Gwendoline (Bilingual) [Import]
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Gwendoline - Unrated Director's Cut (aka - The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak)
So bad it's good, the notorious Gwendoline is one of those outrageously entertaining camp classics that will be enjoyed long after thousands of "better" movies have faded into obscurity. Loosely adapted from John Willie's pioneering 1940s comic strip "The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline," and directed with good-natured humor by French softcore specialist Just Jaekin (Emmanuelle, The Story of O), this delirious dose of mainstream erotica plays like a sexy parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Romancing the Stone. In his own audacious fashion, Jaekin was attempting an ambitious, good-looking adventure with above-average production values, but Gwendoline owes its "bad movie" cult status to its cheesy combination of globe-hopping scenery, tacky sets, hopelessly wretched dialogue, laughably awful acting, and a constant parade of beautiful women, either half-naked or scantily clad in outrageous S&M costumes. The film is also notorious for being the screen debut of Tawny Kitaen (shortly before she appeared with Tom Hanks Bachelor Party), who brings a breathtaking lack of talent (and a very hot body) to her title role as Gwendoline, a scrappy stowaway who arrives in China on a quest to find her missing father, who'd ventured into remote jungles in search of a rare and beautiful butterfly.
Joined by hunky mercenary Willard (Brent Huff) and her loopy friend Beth (played by French model/actress Zabou), Gwendoline survives a variety of absurdly amusing obstacles (including one very phony-looking alligator) until they eventually reach the land of the Yik Yak, an Amazonian slave-culture consisting entirely of slim, sexy women! Through it all, Jaekin's image of women is a source of constant fascination: When they're not kicking ass or running around topless, Kitaen and Zabou act like helpless, virginal airheads who need a man to survive, and Gwendoline plays out like an adolescent wet dream. With a climactic chariot chase that must be seen to be believed, it's all so ridiculous that you can't help but be entertained, and Jaekin's 106-minute, French-language director's cut contains several action scenes that were cut for the film's English-dubbed 88-minute American version, released (and available separately) as The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak. --Jeff Shannon
On the DVD
Jaekin's original cut has been spectacularly restored for this Severin Films DVD release, with both French and English audio tracks and a delightful commentary by Jaekin with journalist/author Tony Crawley and Frederick Levier, former contributor to Starfix, a French magazine devoted to fantastic films; their unabashed enthusiasm for the film makes this commentary an unexpected treat. Also included: a 24-minute video interview with Jaekin, in which he discusses the production history of Gwendoline; a 10-photo gallery of Tawny Kitaen from the French softcore magazine Lui; and a fascinating vintage audio interview with Sweet Gwendoline creator John Willie, from the archives of sex-research pioneer Dr. Alfred Kinsey. Kudos to Severin Films for including these high-quality bonus features with a film that many consider one of the "worst" of the 1980s! One caveat, however: Why not include the American cut Perils of Gwendoline on a second disc, instead of as a separate DVD release? --Jeff Shannon
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The original title of the film was The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak. It is basically a low-budget INDIANA JONES type of adventure movie, only with a whole lot more erotica mixed in. One could say there are elements of Monty Python as well. Brent Huff plays a Harrison Ford wannabe. He has a great physique for an adventure movie, but he's not a particularly good actor. The third major character is Gwendoline's sidekick / friend, Beth (played by French actress Zabou).
The overwhelming reason to buy this DVD may be summed up in 3 words: Tawny Kitaen topless! While she has stripped down in a few other movies (such as WITCHBOARD), one needs to have the pause button on the DVD remote handy to get a good look. Not so with this film. She is topless throughout most of the 2nd half of the film - and that's a very good thing!!!
I can't for the life of me understand why Tawny has not had a more robust acting career or why she didn't make many more movies. For one thing, there have not been too many female redhead movie stars. Tawny is gorgeous and there are a few scenes in this film where she is absolutely ravishing - to the extent that she took my breath away. She is also a better actress than a great many women in Hollywood.
To be sure, this is a very corny movie. Tawny and Zabou are good actors; the rest of the cast are all a bit stilted. I believe it was originally in French as the people all suffer from dubbing-man's disease. However, it is also a very fun movie, and I had forgotten just how cute Zabou is.
So, if you are even a remote fan of Tawny Kitaen you need to JUMP at the opportunity to buy this one. It's a feel good movie and Tawny is the one who will making you feel good!
What's to like? A lot, really. This comes down to us from a time when a B-cup was a god-given gift of beauty and a joy to behold, rather than an unhappy accident to be repaired with implants. It's filled with silliness. "We need water - quick, take your shirt off!" And best, the silliness just gets better as it goes along. Watch the costumes on The Grand Dames of Whatever - the colors get brighter, the poufs get poufier, and the haircuts get closer to one of the worse "Dune" movies.
Babes, bods, bouncing boobies, and bravado. There's a lot to like. Nothing that matters, but a lot anyway.
Good choice of entertainment.They need to bring back a lot of these type
movies with lots of skin and G-rated action. Nudity mades these films very special..
If you liked Sheena or Beast Master this is a good choice.
Of Gwendoline In The Land Of The Yik Yak". However, this version has
all the semi-nude scenes intact. Including the picture perfect topless
Tawny Kitaen & 'French sex kitten' Zabou, in the rain. Also starring
Brent Huff as the 'I don't want to be a hero' hero of the story.
Produced by Jean-Claude Fleury. Directed by Just Jaeckin ( Emmanuelle &
The Story Of O [ Soft-porn, not my type ] ). DVD includes Tawny Kitaen
photo spread for French "LUI" Magazine. This is a must have for cult
movie fans, and will join my collection, between "Barbarella Queen Of
The Galaxy ( Jane fonda 1968 )" & "Teenage Catgirls In Heat (
Esmeralda Huffhines, Helen Griffiths, Dorothy Layne 1999 )".
Michael Steven Scott
aka Cat Springs
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