El Pantera – La Monja

I was flipping through cable TV the other night, and I hit on a Spanish language crime show. It features some lean, handsome young guy with spiky hair who rides a Harley chopper and hangs out with an old, hatted, portly detective. The show, The Panther, I have since learned is based on a comic strip, and it always takes place in Mexico City. I was intrigued because it had unusual editing, used split images, and the atmospherics were highly unusual for a TV crime series – very noir.

The video sequence above is a series of stills from the first crime in the show. Apologies for the quality – I couldn’t find a clean way to get this posted.

The woman enters a large, ancient church to steal antiquities. She is surprised by a priest, and she shoots him! She delivers the loot to her boss outside, and then makes her way…where? Is that a dance show? That 60s style decor?! Who are those women watching her as she strips her nun’s habit and does her sexy dance? Why is she there?

The feel of this sequence struck me as if Bunuel had been employed doing TV serials. And the theme of the sexy, murderous nun – such imagery is lacking to us denizens of protestant countries.  And she is murderous – later on in the episode she hacks a woman to death, and uses a paper cutter to decapitate a scholarly gentleman.

The episode is called “The Nun”, but it  makes me think of another bloodthirsty, gothic celibate, Matthew Gregory Lewis’s creation, The Monk!)

If there are any Spanish speaking viewers out there who are familiar with this episode (no.5) please explain!

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3 Responses to El Pantera – La Monja

  1. Sam says:

    I myself am a fan of “El Patnera” and I found your blog while looking for information on the comic book the show is based off of, this explains the “noir-ness” of the show I think. The episode of which you speak is a two part series but I was unable to catch the second half. As far as the first half goes: There is a mysterious crime spree that has hit several churches in the area and the thief has taken precious relics. The Nun is really a beautiful woman turned “zombie” by some perfume that the mysterious shadowed figure gives her. The Nun kills a priest while stealing the last artifact from a church and says the strange phrase “In the name of Balam” (she says this in Latin, which makes it sound like part of the Catholic mass) before she kills anyone. El Pantera shows up to investigate the murder of the priest. A hobo sees the crime and El Pantera hypnotizes him and he tells him what the Nun said “In the name of Balam.” After each murder the Nun goes to the club, which is owned an operated by El Pantera’s girlfriend, to dance. The long and short of the story is that there is a secret cult that worships “Balam” the ancient Aztec god and they are going to make a sacrifice to Balam on the next full moon, which is like the next day in the show, and El Pantera has to find the bad guys behind it all. The Nun kills the other girl and the old professor trying to get information on one of the relics she stole, which was a map or codex that explains the ritual they need to perform for Balam on the full moon. The bad guys capture El Pantera and try to force him to wear the “Balam” mask which will make him evil, but there is a legend that says a white panther will fight Balam and protect the people, thus El Pantera will fulfill his destiny…I guess.

    The background on the show is that El Pantera was just a normal guy but some thugs (El Mandril, Tereso y El Curro) murdered his fiancee and framed him for it. There was a corrupt cop working with the thugs to get El Pantera framed and he spent 5 years in jail learning to fight from a guy called El Indio. One day a helicopter comes into the jail yard and pick up El Pantera. He is taken to see the police captain of Mexico City and told he can be free if he works as an outside agent for the police force to help take down El Curro and the corrupt cops inside the Mexico City police department. El Pantera accepts because he can get revenge on those who framed him and find out why they murdered his fiancee. El Pantera, a interesting note, will not use guns.

  2. lichanos says:

    Thanks so much for filling me in on the details!

  3. cynthia g. says:

    OKAYYYYYYYY! Tihis Is Wieard…………………..LOL!

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