Puma Man, also known as The Puma Man, The Pyooma Man, Thepew Maymen, or L'Uomo Puma, is a 1980s superhero movie produced by Italians in English.The plot? Our villain is Dr. Kobras (Donald Pleasence in a shiny futuristic muu-muu), who has gotten his hands on a huge golden Aztec mask, which contains alien circuitry that allows it to control minds. He plans to use it to dominate world leaders, and already has a collection of paper-maché heads signifying his mental conquests. Only one man can stop him: the eponymous Puma Man, the scion of a line of "man-gods" sired by ancient spacefaring Aztec alien puma things. He's an American living in nearby London, so Kobras sets off to determine who his foe is by hurling potential candidates out of windows. Only the Puma Man could survive that, y'see.Our hero is Tony Farms, an American archeologist who is quickly discovered by Vadinho, an Aztec priest of the space-gods. The hulking holy man becomes Tony's mentor by hurling him out a window, chasing him around a university, and breaking into his apartment to aggressively push his belief system and fashion accessories. Tony is understandably reluctant to get involved in all this, but after mind-controlled love interest Jane Dobson is used to lure him into a trap, Tony finally accepts his heroic destiny and a magical Aztec belt, transforming into the mighty Puma Man!Now firmly allied with Vadinho, Tony sets about mastering his puma-derived superpowers to get the sacred mask out of Kobras' hands. He can see in the dark, sense danger, "leap" great distances (or fly, the writers don't seem to be sure), teleport, and feign death quite convincingly - you know, standard puma stuff. Oh, and his fingers can act as super-strong "claws", which Vadinho belatedly remembers to mention in the middle of a major battle. And possibly super-strength, which he uses once to flip a car over and then never again. Anyway, with these skills in hand, Tony heroically attacks Kobras' mansion stronghold, is soundly defeated, gets caught by Kobras' hypnosis, retreats, loses his superpowers through Kobras' mental commands, is nearly Driven to Suicide by Kobras' mind games, and heroically plays dead until the villain's minions go away.Vadinho then leads his own assault against Kobras, using a suicide belt to bluff his way inside. The Aztec resists the villain's hypnotism and demolishes his command center, while Jane Dobson smashes Tony's paper-maché head, removing Kobras' mental control over him and restoring his powers. Puma Man quickly teleports to the rescue and hops around in the background while the Aztec takes down wave after wave of mooks, prompting Kobras to make a run for it. In the end, Tony is barely able to overcome an elderly bald man and cause Kobras' helicopter to crash, the golden mask is recovered, Vadinho gets beamed up by the alien-god-things, and Tony and Jane join the Quarter-Mile-High Club.It was the featured film in this MST3K episode, and was also riffed by RiffTrax.
Charles Atlas Superpower: In a scene deleted from the MST3K version, Vadinho lifts up the back end of Tony's car off the ground to stop him from escaping, rips the lock and handle off of door of the car and once blocked inside, rips off the steering wheel and bends the gear shift to escape.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: Because his mentorforgot to mention that "your hands are claws" during the earlier orientation. Though Tony might have been able to extrapolate this from his name if his powers weren't so random.
Faking the Dead: Heroically! Witness as Puma Man fakes his own death so Kobras will leave him alone and he can let Vadinho do everything!
Herald: Vadinho, it's one of his jobs, telling the hero he's The Hero.
Healing Factor In the MST3K version, Vadinho's injuries from being beaten up by Kobras' mooks are unexplainedly healed. A scene removed from MST3K has him doing a ritual to heal all his wounds.
The Hero: Vadinho. He's the only one who knows what's going on, and he's the only one actually effective in battle. In a scene cut from the MST3K version, he displays enough strength to lift the rear wheels of Tony's car off the ground to keep "the hero" from escaping, and is able to tear his way inside. Which raises the question: why does he need the whiny git in the first place?
Heroic Willpower: Vadinho, naturally has the willpower to resist the mind-control device. Even Jane is able to overcome it instead of shooting the Puma Man. But our "hero," Tony? Nope.
High-Altitude Interrogation: Puma Man grabs one of Kobras's mooks and flies him up high in the air and repeatedly drops him to lower heights until Puma Man in satisfied with the information he receives.
Mike: Help, I'm falling at a sixty-degree angle, breaking all the laws of physics!
Hot Scientist: Jane Dobson. Yes, really, Jane is supposed to be an archaeologist.
Hypercompetent Sidekick: Vadinho has no superpowers (certain scenes cut from the MST3K version of the movie suggest that he might have super strength, but even that's questionable) but does most of the heroics that theoretically should be performed by our hero. Plainly, the movie should've just been about him in the first place.
Idiot Hero: We're probably not supposed to come to this conclusion, but Tony is clearly not a bright man.
I Meant to Do That: There's a debate whether the movie was intentionally trying to be goofy with the way Puma Man flies. MST3K's Paul Chaplin believes this was a form of subtle humor on the part of the filmmakers while the rest of the writers believed everything was done seriously.
His pose was probably intentional (he's trying to imitate a four-legged "pouncing" pose rather than a Superman-like flying pose), but the terrible special effects are probably not intentional.
Neglectful Precursors: Despite Vadihno's claims that "Each man is free" as a mantra of the gods, they left a mask on Earth that controls people's minds.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Since the Puma Man's powers are never actually defined, pretty much anything he does counts as this. He will constantly be informed of another power just in time for him to use it right then and there. He even discovers the power to temporarily die right when Kobras is trying to make him do just that.
His powers are whatever Vadinho tells him his powers are.
A superhero based entirely around the Placebo Effect? That sounds like a way better movie than this!
Pinball Protagonist: Puma Man, the Chosen One, does absolutely nothing of use throughout the movie, besides killing a little old guy. It's Vadinho who gets the real action.
Pointless Doomsday Device: While not technically a doomsday device, the mask is capable of controlling men's minds. For a race that has as a motto "Each man is a god, each man is free," there seems to be no conceivable reason for the aliens to have created this.
Space Clothes: Kobras' shiny futuristic muu-muu thingy. Which is actually an improvement over the sweaty leather S&M jacket he's wearing when first introduced.
Strong as They Need to Be: Inverted. The Puma Man can tear apart an old Jaguar (car) with his bare hands and rip into a brick wall, but has trouble overcoming Kobras in a struggle.
Mike: So, ripping through metal doors, no problem; subduing stocky senior citizens, that's another story.
It's inconsistent whether he's supposed to have actual super-strength, or just super-strong finger "claws" to rip into things. It's mostly shown as the latter, but at one point he lifts up a car and flips it over.