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Copyright 1984 Films de L'Alma
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 2 November 2007

The Characters:  

  • Gwendoline - Tawny Kitaen! At first, her only skill is manipulation, which was either an innate ability or one learned in a convent (yeah, a place full of nuns). We see her grow into a full fledged woman by the movie's climax. She kills romantic rivals, perfects her control over a single male, and discovers the joy of S&M.
  • Beth - Gwendoline's female assistant. If the nerdy girl from "Real Genius" went on a diet and gave up caffeinated beverages, a woman like her would probably be the result.
  • Willard - Rough and tumble boat captain. He excels at complaining about Gwendoline.
  • The Cheops - I do not want to be eaten by butterfly worshipping cannibals, even ones tough enough to decorate their bodies with scarification art (of butterflies, of course). Nor would I ever get close to a cage full of them. Being grabbed and then gnawed apart through the bars would suck.
  • The Warrior Women of Yik Yak - They wear leather thong bikinis, samurai shoulder pads (for formal occasions), and have been trained from birth in the use of weapons integrated with their forearm gauntlets. Workers in the society are shaved bald and go about their tasks topless. I did not know Yik Yak existed, but I have been looking for a place like it my whole life. When the underground realm was destroyed by an earthquake, a little piece of me died.
  • The Queen - Wow, big hair.
  • D'Arcy - Groveling male scientist who hates the Queen, but would do anything to stay in her favor. He uses the word "superb" quite often. Speared.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Despite the hype of featuring Tawny Kitaen, specifically, a nude Tawny Kitaen, this film opens with a slideshow sequence that features various representations of butterflies. Frustrated men are likely to take the DVD out of the player, check to make sure it is the right disc, then reinsert it and return to the waltz of the butterflies. The disgruntled viewer might finally skip forward a few chapters, looking for what was promised. As one nerdy fellow once said, "It should be wall to wall tits in here." Jumping forward will reward one with gratuitous female nudity to the extreme. If naked Tawny is your sole interest, skip forward to the hour mark, though some parts of her personal anatomy start appearing earlier.

If you were male in the 80's, you probably knew of Tawny Kitaen. Between her role in "Bachelor Party" and her obvious love of performance automobiles, she was a ubiquitous fixture in many a boy's fantasy. In truth, teenage males spent hours every day obsessing over Tawny Kitaen, Mathilda May, Elle Macpherson, Kim Basinger, Molly Ringwald, and a host of others. I'm surprised that I passed high school with so many distractions.


Gwendoline begins her adventure on a dock. She and Beth are using a shipping crate as an expedient means of transportation; their goal is to reach the last place Gwendoline's father, a renowned entomologist, was heard from. While Beth goes searching for some food, Gwendoline is discovered by three cutthroats. They kidnap the young woman and sell her to the owner of a gambling club. Before the underworld kingpin and his henchman can properly molest Gwendoline, a grappling hook flies through the window and embeds itself in the boss' throat. Willard enters the building through the window and kills the other two bad guys. The tough boat captain is just there to collect money that he is owed; freeing the captive maiden is an unintended consequence, ditto for Beth (subsequently brought in by the same three thugs who "recruited" Gwendoline).

By the way, Willard's grappling hook accidentally kills two people in the course of the film. The casino boss was just the first. If I ever meet that actor while rock climbing, I am getting the heck away from him.

Since he unwittingly helped her, Gwendoline believes that Willard is her champion or some other such nonsense. She pesters him and gets all three of them into trouble with the local police chief before they even get out of the casino. Her whining finally becomes so annoying that her anti-hero agrees to help find information about the missing entomologist. A trip to an opium den rewards the group with an audience with one of the port city's leading information brokers. The older man is mellow, but knows of Gwendoline's father and says that he went into the Yik Yak, a savage desert.

I have no idea how the old information broker stayed so relaxed during his conversation with Gwendoline and Willard. He was being attended to the entire time by a nubile whore who obviously believed she was a cat and the man her kitten. The woman was slowly licking her client's stomach and chest clean, much to the distraction of Gwendoline (and me).

Before they leave the opium den, Willard and the girls are placed under arrest for killing the casino boss. Their incarceration is short lived, because Willard fakes raping Gwendoline and jumps the guard who tries to stop the attack. Two things stand out in the scene. The first is that the guard's ears are ripped off when Willard pulls his head through the bars. The second is that Gwendoline begins begging for more when our hero starts taking advantage of her (he did not warn Gwendoline it was an act), causing him to smack her on the ass so that she screams instead. Once out of prison, Willard makes every attempt to divest himself of the two girls. Nothing works, not even throwing them off of his boat - twice. In desperation, Beth and Gwendoline blackmail the angry captain by hiding a small package he was paid to transport up the river (probably drugs). The only way that Willard will get the package back is to help the pair of maidens in distress. Coincidentally, Yik Yak is located "up the river."

Between you and I, tossing the girls into the water looks like a great way to relieve stress. I would have thrown them overboard at least once more before capitulating.

Another secret I should share with you is that none of this is as fun as it may sound. Some parts are pretty entertaining, especially later on when the characters discover the secret civilization of Yik Yak, but the acting in any random scene with Willard and Gwendoline is so bad as to cause nausea. At times, I think that having both of them drag their fingernails down a chalkboard would have been preferable to the "acting."

The acting really is awful. Go ahead, don't believe me. Happens all the time. Then I get these amusing emails that start with, "I didn't believe you when you said..." and end with, " time I will listen when you say it was that bad. I need to wash out my head."

Sad news greets Gwendoline when the boat stops at Crazy Tom's River Outfitters, because old Tom tells the young woman that her father is dead. The information does not end the adventure (an alternate title for the film is "The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of Yik Yak" - so they have to make it that far); it merely steels Gwendoline's resolve. She intends to discover the butterfly that her father died trying to find and name it in his honor. Still scheming, she sells the purloined drug package to Tom for enough money to entice Willard into continuing. Going into the Yik Yak is almost certainly suicide, but the captain stuffs the wad of cash that Gwendoline offers into his pocket and they set out across the desert.

The journey to the Yik Yak is not an easy one. First they cross an arid, hilly area, then encounter a lush rain forest filled with hidden dangers. During the trip, Gwendoline and Willard bicker like they are married. When he finally gets fed up with the nagging, Willard calls it quits. That is when Gwendoline reveals that she has duped him again. The wad of cash is a single large bill wrapped around some worthless coupons.

I swear, I would have put Gwendoline over my knee and spanked her, even if the result sounded like a flock of seagulls (and I don't mean the band).

Not that I've ever thought about spanking Tawny Kitaen, mind you.

Our trio of would-be adventurers is near their destination when they are captured by the Cheops. The tribe has two uses for outsiders. Men are tied to rope webs at the edge of the Yik Yak and left to die, while women are used for sport, though not the usual "sport" that comes to mind. Gwendoline and Beth will have a chance to escape - if they can outrun the Cheops and, more importantly, the Cheops' dogs. All of this is bitterly related by Willard while the three of them are lying inside of a crude cage with their hands and feet bound. Knowing that they don't have a chance, the masculine captain tells his frightened babe in the woods that he will not let her die without making love. What follows is a comical attempt at intimacy; Willard holds a piece of reed with his teeth and strokes it over Gwendoline, then he starts talking about making love to her. Remember, all three of them are trussed up like calves at a rodeo and lying on the sandy ground. The atmosphere does not keep Gwendoline from getting off. Beth joins in, causing the event to become a verbal ménage à trois.

After the climax, the characters finally realize how ridiculous the whole thing was (glad you people noticed, us viewers have been asking, "WTF?" for a while now) and howl with laughter.

The protagonists do escape from the Cheops and finally reach the Yik Yak. They find the butterflies in an oasis concealed inside of a crevasse. They also encounter female warriors who wear leather gladiator bikinis, complete with spikes and blades. Beth is taken prisoner, while Gwendoline and Willard disguise themselves in "uniforms" obtained from some guards (Willard really needed to shave his face, chest, arms, and buttocks if he wanted to be inconspicuous), but a chance encounter with warrior maidens results in Willard's willy being revealed. All of the female workers jump on the astonished man and start licking his body. Gwendoline is powerless to help her fallen hero at first, but they eventually get away.

If I were Willard, I would have advised Gwendoline to start snapping their thongs. That should have been sufficiently painful to stop the eager women. Wait a minute, being jumped on and licked by half a dozen girls wearing leather thongs is not often cause for alarm. Never mind; I would have told Gwendoline, "Go on without me! Save yourself!"

Yes, my wife reads the reviews. Why do you ask?

The real secret of the Yik Yak is the crazy S&M society that lies underneath the desert. The Queen rules over a kingdom governed by a strict warrior code. The underground city is visually impressive, with its large halls built of white marble and works of art inspired by the elusive butterfly. Another secret of the warrior women is to be found in the bizarre mechanical rooms that D'Arcy designed to harness the power of a nearby volcano. Gwendoline, Willard, and Beth survive several adventures before the volcano destroys the subterranean tribute to male fantasy. When armageddon comes to the realm, it looks like what would result if Irwin Allen directed a film about an earthquake destroying the Coors Brewing Company. At least, I think that Coors is brewed by topless women in leather thongs. Wasn't that in one of their old commercials?

You know, civilizations that exist in close proximity to volcanoes never seem to last.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Fruit cart owners should always purchase collision insurance.
  • Smacking a woman on the ass will cause her to screech like a seagull.
  • A crocodile can and will say, "Ow."
  • Most pirate ships are not made of wicker for a very good reason.
  • Two canteens is enough water for three people in the open desert.
  • Goldfish are twelve feet long, live in trees, and kill their prey through constriction.
  • Making love is like being poked in the mouth with a small reed.
  • Khaki explorer uniforms are made from 50% cotton and 50% activated charcoal.
  • Any woman who remains a virgin past the age of twenty will develop a pronounced echo effect in her voice.
  • Love has no bounds, except for six-ton blocks of marble.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 11 mins - Did anyone else hear something make a "Gush!" sound just now?
  • 21 mins - To be honest, I have never seen that happen before.
  • 36 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS...oh, now those aren't even trying.
  • 43 mins - "Take off your shirts to catch the rainwater!" I am going to remember that trick, especially if I am trapped in the desert with the Swedish bikini team.
  • 48 mins - Terrible acting has never been so painful. Arrgggh! Make them stop!
  • 56 mins - Some maniac must have filled the fog machine with pesticide.
  • 63 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT! (That was the last one. After this, simple physics will prevent me from typing fast enough to record all of them. My hands would burst into flame.)
  • 65 mins - Willard set his penis on stun!
  • 68 mins - Is this some sort of S&M day spa?


  • Willard: "Yuki, I don't care about what's in the crates and I don't care about the bastard who shot at me, but what I don't like is being taken for a fool. So why don't you just give me my money and we'll call it even, okay, 'cause I'm such a nice guy."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note gwendoline1.wav Beth: "Oh, stop it. Listen, this girl traveled four thousand miles in the hold of a ship in order to find her father"
Willard: "What's your father do, anyway?"
Gwendoline: "He collects butterflies."
(Crowd laughter.)
Green Music Note gwendoline2.wav Gwendoline: "Well, on your feet, Willard, because we're leaving tomorrow morning."
Willard: "Yeah, leaving for where?"
Gwendoline: "For the Yik Yak."
Willard: "What the Hell are you going to do in the Yik Yak? You found your father, didn't you?"
Gwendoline: "I'm going to catch that butterfly. It's going to bear his name."
Green Music Note gwendoline3.wav Queen: "I sometimes use men like you, Willard, so that my civilization won't disappear. D'Arcy will organize a contest. Only my best girls will be allowed to compete. The one who is victorious will be yours for the night. Give her a child."
Green Music Note gwendoline4.wav D'Arcy tells Gwendoline part of his story.
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgwendoline1.mpg - 2.9m
Gwendoline and her boy toy are trying to escape from the Queen's warriors. Of course, this being the secret female kingdom of Yik Yak, all of the chariots are pulled by leather-clad women in superb physical condition.

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