Dr. Stanley Milgram was a psychologist who performed a study to see if Adolph Eichmann’s defense against Nazi war crimes (wherein Eichmann claimed that he should be blameless for his actions since he was acting under the authority of the ruling government at the time the acts were committed, so therefore the government is to blame) might have some validity. Milgram then set up an experiment to see if common, ordinary people were capable of performing acts of cruelty against another person if they were told they would not be held liable for their actions. Milgram’s experiment proved Eichmann had a strong argument, and in Mood Pictures’ The Milgram Experiment, they took it a step farther, with acts far more cruel than what Milgram had done.|
I gave the first “Milgram Experiment” movie an A+ for several reasons, most of which was the first and last segments. That film was gritty and horrifying to watch, both sexually and psychologically, with beautiful women being subjected to long sessions of whipping and humiliation punctuated by the reluctance of the women ordering those unfortunate victims to be whipped. The struggle on both sides of the window was remarkably gripping.
Mood Pictures hadn't planned on making a sequel, but the popularity of their first film prompted them to make another. They read my criticisms of the first film – and my glowing review – and incorporated the positive aspects while revising the negative. So did they accomplish something that so few studios have done successfully? Did they actually make a sequel that is better than the original? Read on.
The Milgram Experiment 2 opens with a brief explanation of how the experiment’s room is set up, and a brief explanation of how the experiment will be conducted. The “Wednesday Addams” lab assistant is back and looking more beautiful than ever. She’s also just as cruel and manipulative as she was in the first film. Every good movie needs a bad villain, and in this film it’s her. She’s the girl you want to love, even if you know she’s going to stick a stiletto in your neck after she has a screaming orgasm.
The first pair to be tested is Mood Pictures’ newest redhead, Bella, and the “mark”, Jessica. They're told to review the contract and sign it. While the “doctor” is away, Bella and Jessica engage in conversation and Jessica even compliments Bella on her hair-do, with a mutual promise to exchange the name of the hairdresser after the experiment is over. What makes this segment worth noting is that Jessica is like any other outgoing young woman. She’s friendly, vivacious, pleasant, and pretty. Although we know this is a Mood Pictures film and we suspect where this is going, we can't help but think “Oh no, not her!” If she’s corruptible, aren't we all?
Of course we are.
The experiment begins and, as in the first movie, we're taken on a roller-coaster ride of emotions as the “teacher” tries to adhere to the experiment’s rules while at the same time attempting to protect the student. This dichotomy raises this segment to a level that wasn't present in the first film, and the result is certainly unexpected. Don't worry, I won't spoil this part for you but trust me when I say that if you're a fan of whipping, medical experiments, and psychological horror you won't be disappointed.
That’s quite a bang, and there are three more segments to go!
Next up we have the “mark” Emese paired with one of my favorite Mood/Elite Pain models, Tara Breek. You may remember her from the film “Fear”, which I also reviewed favorably, particularly her performance in it. What excites me about her is the way she handles the pain. Most women scream and shout and cry, but Tara internalizes the pain. The more it hurts, the quieter she gets. But in her silence you can see the emotion behind it. You want to cry out for her, because she doesn't. Of course, it doesn't bode well for Tara when you have Wednesday Addams as your lab assistant.
This segment goes on for a while, and you'll wince with every stroke.
Next up comes the “innocent lamb” of the Mood Pictures stable, Nancy, paired with a heavy-set woman as the teacher. During the introduction, Nancy deliberately acts bitchy towards the woman, chastising her for talking too much and, comically, grabbing the same envelope the woman does during the selection process. She tops it off by telling the woman she doesn't have a pen when the woman asks to borrow one. So what happens when you piss off the wrong woman? I think we all know what this will lead to, and sure enough, it does. It leads to something very much like this:
Shivering, quivering, crying. It’s all here. If you're a fan of Alice Cooper or running mascara in general, you'll love Nancy’s tears. At one point I was afraid her body was going to shut down from the abuse, but she gets no such relief. Even the teacher can see that things aren't progressing the way she'd like, so she has a little pow-wow with Wednesday Addams.
And it just gets worse from here. Worse, in a good way if you're into this sort of thing, and I think you are, which means you'll absolutely love this sequence. First she gets her pants pulled down, then her underwear, leaving her completely naked and vulnerable to the whip. Poor Nancy gets a thorough working-over to the point that she can't stand up under her own power, causing the experiment to end. But what sealed the deal for me was the teacher’s closing words, which I won't reveal here because I believe you should get a little surprise for your money and this scene really delivers on the promise of some gut-wrenching stuff.
Next we have my new favorite Mood Pictures girl, Roxanne. She doesn't have the most athletic body of the stable (that award goes to Annette, who isn't in this movie) but she does have the cutest face and definitely the most engaging attitude about her. She reminds me of the sorority girls I knew in college, that were so sweet and innocent on campus but real party girls at the bars and the most adventurous in the bedroom. You really want to see her get worked over, and I can think of no better way to end this film than with her taking a turn on the frame. And what’s better than a sorority girl getting tortured with a whip? How about her getting tortured on the command of a moderately-attractive nerdy red-head girl with a chip on her shoulder? Perfect.
But here’s the thing about nerdy girls. They're smart. After a progression of whippings, the teacher starts to figure things out. She begins to jump ahead of the game; she starts to suspect the outcome. But there’s one problem. She can't outthink her own psychology. Secretly, she’s a sadist. She enjoys inflicting pain, particularly against someone she’s decided represents every pretty girl in every class that’s pretended to be her friend just to use her intelligence for their own benefit. She has an underlying grudge against society and people in general and she’s been given carte blanche to do whatever she wants without fear of reprisal. Complicating things is this experiment and a problem with an uncooperative student. Fortunately, she has Wednesday Addams as her advisor, who is more than happy to help her resolve her issues. Together, they come to a mutual agreement on how best to deal with the situation.
Of course if whipping doesn't work, then shame will. Right? Well, it’s worth a shot, at least. So our intrepid amateur intellectual gives it the ol’ college try. Never mind the student’s opinion on the matter. After all, the student is to blame for not performing better. Any idiot can listen to a dozen random words and match them up if given only one chance to memorize them. Right? I'm sure the nerdy girl does it every night to test her own intellectual capabilities. Besides, the student has no rights and labor management wishes slavery had never been abolished. The nerdy girl has the power here and nobody will stop her, so let’s get started, shall we?
This goes on for quite a while and you will feel every stroke. At one point the teacher even gives her student some encouragement to keep enduring the whipping. When they reach the end, the teacher announces the twentieth stroke with a flourish. Chilling? Yes. A monster is awakening. But that’s just the beginning of the horrors unleashed on the girl formerly known as Roxanne, now just the subject of the experiment; an organism reduced to simple stimulus-response observation. The teacher is doing the stimulating and she’s not liking the way the student is responding. Without even asking another question, the teacher begins to think about new ways to torture her student. She consults with Wednesday Addams and after a short discussion, Dr. Addams has an idea. But, of course, it is far too cruel for this experiment.
Or is it?
One thing I've learned is that if you give someone power, they will take every bit of it. The red-headed Bitch of Budapest has been given power over a girl and she’s going to take as much of that power as she can and use it to achieve her goals. Nothing is beyond the limits of humanity here. If it takes switching the instrument of torture to something so cruel that most women can't handle it, then that is what will be done!
But even an intellectual amateur scientist knows that the experiment can't succeed if the subject is dead, so she begins to question what exactly is going on. She asks if there’s a nurse or someone who could check on the subject to make sure she isn't about to pass out and/or die. Wednesday Addams says that there isn't anyone medically trained but that the experiment should continue, that everything is safe and being conducted under close supervision. But the Bitch of Budapest isn't satisfied, and if she isn't satisfied, then nobody is going to be satisfied, including Wednesday Addams. The Bitch says the experiment is over, and that’s that.
So is this film better than the first one? In my opinion, yes. The models are better looking, the teachers are more engaging, and the punishments go on for a very long time. The film isn't perfect – I miss Mandy Tortega as the executioner but Giulianna does a good turn at the job. Mandy had the cold-as-death air about her. Giulianna does not. However, she would have made a very good Ilsa:She-Wolf of the SS type of executioner with the right wardrobe. With Giulianna’s Aryan features, the producers could have exploited that subliminal connection. Oh well. Maybe next time.
Another thing I pined for was the forced cutting-away of the clothing. In the first film, the students were bound wrist-and-ankles to the frame, limiting their movements. The cutting away of the clothing added a more intense shaming element to the piece than simply unbuttoning the pants and sliding them down the students’ legs. The cutting heightens the feeling of humiliation – not only are the clothes coming off, they won't be going back on, either.
If I could add something to the experiment, it'd be a fourth level of punishment rather than just three as used in the first film and in this one. In other words, the punishment could start with a leather whip, then move to a full stripping, then to a caning, and then add a fourth punishment by having the student’s nipples clipped to a chain and that chain clipped to the fencing. Or install an adjustable bar about waist-high to hold the student’s butt out farther. But these are minor criticisms of a film that surpasses its predecessor much the same way as Aliens was better than Alien and Star Trek: Wrath of Khan surpassed the first “Star Trek” movie. Both Milgram Experiment and Milgram Experiment 2 stand on their own merits, but ME2 is just a little bit more in the way of looks, sexual energy, and insight into human psychology and the horror that resides in all of us. The fact that the video is real - that the "teacher" is not an actress but someone who is genuinely there to conduct this sort of medical experiment - elevates the movie above your typical BDSM-style film. Mood Pictures could make another sequel and the concept would never get old.