Picks and Pans Review: The Perils of Gwendoline

UPDATED 03/04/1985 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/04/1985 at 01:00 AM EST

Writer-director Just (Emmanuelle) Jaeckin claims Gwendoline is a departure from his customary soft porn into the realm of adventure-fantasy. But the pervasive smuttiness here indicates that this leopard hasn't changed any spots. The film is a chintzy exploitation in which Romancing the Stone, Raiders of the Lost Ark and many ladies' blouses are ripped off. The movie is based on a 40-year-old "adult" comic strip by the late bondage illustrator John Willie. Jaeckin's plot involves the tribulations of an explorer's daughter, Tawny (Bachelor Party) Kitaen, and her female sidekick, Zabou. They embroil an unshaven adventurer, former model Brent Huff, in their search for Kitaen's father. If the script ever made any sense, it was lost in the process of dubbing dialogue from the native languages of the multinational cast into English. Kitaen and her often-bared body are shamefully exploited. At one point the questing, and by this time thirsty, trio is caught in a downpour. Huff, of course, can only think of one way to collect some water: "Hurry. Take off your clothes. Unless you want to die of thirst." There is also an underground city populated by Amazons who wear black leather breastplates and G-strings. This pandering metropolis is located in the forbidden land of Yik-Yak. Claptrap. Throw this dog a bone. (R)

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