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The Puma Man (1980).

August 1, 2008

The Scoop:
Donald Pleasance was the John Carradine of his generation (or something like that) — a star of Oscar-caliber films who also couldn’t stop making terribly bad movies. And this is definitely one of the latter.

This Italian-made cheapo monstrosity is about a dorky guy (Walter George Alton) gets chosen by the ancient Aztec gods to be the recipient of the exalted puma powers (which mostly revolve around flying, something I didn’t know jungle cats knew how to do) and must fight Kobras, a Dr Evil-type (Pleasance) who plans to take over the world one person at a time with his gold-plated, mind-controlling mask.

Just watch the unintentional hilarity ensue…

Best Bit:
The geeky hero is indoctrinated into his powers by Vadinho, the leader of an Aztec cult that has waited millenia for his arrival. But first, Vadinho (Miguelangel Fuentes) must find the fledgling Puma Man, which leads to the most ridiculous sequence of the movie — Vadinho testing random guys to see if they have the puma powers by throwing them out of high-rise windows. If the unsuspecting guy hits the ground and dies, then he isn’t the Puma Man and Vadinho continues his search.

Side Note:
Alton went on to only one other starring role, in “Heavenly Bodies” (1984). Pleasance, meanwhile, appeared in more than 200 films and television shows before his death in 1995.

Companion Viewing:
“The Greatest American Hero.”

The Puma Man action figure!

Take a Look:
The trailer:

Shamelessly copping a scene from the first “Superman” movie:

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