15 January 2008

Panther Squad

Panther Squad
France, Belgium - 1984
Director – Pierre Chevalier
Lightning Video, 1986, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 27 min.

This looks good so far, I can already tell that it is edited from several different movies, or unfinished ones anyway, and is headed red-line, straight down the what-the-'eff-obahn.
The opening scenes concern the launch of a "Space Jeep" the first step in a program to colonize space(?). Cheap 20-year-old sci-fi spaceship footage is intercut with a guy in an office shot in south-western Europe (Italy, France, Spain?), and a third reel of a droopy old man stuck in a closet. He's the president of N.O.O.N., New Organization Of Nations, addressing the world live to announce the successful start to their space program. The broadcast is abrupty jammed by Clean Space, a world terrorist organization bent on preventing the pollution of space. They've developed a magnetic wave beam of some sort to control the "Space Jeep" which they intend to hold hostage indefinitely. When N.O.O.N. plans to launch a second "Space Jeep", Clean Space abducts their new pilot and issues an ultimatum.
At this point, N.O.O.N. is fed up, and calls in their best rogue agent (mercenary, hitman?) Ilona (Sybil Danning) and her considerable assets to solve the problem. She arrives somewhere in Spain I think(?), and meets up with super-agent Frank, a total hangdog lush who slurs her in the general direction of some badguys. Ilona calls in her super secret agent-esses, the Panther Squad, whom we have witnessed in a previous scene must pass a rigorous screening test before receiving the stamp of approval on their bulging curvaceous files.

After a quick dip in the pool when they arrive, the Pantheresses gear up in their bikini's.

Oh, wait, they're already ready, um they go out and track down Clean Space, which as it turns out is led by barely understandable French mental patients.

Just as the insane Spanish general (probably the best character in the movie) who is exploiting Clean Space for his Fascist plot raves himself into a tyrannical triumph speech, the girls arrive and stumble their way to a narrow, ridiculous, and uninspiring victory.

The only two real connecting threads that weave their way through this disasterpiece of haphazard frankenfilm are Danning's usual broad rump, and Frank (Jack Taylor, I swear I recognize this guy from something!?) the barely-conscious drunk who provides an awkwardly inserted point of ironic metaphorical humor.

The director, writer, and editor must have been drunk when they made this, and you should be too to enjoy it. I was, and therefore did.

Watch the Panther Squad trailer at Cult Trailers.

The awesome still shot of Sybil Danning that became the cover art.

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