Early 80s low budget super hero movie? Yes, indeed. Aztec shamans, paleontologists, evil organizations and ladies with mouths that would make Steven Tyler whimper in shame. Also yes. And you know what, it could’ve gone well. But it didn’t. It went the opposite direction of wherever well is. That’s where this went. And to add insult to injury, I could only find this particular movie with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 shit dragged over it. So not only did I have to watch a movie that sucked hard, I had to endure constant talking from two robots and some guy, making the least hilarious jokes, since Hitler attempted stand up before his evil dictator slash worst human in the history of everything ever career kicked off. So stick with me, as I take an all but casual look at…
|A death star knock off that looks more like somebody flipped a vacuum cleaner upside down.|
L’uomo Puma aka The Puma Man (1980)
Weirdly enough, the cover of this movie looks pretty decent. A super hero looking dude, mostly resembling a less feral Wolverine, leaping towards us, arms outstretched, in front of a Death Star type space station. I never had any kind of hope, that this movie would be a perfect mix of two of my favorite things: Star Wars and X-Men. I never for one picosecond thought that was a thing that would happen. But I had no idea just how abysmally done this was. Just how incredibly stupid everything would turn out to be. You could argue I ought to know by now, but we both know, that despite having watched somewhere in the area of 60 shitty movies, each one worse than the previous, I just don’t learn. That being said, watching a shitty movie is in itself a trying thing. But with this Mystery Science Theater 3000 stuff added to it, it’s like I’m watching two movies at the same time, competing for crap superiority.
|Looking as if he's shouting "Are you seriously saying I have to wear this shit?"|
This movie is about a Puma Man. Nothing surprising there. What IS surprising, however, is that apparently aliens in a Death Star knockoff looking contraption, have bestowed us with some kind of gene modified Puma Man blood line. Just to make it clear right from the get go: Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes sense in this flick. The main dude, whose name I’ve blissfully forgotten despite having watched this movie not 30 minutes ago, is a professor of paleontology in London. He’s American. Not an impossible feat, surely, but he looks like he’s 25. Anyway, some South American looking dude comes looking for him, to see if he IS the Puma Man. The way he finds this out is to throw our hero out of a 3rd story window. The South American guy is a shaman apparently. Some mask has been stolen by evil people. We don’t know how, why, where or when. But it has. And Puma Man is the hero we need but never deserved. The woman with the mouth is hypotized or convinced by the evil guys using the mask, to invite hero dude to the Dutch embassy, where her father is the Ambassador. I’m shaking my head as I write this, because it literally makes zero sense. Shaman guy tries to convince hero guy that he’s the Puma Man like his father before him (why hero guy wouldn’t know his dad was a super hero, I don’t know) but of course hero guy waves him off, because he’s going to a ball at the embassy with some blond tart and has no time for Aztec shamans or ramblings of Puma Man. If only he had listened…
|Mobile phones in the early 80s. They were a thing. A classy thing. Look how happy she is talking in it.|
At the embassy evil men show up and nothing happens at first. They need to kill Puma Man so that nothing stands in the way of them and some goal that isn’t ever revealed to us. Probably world domination, because why the fuck not. We don’t know, and trust me when I say we don’t really care. Puma Man escapes to the roof of the embassy, where Shaman guy has tracked him, and throws this old garter belt or something to him. Puma Man puts it on and instantly transforms to Puma Man, embracing his legacy. He immediately flies off. Yes flies. He has a cape. Puma Man flies. Shaman guy shows up at his house, and trains him for five minutes. What follows is a series of seemingly unimportant and unrelated scenes, where Puma Man tries to seduce the big mouthed lady, and unravel the evil syndicate. I might’ve dozed off somewhere in here, because suddenly Puma Man is pretending to be dead, with bad guys surrounding him. They don’t shoot him, because now his death has to look like an accident. The bad guys does several double takes, as Puma Man CLEARLY moves during his feign death move. But they buy it, and go off. Shaman guy turns up and Puma Man transforms again, and kicks final ass. He recovers the mask, and the death star turns up and grabs it. Puma Man kneels in awe, and promises Shaman guy that when he has a little Puma Boy, he’ll bring him to the Plateau (Aztec I guess) and Shaman Guy will teach him some moves for the ladies or something.
|This shit happened in between parts of the movie. Why the hell would anybody do this to other people?|
The movie was bad and whoever made it should feel bad. It is from 1980, so I get that it being low budget and all, it’s going to look like shit. And it does. But really, the style and stuff utilized in this movie just went above and beyond shit. When Puma Man flies, it’s some weird super imposed thing, where he’s clearly suspended on some kind of string, and we see pictures of stuff moving in the back ground. It looks ridiculous. His costume is laughable. Like just random shit from a thrift store thrown together. The acting is so horrible, I wouldn’t be surprised if every single person, upon viewing this movie, didn’t immediately decide their careers were effectively over. The villains utilize the classic villain look - squinty eyes. It’s all they do. And carry guns. At one point Puma Man picks up a bad guy, flies him up in the air, and drops him to make him talk. It looks so unimpressive, the only thing that made that scene was how unimpressed the bad guy seemed with being flown 600 feet into the air and dropped. Several times. It looked about as real as Scientology. Equally real were the several times we saw Puma Man rush through a wall in his hide out / where ever he was for chunks of this movie. It was the same little scene over and over, sometimes mirrored to make it appear as if it was totally new and fresh.
|Words fail me when I look at this hat or whatever the hell it's supposed to be.|
I was too tired to even really hate this movie. It was stupid and pointless and lame and without merit of any sort, but I just couldn’t even muster the energy to outright hate it. I had a long day, and I was tired, but this movie just sapped me completely. The Mystery Science shit didn’t help. The dialogue from those two talking robots fill almost every silent moment from the actual movie, and the result is, you just don’t have a moment’s peace. Speaking of, there is a kickstarter to bring Mystery Science Theater 3000 back, with some new guy hosting it, and people are losing their fucking shit over this. I don’t get it. I expressed as much on their facebook post, and I was told gems such as “The right ones will get it” and “Some things aren’t for everyone.” Alright I understand, but I wanted to know why people liked it. I find it incredibly dull and unfunny. But I guess I’m a minority there. Perhaps it stems from not growing up with it? I guess so. I’ve tried my best to find versions of these movies where the MST3K people hadn’t already soiled things. Once in a while, that just isn’t an option. And I have to endure their weird little skits that have nothing to do with the movie. This time it was a dress up party or something. A lady, who might possibly be the person keeping the guy and his robots in space (I can’t figure it out. Mostly because I just don’t give a shit) was dressed up with a massive wig. And somebody else was there, who stole all her guests. It was supposed to be funny I think. It wasn’t. They also interrupt the movie a few times for commercials. The commercials aren’t there, but it’s still annoying spending 2 minutes watching countdown animations and interludes with these assholes, when really I just want to get this shit over with. Like now.
|This fucking guy.|
|"Oops I totally tripped" super imposed onto a picture of some stairs. If only green screen had been a thing then.|