Video vixen Tawny Kitaen made her movie debut as the virgin adventuress on a provocative odyssey to find her lost father. But even if she can endure the scorching torment of the desert and steamy hungers of the jungle, will she survive her final ordeal at the hands - and more - of the warrior women of Yik Yak?
Brent Huff and French sex kitten Zabou co-star in this erotic cult classic directed by Just Jaeckin (EMMANUELLE, THE STORY OF O), now fully restored from French vault materials and featuring scenes never-before-seen in America!
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