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The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (1984) - Just Jaeckin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
- The Transformations of Gwen Volume 1 - Eric Kroll [Amazon.com]
As a serious collector of photography, I have long been a fan of Eric Kroll. His vision is erotic, exotic, sometimes bizarre, always provoking. His Gwen series is an exciting followup to his previous collections like Fetish Girls and Beauty Parade, in that here he approaches photography as sequential art, a visual approach that adds context and implied storylines to the titillating images. Kroll picks up where the art of John Willie and Eric Stanton left off, adding his photographic skills and eye for beauty, mixing in sex and eroticism, tossing in a dash of over-the-edge shock-you images. Maybe this book (and its sequel Transformations of Gwen Vol. 2) are not for the timid, but it's the cutting-edge fantasy that wet dreams are made of. --Shirrel Rhoades for amazon.com
- The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, 2nd Edition - John Willie [1 book, Amazon US]
This is the Second Edition (Revised & Enlarged) of a work that was originally published in 1974 (144 pages, cloth) and sold over 26,000 copies in the US alone. It was translated into French, German and Italian, and was also made into a movie, THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE (1984, directed by Just Jaeckin). This revised edition was published on December 9, 1999, the birthday of `John Willie`, as well as the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the first edition. It contains 368 pages, which includes a wealth of previously unpublished and uncollected work by the artist. Also included in this expanded edition are 36 black and white reproductions of drawings and paintings (circa 1935-50), most from original artwork and all but 2 have never been published before. Along with the black and white illustrations are an equal number of full-color pages many of which are previously unpublished. The biographical introduction has been expanded to include much new information about J.W. - including 4 previously unpublished photographs of the artist! --amazon.com
published by Belier press
- The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak (1984) - Just Jaeckin [Amazon.com]
Gwendoline is based on the cult adult comic strip The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline. Created by British artist John Willie (real name John Coutts), Gwendoline appeared in Bizarre magazine between 1948 and 1959 and maintains a healthy afterlife today in reprints. Willie was really the first fetish artist. Willie took a serial heroine a la Pearl White in The Perils of Pauline (1914) and brought out all the inherent sexuality - Gwendoline was kept in a decorous state of undress throughout her adventures, while Willie took great delight in the BDSM opportunities offered by seeing the heroine tied up by the villain. --http://www.moria.co.nz/fantasy/gwendoline.htm [May 2005]
ADAPTATION OF EROTIC ADVENTURE COMIC MISSES THE POINT
Despite what Leonalrd Maltin says, this film, though a French production, is based on a comic strip created in America by an English-Australian, John Coutts (aka John Willie), which first appeared in his amusingly erotic fetish publication "Bizarre" in the late '40's-early'50's. The title was "The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline" and has recently been released in a deluxe hardcover collection. The original story involved the heroine constantly getting captured by the villains trying to prevent a horse from being run in a race to save the family farm, and a mysterious bob-cut agent keeps on helping her out. The whole point of the comic and its sequels appears to be showing impossibly sexy women in bondage and sexy clothing. This film keeps the names of some of the characters, borrows some concepts from "Bizarre," and does put the heroine in perilous predicaments, but basically goes its own way in theme and story.
In the film, our 1930's heroine, along with her faithful French maid (who wears the bob-cut), are seeking a rare butterfly that her late entymologist father disappeared trying to find. Their adventures take them to a steamy, slimy, decadent Asian port city where they meet a tough, world weary, cynical mercenary who rescues them from an unscrupulous gangster. They travel through jungles and deserts meeting cannibals, river pirates, and other dangers, until they find a hidden civilization of women. To say what happens next would give away too much and besides, the shock of the bizzarre is half the fun of the movie. Suffice it to say that there is much nudity and various forms of imprisonment, bondage, restraint, and gladiatorial combat (even a human-powered chariot race). It is all very French it its creation of scenes, locations, and cultures. It's as if certain elements of old movies that were done but not considered very important really caught the imagination of French filmmakers and now they were trying to create their own version.
Many of the actors obviously were not speaking English during filming, and its pretty obvious that the film was completely dubbed. This does get a little distracting.
This movie plays occasionally on TV, where every bare breast must be edited out. This makes the end of the film very choppy. To make up for this lost time, the TV version includes some extra dialogue that makes the character development slightly more believable, and some extra footage that adds some comedy. The video tape lacks this dialogue and footage.
Old fans of the comic probably already know this film exists, it having received a lot of attention from the bondage and fetish community. New fans of the comic curious about this film should be warned that the style and frequency of the bondage and restraint is very different from the comic; focused a lot more on the wierd sci-fi dungeon aesthetic and mostly in the last quarter of the movie, rather than the traditional damsel-in-distress style. This was one of Tawney Kitaen's first movies and the filmakers wanted her so much they were willing to scale down the sex and bondage to please her.
Few people would call this a "good" movie, though many people would enjoy it. If you want an actual "good" movie, subtract one star from this review. However, ther is plenty of stuff that will make an audience react: nudity, violence, blood, corny dialogue, bad dubbing, great production value, etc. If you enjoy this sort of thing, add a star. --Zorikh Lequidre for amazon.com
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