of Mark of the Whip, it's that the whipping scenes go on for far too long. Sure, I liked how The Fantom Whipper's whip slowly reduced Det. Nowak's fishnet body stocking to frayed bits of netted nothingness during her post-jewel theft, nipple clamp-assisted forest whipping, but the whipping scenes were at times tedious. That being said, I dug the overall atmosphere of the film. And the fact that it seems to take place within its own universe.