Prey of the Jaguar (1996)

Sometimes, I think that I’ve only dreamt some of the movies that I watch in the middle of the night. Like Prey of the Jaguar, which stars Maxwell Caulfield — yes, Rex Manning from Empire Records — as a former Special Ops agent whose family gets killed ala The Punisher and who gets trained by a hard ass old man martial arts master just like Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins to combat the drug lords who took out his wife and kid. Also, Linda Blair shows up as a cop, Paul Bartel plays his Q and Stacy Keach plays his M.

Somehow, this movie is 100% true. It exists. The unofficial trailer below shows every reason why you need to watch this movie (except for Linda Blair):

Would it surprise you even further that this was directed by David DeCoteau, who went from making cornball cheesecake like Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama to making beefcake like Bigfoot vs. D.B. Cooper and The Brotherhood series, which is a male for the male gaze version of The Craft?

Derek Leigh (Caulfield) just wanted to retire, but the son of a drug lord he put away — Damien Bander (Trevor Goddard, Kano from Mortal Kombat) — has other plans, killing his pregnant wife and son. Derek remembers a superhero that his son drew in crayon and becomes him, thanks to training from his original master, Master Yee (John Fujioka, American Ninja) and weapons from his old teammate the Toymaker (Paul Bartel! I screamed loudly in the middle of the night when he showed up!).

Meanwhile, homicide detective Cody Johnson (Blair), who was in charge of the Leigh family murder investigation, figures out that the Jaguar and Derek are one and the same. Vic Trevino — Ricardo from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse — is also in this.

The best part of the film — besides Caulfield’s overacting when he learns his family is dead — is the fact that when they look up the file on Bander, this text appears for long enough that you can discover that someone was having no fun making this movie: “”DEMIAN, BANDERA E You would think that a huge file like this would tell you something. Not so. I just open up my paint program and let my brain dribble out on the monitor. Bandera doesn’t eve(n) exist, you know. He is just a character in a movie! I can’t believe that I’m trying to write bio on a man who doesn’t even exist. Now I have to write a second column. Oh, the tedium… This paragraph won’t even have the benefit of my sense of humor. I’m so over having to write this blurb that I can’t think of anything to say. This is a real bummer. PRESS ENTER FOR UPDATE.”

What you’re really coming for is Caulfield on a Kawasaki Ninja, carrying a crossbow, ready for battle with throwing starts that he has dipped, one point at a time, into sleeping serum. There are numerous moments that made me so overjoyed to be alive in this movie that I just kept rewinding them and then jumping up and down in abject glee. There aren’t enough stars in the world for this movie, but I’ll give it at least two.

2 thoughts on “Prey of the Jaguar (1996)”

  1. Batman in hockey-cum-dirt bike gear goes Remo Wiliams and Punisher in one fell swoop? Oh, hell yes. You know I am in! YES!

    The full movie is on You Tube. Something to watch tonight!

    Like

  2. […] 10. Prey of the Jaguar: This movie crosses off so many of my personal movie loves — a superhero movie that no one knows, a ripoff of The Punisher, an obscure star (Maxwell Caulfield) in a role he’s ill-suited for, Paul Bartel showing up and Linda Blair in a trenchcoat — that I assume that I am the only person who would ever care about this movie. Who else is it made for? […]

    Like

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