Gwendoline (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Apr 09, 2020
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Gwendoline (Blu-ray Review)

Director

Just Jaeckin

Release Date(s)

1984 (November 19, 2019)

Studio(s)

The Samuel Goldwyn Company (Severin Films)
  • Film/Program Grade: C-
  • Video Grade: A-
  • Audio Grade: B
  • Extras Grade: A-

Gwendoline (Blu-ray Disc)

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Review

Severin Films has been busy releasing a variety of films as of late, from Eurosleaze to the erotic to the undervalued, all on Blu-ray with fresh film transfers and extras. Their last several titles have been no different, offering up a kaleidoscope of cinema’s mostly forgotten films.

Gwendoline (aka The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak) sees Tawny Kitaen as the titular young and innocent heroine, Zabou Breitman as her tag-along but resourceful friend Beth, and Brent Huff as the crusty but handsome adventurer Willard—the three leaving China behind and heading to the land of the Yik Yak where Gwendoline’s father went missing while searching for an elusive and rare butterfly. There they find trouble at every turn, including poisonous winds, cannibal tribesmen, and a cult of diamond miners run by an all-female society. While Gwendoline and Willard are fighting against their feelings for each other, Gwendoline is also discovering herself along the way and proving to be more than just a naive rich girl as they battle their way in and out of the heavily-guarded diamond mine.

Tawny Kitaen, the sex kitten that inhabited the imaginations of many men throughout the better part of the 1980s, headlines this Indiana Jones meets Alien from L.A. crossed with Emmanuelle romp based upon the comic book The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline. The dialogue is clunky and the performances tend to be over the top, but the one thing that Gwendoline can never be accused of being is boring. There are plenty of wild moments of action, occasional bits of gore, and heaping amounts of female nudity at any given time. The story itself wraps up nicely, even after a bonkers ceremony wherein Willard is subjected to a group of women descending upon his body for you know what before Gwendoline takes charge. It’s not the kind of film that’s particularly good, but for certain audiences, it’s wildly entertaining.

The film comes to Blu-ray with a 4K scan of the uncensored director’s cut of the film from the original camera negative. It’s a spectacular-looking presentation, soaking in fine detail with a variety of hues on display. Only scratches and speckling remain. Audio options include English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD and French 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD, with optional subtitles in English and English SDH. Though limited by their sources, each soundtrack offers a fine aural presentation.

Extras include the following:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Just Jaeckin, and Journalists and Authors Tony Crawley and Frederick Levier
  • Audio Commentary with Actors Tawny Kitaen and Brent Huff, and David Gregory of Severin Films
  • Alternate US Version: The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (HD – 1:28:30)
  • The Butterfly Effect: 2019 Interview with Director Just Jaeckin (HD – 13:44)
  • Bondage Paradise: 2019 Interviews with Costume & Concept Designers & Comic Book Artists Francois Schuiten and Claude Renard (HD – 33:56)
  • The Perils of Production: 2019 Interview with Executive Producer Jean-Claude Fleury (HD – 18:08)
  • Gwendoline’s Travels: 2019 Interview with Production Designer Françoise Deleu (HD – 14:09)
  • Blu-ray Promos with Tawny Kitaen and Brent Huff (HD – 4 in all – 6:26)
  • The Last Temptation of Just: 2006 Interview with Director Just Jaeckin (SD – 24:22)
  • Dr. Kinsey Audio Interview with John Willie, Creator of Sweet Gwendoline (43:20)
  • Revealing Tawny Kitaen Photospread for French LUI Magazine (HD – 0:25)
  • Trailer for The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (SD – 1:34)
  • Trailer for Gwendoline (SD – 2:12)

Also available is a Limited Edition version with an optional slipcover.

Gwendoline is certainly a title worth your attention if you’re a fan of off-the-wall cinema.

– Tim Salmons

(You can follow Tim on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook. And be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel here.)

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