Las Mujeres Panteras (1967)

Known as The Panther Women, this Rene Cardona-directed lucha libre film really hits everything that I want out of movies. It’s got wrestling action galore. It has a Satanic sect of werepanther women. And it has an ancient curse. Seriously, this is the kind of movie that I dream of making.

This film is in the same universe as the Aztec Mummy films, Las Lobas del Ring and Las Luchadoras Contra El Médico Asesino. That is to say, it’s completely and insanely awesome.

A sect of Satanic werepanthers — they’re right in the title — are out for revenge for the warlock they worshipped getting killed a few hundred years ago.

Look out for the villain played by Tongolele, who set the screen ablaze in Isle of the Snake People! It also has Gerardo Zepeda in it, who plays El Angel*, who had been a pro wrestler for about 15 years before dedicating himself to acting, always playing “the mean bastard,” as he himself said, in movies like Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters, where he was the cyclops and a zombie. Plus, real life luchas such as Betty Grey, Marina Rey, Maria Guadalupe Delgado, Ma. Judith Mercado, Jesús Murcielago Velázquez, Cavernario Galindo and Reyes Olivia.

They could have made a few hundred of these movies — and they totally did — and I would watch every single one of them — and I do.

You can get this from VCI. They’ve also released it on blu ray along with La Mujer Murcielago, which you can get on Amazon.

*El Angel is a chemist, pro wrestler and crime fighter devoted to fighting occult forces. When asked why he wears a mask, he answers, “Because justice has no face.” He’s cool.

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