Panther Squad Blu Ray Review (Full Moon Features)
Panther Squad is a 1984 action film directed by Pierre Chevalier (House of Cruel Dolls, The Invisible Dead, East of Berlin, and Ladies House of Pleasure) under the name Peter Knight. It was written by Georges Friedland (Angel of Death, Maniac Killer, Night of the Eagles, and Moonwolf) and Ilona Koch. It was produced by the legendary Jesus Franco (Jailhouse Wardress, Golden Temple Amazons,Faceless, House of Cruel Dolls, Zombie Lake, Barbed Wire Dolls, The Sadist of Notre Dame, Angel of Death, Diamonds of Kilimandjaro, and Sinfonía Erótica). Ilona (played by: Sybil Danning from The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, Hercules, Nightkill, Battle Beyond the Stars, Julie Darling, Chained Heat, They’re Playing with Fire, Malibu Express, Reform School Girls, LA Bounty, The Phantom Empire, Grindhouse, and Halloween) who is known as The Panther leads a squad of female mercenaries. When a famous astronaut is held captive by a group of murderous environmental extremists known as Space Clean, the desperate world leaders turn to The Panther Squad. These dangerous women go on a search, rescue, and destroy mission to save the future. Can they succeed during this risky and brutal job???? Panther Squad is kinda a shocker and not really in a good way. You would think something like this would be loaded with sleaze and nudity but there’s actually none here. It has decent action every once in awhile but it’s a little slow and boring for the most part. The action featured here is a little tame compared what was being made around the same time from this sub-genre. It has some classic Eurocine choppy editing and it’s very low budget in every possible way when it comes to the production so those features kinda add to it’s bad movie charm. I did enjoy the classic 80’s style score and it’s cheesy rock theme song. Panther Squad is definitely one of those 80’s action flicks trick you with it’s cover artwork and plot that’s promised on the back. It just doesn’t live up to anything to be real. Cult actress Sybil Danning gets one of her rare leading roles in Panther Squad. She’s probably the best thing about this mess. She still looks great here and the other woman tease some eye candy but nothing ends up happening with this sexy cast of women. It has a few familiar faces in this that includes Jack Taylor (Pieces, Angel of Death, and House of Cruel Dolls), Donald O’Brien (Emmanuelle and the last Cannibals, The Sect, and Zombie Holocaust), Karin Schubert (Emanuelle Around the World), Jean-René Gossart (Maniac Killer), and Antonio Mayans (Angel of Death and Diamonds of Kilimandjaro). Panther Squad has a few solid moments but for the most part it’s just a bad movie. This might be a good one to hang out with some friends and play a drinking game with. It’s worth checking out at least once but definitely don’t get your hopes up for it. If you are still curious about it, it’s available on Tubi right now. Let’s discuss this high definition presentation from Full Moon Features! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer appears to be an older one. It’s a little rough at times but I will say that it’s the highest quality version of this film that you will find at the moment. It’s an upgrade when compared to the old VHS and DVD home video releases. Just don’t expect reference quality with this one. It has a English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track. The audio here is better than the picture quality for sure so it’s a even bigger improvement from past versions. All of the dialogue is clean, the action is elevated, and the music has a nice boost to it. The coolest thing about this blu ray is that it features a brand new exclusive “Audio Commentary” with star Sybil Danning moderated by filmmaker Chris Alexander. I think this extra makes this blu ray worth picking up because it’s a rarity for the cult actress to do something like this. She shares her experience, great stories, and she makes this disappointing 80’s action movie a little better with her audio track. Besides that, it has a variety of “Trailers” on it. It’s available everywhere right now including Full Moon Direct!!!!