Before Marvel was a success on the big screen and before DC tried to do something other than a Superman or Batman film, there was The Pumaman released in 1980. A hero like his father before him, he makes villains cower with his lack of confidence, bad guys are stricken with fear over the Pumaman’s lack of control over his abilities and it is only through sheer luck and no determination that he is able to defeat those who stand against him. The Pumaman is a hero like none other and due to his extraordinary ability at doing stuff, he somehow manages to defeat Kobras and get the girl.
While on one hand the film is an atrocious waste of time, on the other it manages to be quite good. It is utterly terrible with absolutely no redeeming features except for the fact that Donald Pleasance was in it and even he could not save it from being a trash fire of a picture. It definitely falls into that category of being ‘so bad it’s good,’ and one cannot deny having a morbidly good time watching this. Though it probably never could have happened, if it had managed to scrape up some decent actors, a script, special effects and a budget, maybe it could have been worthwhile. That is not to say that these aforementioned staples of any motion picture were absent, but they might as well have been as they were so lacking in substance, it is quite amazing that director Alberto De Martino was able to string anything together at all.
What is most laughable about it all were not the shoddy flying scenes or the cringe-worthy dialogue, but the simple fact that De Martino regretted making this film after the reviews started pouring in and that Walter George Alton who starred as the erstwhile hero never made another film again. Amazingly, the concept was not all that terrible where superhero origins are concerned, it was simply the execution of it all. A fun time and a terrible one, The Pumaman is a film that will not exceed expectations, but it is one that will surprise.
1 out of 5