Monday, November 14, 2016

Obscure Superhero Movie Week: The Pumaman

Hello there and sorry for abandoning you last week. Impacted tooth that will be tended to shortly and I am back on the case. Now this week is at the behest of my Rotten Ramblin' On co-host Shawn, who suggested an obscure superhero week. What does this mean for you and me? Well for me, it will no doubt be pain to rival that of my tooth and for you the reader, you may have to endure some bile and venom spewed at what I am reviewing. So if dredging through TV movies and failed movie potential sequels sounds horrific, then it is time to move on for the week. Those of you that are stout of heart and courage, I salute you all for the pain or humor you will be subjected to.

Today's film is brought to us by Italian director Alberto De Martino (The Invincible Gladiator, Perseus Against the Monsters, The Secret Seven, Hecules vs. The Giant Warriors, Operation Kid Brother, Crime Boss, Holocaust 2000 and Miami Golem) who shares two films on the MST3K roster of with Operation Double 007 starring Sean Connery's brother Neil and this day's film. This is The Pumaman.

I went tinkles now let me back in the damn house!

Paleontologist Professor Tony Farms (Walter George Alton of The Users, 10, The Pumaman and Heavenly Bodies) has been feeling a sense of dread while working in the British Natural History Museum and it is no wonder. The papers keep exclaiming fit brunette white guys are getting chucked out of windows high up in the air and murdered. Being a fit, brunette white guy naturally he feels on edge until he is stalked by an enormous Aztec named Vadinho (not the onion, Miguel Angel Fuentes of Fitzcarraldo, Herod's Law, Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell, The Knife, Gunmen, Blow and Texas Rising) speaks of Tony's father, the space alien gods that have brought the destiny that is written in the stars, a magic disco belt er um Aztec medallion belt to give Tony his birthright, powers and just about everything else that could get you locked away in a rubber room.

A mystical Christmas ornament!?!

But wait, should our would-be hero not have a villain to combat? Look no further as towering 5'6" balding, blue eyed voice that all Carpenter's Halloween fans know and love, Kobras (Donald Pleasence of The Great Escape, Night Creature, Halloween, Dracula 1979, Escape from New York, Halloween II, Phenomena, Warrior Queen, Prince of Darkness, Django Strikes Again, The House of Usher and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers) proceeds to use an ancient Aztec gold mask to... take over the minds of political officials in England. Yeah that is something I had to write. Kobras and his cronies must dispatch the only thing standing in their way to total worldwide rule is the Puma Man of which Pleasence pronounces it Pewma. Gave me a little smile.

Sir, my sweatsuit is making its own gravy.

Perhaps where pummelings and gun-play failed we throw Pumaman a sultry dame instead? So enter the girl, Miss Jane Dobson (Sydne Rome of What?, Creezy, Just a Gigolo, The Pumaman, In the Heat of the Night, Tierra de canones, Pope John XXIII and Don Matteo) who if she and Tony were to mate would provide some pretty but dopey babies. With England and soon the world to be in Kobras' pocket, the Pumaman must embrace his powers, tacky costume and a puma to do battle and save the world.

Okay due to this being a TV movie made in 1980 with ADM Film Department, it did not hit the states via CBS until 1985 so shucks I missed it. The flying scenes will make you belt out laughing due to the blue screen shots transition from day to night in a matter of a few moments, so either Pewmaman can travel through time zones like the frickin Flash with his butt in the air (harness gag wasn't set right or they had him flailing in a static pose) or they might have goofed on the screenshots. My favorite part is when Onion, I mean Vadinho tells us his people are Aztecs from the Andes plateau (WRONG!!!! That would be the Incas!!! The Aztecs hailed from Mexico, the southern regions. Look at a history book, writer!) The Casio goofy synthesizer music which is his theme song is...charming and whimsical.  Not the sound I am looking for in my superhero flick but it beats hearing that damn power chord in EVERYTHING Christopher Nolan and Zach Synder direct these days.  So honestly this is good for a chuckle as they are clearly trying to treat this film seriously in spite of the writing and lack of budget. Do yourself a favor though, watch the MST3K or Mystery Science Theater 3000 version instead. Good riffing to be had.

Oh sure, just drape me like eye candy.  Gonna slap my agent.