Awfully Good: Gwendoline

The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (1984)

Director: Just Jaeckin
Stars: Tawny Kitaen, Brent Huff, Zabou

Is there a plot?

A naïve young girl ships herself to China on a quest to find her missing father, who disappeared in the Orient whilst collecting butterflies. Soon, with the help of her lady servant and a dashing adventurer, she stumbles upon an underground trible of naked feminists called the Yik Yaks.

What's the damage?

Normally this column likes to keep it classy and only feature works that stimulate the intellect or offer insight in to the human condition. But when a female reader makes a case for a movie chock full o' boobies, I have no choice but to oblige. And this example of French erotica passing itself off as high adventure, curiously titled THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK, was too good to pass up.

JIGSPA, the only officially licensed massage parlor from the creators of the SAW franchise.

It seems like a lot of softcore B-movies revolve around tribes of scantily clad women awaiting the loins of adventurous, lost or kidnapped men. (Gee, I wonder why…) GWENDOLINE follows closely in the footsteps of other Awfully Good movies like CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH, HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN and SLAVE GIRLS FROM BEYOND INFINITY, except with a lot more nudity. It also channels a bit of the Madonna-Sean Penn travesty SHANGHAI SURPRISE, with its exotic Asian locale and bickering lead couple, but again, more boobage on display. The story, though silly, is actually pretty well-developed (pun intended). If you took out all the wanton nakedness, you'd be left with a straightforward 80s adventure movie. A poorly written and acted one, mind you, but the point is this isn't a porn with no plot. And what starts as gratuitous cleavage and breast shots soon evolves in to truly ridiculous sex stuff, which is what makes the movie memorable. (Though not surprising, as it's from the director of the EMANUELLE series.) The typical "wise" character who lays out the perilous quest for our heroes? Yeah, he's getting a blowie the entire time he's on screen for no reason. By the end, the fair virgin Gwendoline is intercoursing a guy in a room full of topless onlookers to save his life. Now that's a character arc!

Deleted Scene from BATMAN BEGINS: The Dark Knight practices his accuracy with a grappling hook.

The title character is played by Tawny Kitaen, who you may know as the girl from Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" music video, Dave Coulier's co-host on "America's Funniest People," and my personal favorite—the voice of Annabelle on "Eek! The Cat." Given her resume you can imagine her skills as an actress, but thankfully she has a couple other things going for her. Her naivety makes her a rather passive character, which works out well as it makes room for Brent Huff's Willard. Huff is an "if they mated" version of Henry Fonda and James Coburn without the talent; however, he still dominates the movie with a Bogart-esque swagger and a chauvinistic flair. As a leading man and a romantic lead, it's truly a spectacle to behold. The love story between Willard and Gwendoline is hilarious, as you're seriously watching an abusive relationship unfold before your eyes. One minute he's kiss-raping her in jail or literally throwing her off his ship, and the next he's making word-love to her and protecting her as they run from poisonous wind (just like in THE HAPPENING!).

In a completely unrelated case of irony, Janet's physician had just told her the day before that she needed more iron in her diet.

This is where the movie gets weird/sexy, as our heroes encounter the fabled land of the Yik Yak—a lost society built upon S&M, feminism and toplessness. (GWENDOLINE is loosely based on a popular bondage character from the 50s, which helps this make a little more sense.) The Yik Yak are led by Bizarro Angelica Huston and her Jewish accountant man-servant, who let the most deserving women fight over any man that dares enter their tribe to see who will get to screw him and kill him (ala the Snu-Snu episode of "Futurama"). There's also something about an erupting volcano, weird torture rooms with deadly SAW-style traps, and gladiator fights and chariot races that's BEN HUR with boobs. The best part of this is that the only way Willard can sneak in and help Gwendoline is by dressing up as a woman (thankfully he’s unnaturally hairless to begin with). That means once his cover is predictably blown, our hero still spends the rest of the movie wearing a lady's thong. And of course when all hell breaks loose, Willard also takes this opportunity to throw some women as impromptu missiles.

Queen Amidala gets ready to punish the next guy to call her "M'lady."

"Best" Line

I speak Chinese and I can promise you this lady's bizarre high-pitched squeals are not the actual words subtitled below. (If you've ever seen KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST, you'll notice her speech patterns are similar to that of Ling.)

"Best" Parts

1) This hilarious montage features some of the film's best moments of misogyny. Watch as our hero literally throws women around, uses their bodies as projectiles, and kiss rapes them in jail. There may also be some random ear ripping as well. (NSFW)

2) And the hero's reward for his near-constant abuse of women? Getting subjected to piles and piles of women who want to sexually satisfy him. Lucky bastard.

3) The three main characters are tied up and awaiting execution. Of course the natural thing to do is to engage in a little "oral" sex.

Nudity Watch

Yes, everywhere!


C'mon, the director's name is almost Just Jackin'! Buy this movie here!

Play Along at Home!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Willard mistreats a woman
  • Someone dies via grappling hook
  • One boob is out
  • A butterfly is seen on screen (not including the opening credits)
  • Someone says “Superb”

Double shot if:

  • There's a cock on screen

Thanks to Michelle for recommending this week's movie!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: Digital Dorm
Tags: awfully good



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