Sybil Danning's Double... Feature
Phantom Empire (1988) and Panther Squad (1984)
opens with an absolutely amazing scene of a goofy plastic monster disemboweling a dog, ripping a guy’s head off, and then getting knocked out by a drinks cooler. Such a marvelous beginning will inevitably be hard to top, but we can hope.
It so happens the murderous plastic cave monster was wearing a diamond necklace and this is related to a mysterious lost city. Naturally upon reading about the murder in the paper, an expedition is launched by a rich society lady, who decides to tag along on the adventure. Also present on the mission are Russ Tamblyn (Laura Palmer’s weirdo therapist) as weirdo with a map, Fight Pizza hero Jeffrey Combs (as unlikely sex symbol) as a researcher from Lovecraft University, and anonymous hero guy and snarky assistant.
To the strains of an incongruous dungeon synth soundtrack they find bikini cave women and a passel more monsters who look like extras on the Golden Girls. There’s a random robot shooting laser beams which reveals the presence of our villain (not related to the diamond monsters) Sybil Fanning, a shipwrecked alien queen of space bosom. Her introductory fight is unable to keep her assets contained and that provides what little skin the chaste Fred Olen Ray provides his audience until Michelle Bauer loses her top for the last 15 minutes or so providing a welcome diversion from a boring movie.
A kaleidoscope vision in the firing range is the same sweet effect as the monster’s sight in the previous movie. Maybe the diamond bling cave beast will come eat these ladies. Sweet rock tunes in place of the dirge.
Journalists at the globalist space press conference write notes like their fingers are broken. We learn that Clean Space are eco terrorists determined to stop a forthcoming launch. Hubristic dicks fuck everything up and there is a convoluted kidnapping.
Sybil Danning runs the merc squad tasked with fucking up Clean Space, who I am fundamentally supporting, so I have now actively rooted against her success in both films. The action takes place in a made up Latin American city, so Yankee go home but she’s a badass Norwegian. The rest of the hot chicks arrive in rock groupie outfits and promptly go swimming.
Windsurfing chicks distract the guards, then beat the others to a pulp. If you're guarding something and inappropriately dressed hot babes come out of the jungle and want to make it, they probably have ulterior motives.
The villains all have speech impediments. Clean Space is being taken over by some weird cartel and/or tinpot dictator, so apparently they were just naïve environmentalists and not bloodthirsty killers bent on world domination. Ah well.
Honestly I have no idea what happened at the end.
Clean Space Power!
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