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Walk Like A Panther
Published Date: 21/02/2018
A group of 1980s wrestlers are forced to don the lycra once last time when their beloved local pub is threatened with closure.
“I believe British wrestlers are the best entertainers in the whole world.”
From the mid 70’s to the late 80’s Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy were just two of the household names of British wrestling. At four o’clock each Saturday afternoon many British families would come together as one as the nation unified in their support of great and fearsome warriors. Many were loved, few were loathed – all were heroes. British wrestling took place in a world where only the strongest survived, and to survive you had to Walk Like a Panther.
Sadly, those days are long gone…until now.
Walk Like a Panther is set in present day Yorkshire, 30 years after the plug was pulled on British wrestling on TV, when a band of brothers and sisters will squeeze into their leotards for one final rumble. Dealing with the highs and lows of life, the wrestlers fight to find themselves, one another and save their community.
Mark Bolton, played by Showcase favourite Stephen Graham, has lived his life dreaming of being a wrestler, following in his father’s footsteps - Trevor ‘Bulldog’ Bolton, British Champion and leader of The Panthers. At 16 years old, Mark got his shot but on the day ‘Son of Bulldog’ was due to make his debut, wrestling on TV was cancelled.
Over a quarter of a century later, Mark’s running The Half Nelson - more public home than public house. It’s here locals gather for the wake of one of their fallen comrades, Ginger Frost, Trevor’s best friend and surrogate father to Mark. During the night an uninvited guest, local troublemaker Ricky Rickson, re-ignites the wrestlers’ flame for the grapple as they call upon their skills from yesteryear. Footage of the pub fight is put online and it goes viral.
Local promoter Popsy Wilson Jnr, persuades The Panthers to reform for a one-off bout but decades of pies and pints have taken their toll. When the pub is threatened with closure, The Panthers and their community come together - Mark ‘Son of Bulldog’ Bolton, Trevor ‘Bulldog’ Bolton, ‘Gladiator’ Glenn Higgins, Cliff ‘Edge’ Morris, Tony ‘Sweetcheeks’ Smith, Lara ‘Liplock’ Anderson, The Dixon Brothers, ‘Zulu’ Dawn and Lesley Beck must overcome the odds, re-learn their moves and re-tailor their outfits to fight the establishment, save the pub, save the village and Walk Like Panthers once more.
Speaking to Screen Daily, writer director Dan Cadan said: “This is a timely, relevant story with a big nostalgic heart. This is not a film about wrestling as a sport; it’s more a film about wrestling with life – which we all do, one day at a time.”
In keeping with British cinematic hits such as The Full Monty and Billy Elliot, Walk Like a Panther is a classic everyman underdog story, blending comedy and heartfelt drama with ill-fitting Lycra!
Walk Like A Panther is at Showcase from March 9
CLICK HERE for more information and to watch the trailer