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Film / Lethal Panther

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Lethal Panther is a 1990 Girls with Guns action film directed by schlock-meister Godfrey Ho, starring Sibelle Hu, Maria Yuen and Yoko Miyamoto note .

The story revolves around two female yakuza assassins, Miyamoto and Eileen, who is sent to Hong Kong for a covert assignment. Their killings in Tokyo has led to them being investigated by top cop Lieutenant Betty Lee (Sibelle), but after a meeting between Betty and Miyamoto, both women start developing an understanding of sorts between each other, just as the yakuza had other plans to have both of them wiped out to keep their assignments secret.. forever.

A standalone sequel, Lethal Panther 2, is released in 1993, also in the Girls with Guns genre. While sharing the same themes and director, the sequel has an all-new cast, including Japan's top leading lethal-lady icon, Yukari Oshima, teaming up with Philippine badass Edu Manzano. Joint-produced with a Philippine studio, Lethal Panther 2 revolves around Japanese Interpol officer Jane Matsuko (The Osh) on assignment in the Philippines, to investigate the Ni-chii syndicate, a powerful crime organization from Japan who had set up its base of operations overseas. But upon arrival, Jane realize the mission has been taken over by her partner from Hong Kong, Sharon and local Philippine super-cop Albert, who had a personal score to settle with the Ni-chii.


Tropes for Lethal Panther 1:
Sibelle Hu is about to shoot you. While Yoko Miyamoto and Maria Yuen are taking turns in case Sibelle missed.

  • Advertised Extra: Some DVD covers tries to hype the involvement of Alex Fong and Sibelle Hu, due to their status as B-movie icons. As it turns out Fong actually plays a Japanese Henchman, Tanaka who dies after five minutes of screen-time while Sibelle plays Betty, a deuteragonist who's missing for a huge chunk in the middle of the film.
  • Assassins Are Always Betrayed: Played straight for Miyamoto and Eileen. At least Miyamoto anticipates the betrayal, but Eileen on the other hand...
  • Ass Shove: Part of Sylvia's Cold-Blooded Torture sequence, by the tip of a pistol.
  • Badass Longcoat: Miyamoto wears a white one, matching her black shirt and Cool Shades.
  • Big Brother Worship: Big Sister Worship, between Tom and Miyamoto. it's implied that Tom chose to become a hitman and assassin because he knew that was his elder sister's true profession and wants to be like her.
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  • Buried in a Pile of Corpses: During a shootout scene, Eileen guns down two mooks who fell into a swimming pool, and then hears a few more mooks coming. As the mooks tries looking for her, Eileen reveals herself to be hiding under the two corpses floating in the pool and guns down the mooks.
  • Cold Sniper: Miyamoto during the church scene, when she expertly uses a sniper rifle to take down a mob boss and several bodyguards.
  • Cool Guns: In the final shootout, Bill is shown using a Chicago Typewriter Tommy Gun. Nobody else uses this type of weapon throughout the film.
  • Fanservice: For an action movie there's sure a lot of boobs and exposed female body parts throughout the running time. Around 12 minutes combined, maybe.
  • Fanservice Extra: There's a strip club scene with skimpily-dressed performers on-stage, all who bare their boobs halfway and keeps on dancing.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Eileen's first kill is a yakuza boss she stabs... while having sex with him. The last thing her victim sees is her boobies as she repeatedly thrushes a blade into him.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: As Miyamoto reads aloud a letter from Tom, her younger brother who is studying in Paris, the letter contains various random, gratuitous usage of French words, such as mon amour and cest la-vie, for some weird reason. It's a tip-off that her brother isn't actually studying in Paris, despite what he claims.
  • Groin Attack: After capturing Gordon Jones, the American gunrunner, Betty interrogates him in this manner... by slowly driving a tractor towards Gordon's nuts while he's tied up spread-eagled to the floor. Gordon finally decide to confess with the tractor's wheel an inch away from his schlong, but when Betty finally stepped on the brakes and got off, Gordon had died of a Heart attack.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Tom puts himself in the way as Bill tries shooting Miyamoto, sacrificing himself to save his sister and proving to her that he still cares for her.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Miyamoto, ultimately. When a little girl playing with a toy truck sending the toy towards Miyamoto, she smiles and gently pushes the toy back. In the subsequent shootout Miyamoto made sure the child did not get injured in the crossfire.
  • I Have No Son!: Or I Have No Little Brother... when Tom reveals that he is a hitman, after shooting Sylvia right in front of Miyamoto, Miyamoto angrily said her brother isn't a hitman but a student.
  • Mexican Standoff: Between Betty and Miyamoto in the club, and later Miyamoto and Tom, her estranged brother.
  • Monster Brother, Cutie Sister: Inverted, Miyamoto is a ruthless assassin and killing machine, while Tom is a dorky, nerdy student. Then subverted when Tom is revealed to be an assassin too, maybe as good as his sister.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Sylvia, from multiple sex scenes (standing up or lying down? She has both for audiences to choose from), to sleeping in the nude, to a Shower Scene. Although her torture scene is more of a Fan Disservice instead.
    • Eileen also counts, given the number of Panty Shot she has, and her first scene where she kills a mobster while having sex with him.
  • Nostalgic Musicbox: The musical locket Miyamoto gave Tom as he leaves for his studies in Paris. In their penultimate standoff, Tom plays this locket to break a standoff between both the siblings.
  • Panty Shot: Repeatedly shown on Eileen when she somersaults and back flips during shootouts.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Happens to quite a few people, including Sylvia.
  • Promotion to Parent: It's implied that the parents of Miyamoto and Tom are both dead, and that Miyamoto is now the sole breadwinner taking care of her brother.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Poor Sylvia...
  • Secret Identity: Miyamoto is an assassin and hitwoman, and later finds out her brother, Tom, whom she assumes was studying in Paris, was actually an assassin too. He is as surprised as she is, believing her to be an officer worker.
  • Sibling Team: When Miyamoto and Tom, actually an assassin just like her ends up being cornered by Tanaka and several mooks, they quickly work together to shoot their way out.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: Sylvia in one scene. With her crotch and boobs completely exposed, with close-up on the... erm, good parts for the audiences' sake. For a while, audiences probably forgot they're watching an action movie instead of a porno.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • The fate of Tanaka, when Miyamoto fires a grenade at him. Ludicrous Gibs ensues.
    • Miyamoto does this again when she empties an entire magazine of bullets into Bill, and continues shooting at his corpse. To be fair, Bill just shot her brother Tom a few seconds ago.
  • The Squadette: Betty during the warehouse scene dons a military outfit while leading a group of fatigue-clad officers in a shootout.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Halfway through the film, Betty, while alone, is suddenly ambushed by a Caucasian thug who claims he is Gordon's brother, and starts attacking her. One long fight scene later Betty has defeated this thug by back-flipping, then said Gordon's death was a heart attack before leaving. That thug somehow disappears from the rest of the movie (it's somewhat likely that his scenes are from another unrelated Godfrey Ho movie, which got spliced into this one in the last minute).
    • Betty is another mouse herself; despite having a long fight scene and a shootout in the first half of the film, she somehow dissappeared halfway through as the film chose to focus all the way on Miyamoto instead. Subverted that Betty does indeed make a comeback... 3 minutes before the credits roll.
  • World of Action Girls: There is top military officer and lieutenant, Betty Lee, and there's the hitwomen duo Miyamoto and Eileen.
  • Yakuza: They are the employers of Miyamoto and Eileen, before deciding to betray them instead.

Tropes for Lethal Panther 2:
Yes, Lethal Panther 2 was called Lethal Dragon in Western markets. It's very likely a Dolled-Up Installment, unsurprisingly, being typical Godfrey Ho...

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: After inviting his new friends to his home and allowing them to spend a night at his place, there is a heartfelt and rather dramatic conversation between Albert and Cindy, implied to have feelings for each other, with Albert confessing how he gets himself buried in work after his wife's death years ago.
  • Action Girl: Jane Matsuko (played by Oshima) and Sharon (played by Sharon Kwok), respectively from the Japanese Interpol and Hong Kong police, who kicks plenty of ass in the movie, especially the former.
  • Action Prologue: The film's first scene is an 8-minute-long shootout against gunrunners, with Jane killing plenty of mooks as her Establishing Character Moment.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Jane and Peter against gunrunners in the opening scene, and then Jane and Sharon against the Ni-chii's mooks in the ending.
  • Badass Crew: The Power Trio of Jane, Sharon and Albert, who mounts a three-person assault on the Ni-chii corporation's headquarters for the film's climatic shootout. Where the three of them managed to completely obliterate more than 50 mooks in an extended shootout sequence.
  • Bad Habits: During the scene where Gabriel threatens and kills a woman in a church, he is wearing a priestly garb, including rosaries and a crucifix from his neck.
  • Big Fancy House: The Ni-chii corporation's headquarters, setting for the final shootout which climaxes the film.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Most of the villains and mooks spews blood from their mouths upon being killed, notably the Ni-chii syndicate leader after Gabriel's girlfriend stabs him in the throat and said henchwoman after Sharon empties an entire clip of Uzi rounds through her guts.
  • Crusading Widower: Albert, whose wife died in a terrorist attack orchestrated by the Ni-chii years ago, and since then he has been dedicated to take them down.
  • Da Chief: Burke, the police superintendent and superior for Peter and Albert, who spends most of the movie nagging his subordinates and demanding for Albert to stay put after Peter's death. When Albert single-handedly kills off the entire Ni-chii syndicate in the climax only to be surrounded by Burke and arriving policemen, one of the first things Burke did is to threaten Albert with demotion and suspension over his actions. Tellingly, the next logical step of action for Albert is to deliver a fist across Burke's face and throws his badge back to Burke before leaving.
  • Dark Action Girl: One of the gunrunners in the opening scene is a tall Caucasian woman who fights Jane to a standstill until Jane kicks her off a tall balcony to her death. And then there is Gabriel's unnamed girlfriend.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In the opening shootout, Peter is depicted to be one of the leading characters, given an extensive action scene where him and Jane teams up to take down several gunrunners. But shortly after that scene, Peter gets unceremoniously killed by Gabriel, and the film then shifts attention to Albert.
  • Destination Defenestration: In the shopping mall fight, Jane sends the suspect who is fighting her through a third-floor window onto a row of shelves.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In an early stake-out in the film right after the Action Prologue, a Philippine police officer is seen munching on a donut while waiting in his car.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Albert and Gabriel, respectively one of the good guys and the Big Bad, both have impressive moustaches.
  • Hidden Supplies: Albert hides a Grenade Launcher and multiple machine guns underneath his kitchen's table. For the final action scene, the Power Trio of Jane, Sharon and Albert uses his personal weapon stash to assault the Ni-chii headquarters.
  • Human Shield: Near the end of the Action Prologue, Jane, after subduing an Elite Mook, force that mook to be a meatshield when a henchwoman shoots at her.
  • Implacable Man: Gabriel, who takes a whole lot of punishment throughout the film, from being knocked off balconies to being shot, and keeps on going. It takes a whole stack of oil drums exploding right next to him to finally take him down.
  • Improvised Zipline: Used twice in the film.
    • In the opening action scene, Peter zip-lines his way above the derelict house from his legs while firing away at gunrunners.
    • For the climax, Albert uses this method to fling himself on the Ni-chii headquarter's top balcony, gunning down a whole bunch of mooks guarding the roof in the process.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: After revealing their intentions to take over the Ni-chii syndicate, Gabriel's girlfriend personally drives a blade through the former Ni-chii leader's neck and digs his throat out.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Played straight. When the Ni-chii raids Albert's house, his mother gets shot in the process, followed by Albert's partner. His son appears to be shot too, but after Albert, Jane and Sharon had killed every attacker, Albert's son turns out to still be alive.
  • It's Personal: Albert, towards Gabriel, for killing his mother and nearly killing his son. Notably in the final shootout, when Albert goes after Gabriel leaving the remaining mooks to Sharon and Jane.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: When Gabriel reveals his intent to take over the Ni-chii, the former chairman immediately pulls a gun on Gabriel and shoots him. Unfortunately, Gabriel's girlfriend, pretending to be a loyal follower, had swapped the rounds with blanks, allowing Gabriel to take over with ease.
  • Leap and Fire: Happens in most of the big shootouts. It's mostly Jane who does this though.
  • Meaningful Funeral: For Peter, Albert's partner.
  • Oh, Crap!: On Gabriel seconds before his death.
  • One-Man Army: The main characters are killing machines who left behind enough dead bodies to fill up several morgues. Especially in the climax; while Jane and Sharon crashes their car into the Ni-chii's ground floor and takes names together, Albert on the other hand lands on the building's top level and massacres all the mooks by himself!
  • Papa Wolf: When Albert witnessed his son in danger as the Ni-chii's minions invade his house, he immediately whips out his Grenade Launcher which he hid under his kitchen table and blows up a bloody chunk from the Ni-chii's ranks.
  • Railing Kill: Jane does this when fighting an Elite Mook in the finale, while dangling behind the railing herself. The mook lands on his head and dies rather brutally.
  • Seppuku: Subverted, after failing to kill Albert for the last time, Gabriel's superior, the former Ni-chii leader, orders Gabriel to kill himself with this method. Gabriel instead takes over the Ni-chii, with his girlfriend executing the leader in front of a dozen members.
  • Sequel Escalation: Compared to the first movie, the sequel has more fight scenes, with more bullets fired, a higher body count, even bigger and more brutal action scenes. Although unlike the first movie, this sequel doesn't have any nudity...
  • The Syndicate: The Ni-chii, complete with its own army with their unique uniforms.
  • Tattooed Crook: The Distinguishing Mark of Ni-chii syndicate members, is a black spiral-star tattoo which they adorn on their forearms.
  • Tempting Fate: After killing every single minion of the Ni-chii corporation and having Gabriel pinned down beside a stack of oil drums, Albert turns his gun on Gabriel... only to realize he's out of ammo. Hearing police sirens coming towards them, Gabriel taunts Albert that he will never avenge his loved ones, at which point Albert instead throws a lighter on an oil puddle beside Gabriel.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Oh yes.
    • Gabriel's girlfriend absorbed an entire magazine of Uzi rounds through her gut, courtesy of Sharon.
    • Gabriel's death involves being pinned down beside a dozen oil drums, which explodes an inch away from him leaving him Not Enough to Bury.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Jane, Albert and Sharon, forming an epic Power Trio. With Jane as The Hero, Albert as The Lancer, and Sharon as The Chick.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Gabriel and his girlfriend-cum-henchwoman, who later becomes his second-in-command after their Klingon Promotion by way of her stabbing the Ni-chii corporation's previous boss dead.
  • Yakuza: The Ni-chii corporation used to be a subsidiary from the yakuza, before gaining ground in the Philipines and growing into the most powerful foreign crime syndicate based in the country.


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