Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak, The

Reviewed By Scott Weinberg
Posted 08/14/02 07:53:53

"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Victoria's Secret"
3 stars (Average)

The Perils of Gwendoline is a movie I saw way back when I was probably too young to appreciate it, and time has only made it more wacky. Half a low-rent Indiana Jones rip-off, half a French tittie flick, The Perils of Gwendoline is bad to be sure, but it’s so bizarrely and charmingly bad that you simply have to see it to believe it really exists. Fans of bad acting, sets literally made of cardboard, and action sequences bordering on the surreally amateurish will have a ball with this one.

Former Whitesnake jiggle-gal (and Bachelor Party star) Tawny Kitaen plays the titular character, an innocent British (?) lass who has stowed away on board a Far East freighter in an effort to locate her missing father. Along with her loyal sidekick Beth, Gwen promptly finds herself in hot water when she’s kidnapped by a sleazy crew of pirates. Coming to her rescue (more than once) is the gruff, blue-eyed Willard (THAT’S our hero’s name?? Willard???), a no-nonsense sailor/cocaine mule who doesn’t need two nubile young women mucking up his contentedly dingy single life.

After whining and begging for about three hours, Gwen convinces Willy to assist her in locating dear old dad. (OK, she steals his smack and blackmails him into helping her, but it’s all about the same.) With the unpleasantly boyish Beth in tow, Gwen and Willy head off for the legendary land of “Yik-Yak” and enjoy some crazy adventures.

Sounds like your typical Raiders-ish flick, right? That’s what I thought – until about halfway through the movie when it abruptly shifts from ‘derring-do’ and nipple clamps and black rubber. I’m not exactly complaining, but I can’t recall the last movie I saw that turned from ‘adventure flick’ to ‘French softcore S & M bondage tittie flick’ with such knocker-obsessed resolve.

If you thought the treasure-hunting section was wacky, wait till you get a load of Yik-Yak – a town run and populated solely by Amazonian women with metal breastplates and goofy bald heads. If it weren’t for the whirring of my VCR, I’d swear I was in some bizarre pizza-induced sex dream. If you’re looking for the moment where the movie switches gears, it’s probably when our three heroes are tied up in a dungeon and Willard starts talkin’ real dirty. (Like phone-sex dirty.) It’s more hilarious than it is anything else.

Though she’s never come close to being an actual ‘actress’, I’m fairly certain that Tawny Kitaen would rather have this jiggle-fest expunged from her meager resume. Offering a performance that recalls Kathy Ireland in Alien from L.A., Kitaen squeaks and coos and mumbles through the movie, pausing only to expose her modest hoo-haas whenever the arcane plot seems to call for it. (Sample scene: “It’s raining! Take your clothes off!”)

Brent Huff plays his role as a poor man’s Bruce Campbell, alternately wooden and confused at every turn. But he’s got a square jaw, scruffy chin, and blue eyes; he’s your hero. The actress known as Zabou offers very little to the proceedings (particularly in the bra department), although she looks comically like Olive Oyl, and I had a giggle thinking “Hey, I’m watching Olive Oyl with her tits out!”

Actually based on an ancient old French comic strip and featuring some of the worst voice-dubbing ever caught in a film starring someone who would go on to marry a rock star, The Perils of Gwendoline is one cheesy and ridiculous movie...

...but I bet it would make you laugh if you had a few friends close by and two well-rolled joints.

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