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Gwendoline (1984)

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Plot: When a lepidopterist goes missing, his daughter Tawny Kitaen heads to the Orient to find an elusive butterfly and name it after him. But she'll need the help of Brent Huff, a cynical adventurer who saves her from white slavers by throwing a grappling hook through the kingpin's neck, then spends most of the rest of the movie trying to get her to leave him alone. For about an hour, Gwendoline is just an early-'80s Raiders Of The Lost Ark rip-off with occasional toplessness, but then Kitaen and Huff stumble into a futuristic community of women, where bad girls are stripped and strapped to strange torture devices, and good girls get to have sex with—and kill—any stray men.

Key scenes: After the grappling-hook incident, Huff battles a martial-arts expert, in what amounts to an Indiana Jones vs. Bruce Lee face-off. Later, when Huff and Kitaen are captured and imprisoned, he tries to get her to scream by sexually assaulting her, but fails because she's totally into it.


Can easily be distinguished by: Awful, awful acting by would-be professionals. Kitaen plays a whining, lovesick cheerleader, trembling with sexual anticipation, while Huff plays the most petulant, sarcastic movie hero this side of Napoleon Dynamite.

Sign that it was made in 1984: Audiences are expected to be turned on by Tawny Kitaen.


Timeless message: If you like being forced to stand topless in front of an impaling device, holding the trigger to said device between your teeth, then by all means, become a lepidopterist.

Memorable quotes: When Kitaen asks Huff if the mountain range ahead is in the fabled land of the Yik Yak, he scoffs, "It's not the Statue Of Liberty, so I guess it's not New York. Sheesh!"

Available on DVD from Severin.