Gwendoline [1984]

Stars: Tawny Kitaen, Zabou
For American bad-movie buffs who wish to remember The Perils of Gwendoline as they originally saw it, this 88-minute English-dubbed version of Just Jaekin's Gwendoline will offer a shamelessly entertaining trip down memory lane. Lavishly produced on a miraculously economical budget of $10 million, this tongue-in-cheek adventure plays like a softcore parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Romancing the Stone, with sex kitten Tawny Kitaen making her dubious debut in the title role of Gwendoline (loosely based on John Willie's pioneering adult comic strip "Sweet Gwendoline"), a slim, sexy, and virginal adventuress on a globetrotting quest to find her missing father, last seen in the remote jungle seeking a rare and beautiful butterfly. As the plot hurdles toward the mysterious land of an all-female slave culture known as the Yik Yak (where cheesy sets and nudity can be found in abundance), Gwendoline recruits hunky mercenary Willard (Brent Huff) and loopy friend Beth (played by French model/actress Zabou) for a series of colorful misadventures including a climactic chariot chase that must be seen to be believed. So bad it's good, Perils boasts some of the worst acting in movie history, but the constant parade of T&A guarantees that it will be seen and enjoyed long after thousands of "better" movies have faded into obscurity. While Jaekin's unrated director's cut includes a full-length commentary and a few scenes not included here, anyone can enjoy this shorter American version without feeling like they've missed anything essential. --Jeff Shannon

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