Kill, Panther Kill! (1968)

KillPantherKillPosterFifth films in movie series have a spotty track record. For every crappy movie like Star Trek V, there’s a movie like Hellraiser: Inferno that I can’t even remember if I’ve even seen it!

Then you’ve got films like Rocky V that don’t do anything to advance the series (or Tommy Morrison’s career) while the fifth Godzilla effort (Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster) saw Godzilla get a personality transplant.

Coming only one year after the fifth James Bond movie, was it possible that the Kommissar X movies could somehow rise above all the other five time losers out there? Is it possible to rehash everything that probably barely worked three or four times before, but change a few actors, the mission, and location just enough so we realize that we are actually watching a different movie than the first four Kommissar X movies and leave us thirsting for a sixth and seventh entry? Tough questions, but with an easy answer: Brad Harris climbs into a giant tire and rolls around during a massive gun fight at a quarry!

Not to be outdone, Kommissar X himself Tony Kendall somehow manages to survive getting run over by a bulldozer during the same battle! Despite being uninjured, he was caked in mud which caused Brad to ask him if he was getting ready for a minstrel show!

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Clearly, Kill, Panther Kill! is coming down on the jokey, slapsticky side of the Eurospy genre. Thus you’ll be treated to protracted fight scenes punctuated by amusingly silly bits such as Brad smashing a guy on his foot with a brick and Kommissar X riding on a weight bench into some dudes.

Really though, Kommissar X’s unorthodox fighting technique is exactly what’s needed when you’re fighting a judo team because they think Kommissar X and Brad stole their diving suits!

Yes, you’re tempted to write that bit off as the movie trying too hard to be both funny and to squeeze some pointless action into things, but it all makes perfect sense once you understand just what is going on.

And what’s going on is that some bad guy gets harpooned in the back! It was a nifty trick by Kommissar X to use the guy as a shield when the other bad guys come gunning for him, but when the hunt is on for some missing jewels, you better not get between Kommissar X’s $100,000 insurance commission and a harpoon!

Both Kommissar X and his glowering boyfriend Captain Tom Rowland (Brad Harris) of the LAPD are after the jewels. At first Tom is after the guy who stole the jewels, but once it becomes clear that he’s dead (there was some doubt due to the not quite unexpected twin brother who was milling about for awhile), Tom realizes that Kommissar X’s insurance commission would go a long way to funding his retirement from the force.

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The problem is that no one can find the jewels because no one is sure where the key to the safety deposit box is! There’s a lot of running around trying to figure this out, but once Kommissar X determines that the ugly blue statue of three panthers is involved, we shift over to a “switched key” plot before some double crosses are played out.

It would all be pretty bland and forgettable except for one little thing: Canada! Those who worship the great Maple Leaf, rejoice! It is the most exotic (and by exotic I mean you would have never guessed that Kommissar X would ever go there) Eurospy adventure of all time!

First stop: the world famous Calgary Stampede! If you’re like most normal people, you don’t know what the hell this even is! Believe it or not, it’s like some kind of rodeo! In Canada!

And you can bet that a globetrotter like Kommissar X already knows this because he’s deep undercover among all the Canadian cowboys dressed in a big ass sombrero and a serape! It’s like he’s the Man With No Name combined with Speedy Gonzales, but in Canada! And just so we all know he’s still in a Eurospy movie, he’s wearing sunglasses!

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If this was only the third or fourth Kommissar X movie, I could understand if all our exotic Canadian action took place at the Stampede. But this is number five! And the stakes have to be raised that much higher!

Remember how in Bad Boys II they had to invade Cuba because the first Bad Boys was so awesome? Kill, Panther Kill! is like that because the Stampede is just a warm up for turning Kommissar X loose on Expo 67!

Holy Krap, Kommissar X! Are you freaking serious? Expo 67? Once I looked up just what the frig Expo 67 was, I practically filled my pants with my own brand of Canadian Whiskey!

Expo 67 was like a world’s fair or something! It had buildings with different countries’ names on it, a sky ride, monorail and even a biosphere! And Kommissar X was hanging out, trailing bad guys, taunting his good buddy Captain Tom and aided and abetted by his super hot blonde assistant who made periodic appearances in Swiss and Native American costumes for no reason! There was even a water ski show!

By the time Kommissar X survives a boat chase, a death trap so elaborate he advises the bad guy who set it to patent it (it involved a fuse being run through an air conditioner duct), and has Captain Tom shove a dildo-sized blunt into his mouth, you’ll barely be able to breathlessly utter the only phrase to describe this Canadian confection of Italian inspiration: Kommissar X-cellent!

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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