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

GwendolinePosterLike Jane and the Lost City, this is another bottom of the barrel Indiana Jones rip-off based on a comic-strip featuring a heroine who gets into all kinds of outlandish and semi-nude situations. And while Jane and her PG rating never even tried to get naughty, Gwendoline actually attempts to deliver the dirty goods! And of course fails woefully.

Gwendoline (1980s Whitesnake music video wet dream Tawny Kitaen) escapes from a convent because she had a dream that her father was in great danger while looking for a rare butterfly. Apparently this dream told her to box herself up in a crate, Fed Ex her gorgeous ass to an exotic port city in the Orient and wait for her friend Beth to unpack her so they can go off and find daddy and his butterfly.

Since this is an exotic port city, there are a lot of unsavory characters milling around the docks, opening up crates looking to steal stuff like hot babes who just ran away from a convent!

These three dudes steal Gwendoline (and some bibles!) and haul her up to a slimy big boss type guy where they attempt to sell her, probably so she could give bible instruction to him or something. Meanwhile, her worthless best friend Beth, whose main distinguishing characteristic is her Prince Valiant haircut, follows her.

Things don’t look so good for our gals when suddenly, a guy busts into the joint and starts a big donnybrook with the thugs holding Gwen. Our hero triumphs and somehow the big boss ends up with a grappling hook in his head.

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The movie makes one of its numerous unfortunate stabs at humor when this guy looks at Gwen and Beth and says, “he owed me $800.” Cost of shipping hot babe in crate to exotic port city: $125. Cost of getting grappling hook in skull: $800. Cost of abysmal humor substituting for character development: priceless.

Brent Huff (Cop Game, Scorpio One) plays Gwendoline’s rescuer and inexplicably, his character’s name is Willard. Willard? What kind of name is that for a hero? I understand names like Braddock, Rambo, and Indiana Jones, but Willard? It sounds like the name of a fat kid who wears sweaters to school and pees sitting down.

Of course, Willard is the reluctant hero-type that we’ve all grown tired of. He doesn’t want anything to do with Gwen and her stupid problems and eventually will only help once she promises to pay him money.

It’s all really not that convincing for any number of reasons. First, no guy is going to refuse to help a hot looking chick. Second, Willard has nothing better to do than grope Oriental girls at a card game. Third, when Willard reels off this long list of dangers and tribulations they face on the road to the land of the Yik Yak, Gwendoline offers him $2000 to go and he says yes.

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Two thousand dollars? I know Jungle Jack Buck did it all for free in Jane and the Lost City, but he never portrayed himself as a stubbly Han Solo wannabe. If Willard was really such a reluctant hero, would two grand be enough to get him to risk his ass?

After breaking out of jail, they traipse through the jungle and the desert (apparently they are right next to each other) when it suddenly starts to rain. He tells everyone to take off their shirts and surprisingly this not-so-subtle line worked.

Willard tells them it’s so they can catch rain water. I guess using your shoes or your hat would be silly. Well, they all get topless and I’m suddenly wondering why Gwendoline is running around with a 12 year old boy named Beth.

Thankfully, the rain stops and Gwen and company resume their trek, soon being captured by the Cheops. These are your basic savages, with spears, painted faces, giant spider webs, sacrifices, and even a poisonous wind!

Following yet another jail break, they escape into the poison wind and finally end up in the land of the Yik Yak.

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Gwen knows her father is dead so she’s now actually not trying to find him, but that dang butterfly nobody but her and her dead daddy care one dang bit about!

The rest of the movie details the problems they encounter with the Amazon-type broads that inhabit the area. These problems include getting captured, running around in these ridiculous g-strings (not terribly flattering on Mr. Huff), fighting to the death for the right to make whoopie to Willard (he’s to be killed once it’s done) and a chariot race where the horses are topless women! (Ben-Hur eat your heart out!)

The music in this movie deserves some mention. It was this generic synthesizer music like you would hear in Bladerunner. The only thing though besides the music (horribly out of place in an old time cliffhanger-adventure film) that this movie had in common with Bladerunner is that Tawny Kitaen’s acting, line reading, and vacant facial expressions were that of a replicant.

Other than some boobies, this had absolutely nothing going for it. The villains were all either ill-defined in motivation or just plain cardboard cut outs you would have expected to see in one those Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s. Likewise, the sets looked cheap and flimsy, as if they were a holdover from eighty years ago, too.

When you get down to it, the movie is mush at its center as well. The whole point of all the adventures and risk taking is because they are looking for a butterfly. No one else is looking for it or even cares if it is found. Gwendoline merely confirms that hunting for a bug doesn’t generate nearly the thrills that hunting for the Holy Grail or the Lost Ark does. This was such a stupid adventure that even moronic treasure obsessed Nazis wouldn’t sign up for it.

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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