The Panther Squad (1984)

Spread the weird

RATING– ✮✮✮½

DIRECTOR– Peter Night

PLOT– In the future year of 1986, the entire world (except for the Caribbean islands) has come together as one nation called NOON. The entire world (except for those goddamn Caribbean islands again) has decided to conquer space exploration.

NOON has a long history of electing the most boring & clueless person alive as President and giving him a corner office without windows at the Golden Corral corporate headquarters.

Really important guy… you can tell by the number of stars

The new President announces that the world will launch some people into space to do something important but, being the most boring & clueless man alive, he has no idea what that is.

This news does not sit well with CLEAN SPACE, a world-wide environmental terrorist organization that has 4 members. They do not want space to be polluted. Their plan to keep the earth clean failed (presumably because they only have 4 members) so now they are turning their top minds loose to stop NOON from corrupting space.

Their plan is to take control of NOON’s spaceship and spin it around a bit so that the astronaut gets a little queasy. Then they kidnap an astronaut… an astronaut, apparently, that is the only person alive that can stop CLEAN SPACE from, uh, spinning spaceships… I guess…?

Anyway… after spiriting the kidnapped astronaut off to a boat in France, they decide to make a video spelling out their demands.

Unfortunately, not one single member of CLEAN SPACE can speak English in a way that any other human alive can understand what the hell they are trying to say… so, what their demands are?… no frickin’ clue. Maybe it’s to stop polluting space… or to shop pudding place???

Again… no frickin’ clue.

Well, some guy in some office that has far too many telephones gets mad at CLEAN SPACE and calls a bunch of other people.

Really important guy… you can tell by the number of phones

He decides to send his top assassin, Ilona, and her team of Motley Crew music video background extras to combat CLEAN SPACE.

Really important gals… you can tell by the number of totally bitchin’ belts

Meanwhile, CLEAN SPACE, realizing they might need more than 4 members to be effective at pretty much anything, move their terror cell to Guasura… a tiny made-up country (or maybe city…?) in South America (or maybe Southeast Asia…?)…

Anyway, once there, they join forces with the local dictator because he has 23 soldiers in his army… so now CLEAN SPACE can boast roughly 27 members!

Ilona and her spiked mini-skirt’d squad of deadly assassins in high heels wreak havoc on the army by smacking them in the stomach and the head/neck area… sometimes kinda hard… like when you’re really mad and just want to punch your pillow. Yeah, that hard.

Well, you can guess what happens next…

Yep, you guessed right… Ilona has been hiding a gun that completely disintegrates whatever she shoots. She sets her sights on all the bad guys, makes them disappear, and in less than a second makes the entire previous 75 minutes of movie completely unneeded.

That’s right, Ilona called in a team of her friends and put them in numerous life-threatening situations… even though she possessed a super-gun that could’ve done the job in the amount of time that it would’ve taken to aim it at the bad guys.

I guessing the ride back in the plane was rather awkward…

“Hey, thanks for thinking of me and inviting me on this deadly mission to fight bad guys with lots of guns. Thanks for that. But, uh… you might’ve mentioned that you had a SUPER GUN THAT DESTROYS ANYTHING!”.

3 THINGS WE LEARNED

  1. Good action movies involve lots and lots and lots of phone conversations
  2. The CIA’s top assassins look suspiciously similar to Def Leppard groupies
  3. If you plan on kidnapping somebody, make sure someone/anyone in your gang can be understood, otherwise nobody knows what your demands are

REVIEWThe Panther Squad production design seems to have been to show up to a restaurant or bar or shop, ask an employee to read some lines of dialogue from a piece of paper (irrespective of whether that particular person can speak English or not), break some bottles, and then leave…

…Scene!

Numerous times an actor is seen holding a piece of paper and reads from it. No attempt to hide it from the camera… certainly no attempt to memorize the lines… and no attempt to inform the audience of what that person is trying to say.

In fact, veteran actor Jack Taylor seems to be the only one that has comprehensible lines and memorized them… although, they are few and far between. Most of Mr. Taylor’s screen time is spent drinking booze of some sort.

Jack Taylor… not doing well with his 12 Steps

But good golly, this movie is so inept, so little care was used to craft it, that it’s a complete and utter amazing mess.

Somebody with the name S.C. Dacy and Ms. Sybil Danning herself are producers of this quagmire… and by “producers” I believe they mean “had a vacation in France and South America”. Because there is no other reason this movie was made other than to have a production company pay for a few weeks of vacation while, occasionally, stepping in front a camera to karate chop some poor local cast as an extra.

I do not think the production company got their money’s worth.

But you will… rent it and enjoy the incompetence.


According to my Sex Ed teacher, this is not the correct way to do that.