THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF YIK-YAK
This film version from French director Just Jaeckin, best known for Emmanuelle (1974) and various other classy softcore films, is a silly affair. For the most part, it is merely annoying. The first half plays into all the jingoistic cliches of the exotic adventure. Gwendoline is another of the screaming virginal heroines perpetually falling into peril to be saved by her male companion, the adventures through Chinese gangland and the encounters with the natives contain the tiredest of cliches, not to mention racial caricatures. The slapstick tone taken throughout indicates Just Jaeckins lack of interest in the adventure aspect. In the first half, it is only the bickering between Tawny Kitaen and Brent Huff that gives the film any drive, and this is shrill and extremely irritating.
It is only after the film arrives at the lost city that interest picks up somewhat. Here the film leaps off the deep end into full-fledged fetishist fantasy, featuring bizarre torture devices, half-naked women in black leather, as slaves, engaged in gladiatorial combat and fighting to make love to a bound virile man. A considerable amount has been put into the lost city scenes the sets are impressive and there are even staged indoor chariot races. It has a mildly erotic charge, although perhaps the most erotic moment in the film doesnt involve all the topless women in black leather but is a peculiarly appealing scene where Brent Huff and Tawny Kitaen are tied up in a hut by the natives and he makes love to her by first stroking her face with a straw held in his teeth and then telling her what he would do in words.