• Warning: Spoilers
    I wasn't expecting too much from this, to be honest. the reviews I'd read in the past hadn't done the movie many favours and the lurid cover art on the video tape really makes you fear for the worst- but, in all reality, its not that bad. I'm guessing that as it was made only a couple of years after the actual crimes depicted that it could have run into trouble, what with the brutal nature of Nielsons crimes and the fact that it had been such a very public series of events that horrified Britain over its weetabix and toast as it flicked past page three and looked for what was on the telly that night in the national tabloids. The movie, for those too young and in foreign parts to remember or to even know, tells the story of ex-army loner Donald Nielson who, to subsidise his income has taken to robbing local post-offices. In a series of military style raids, Nielsons crimes escalate to the point where he ruthlessly murders 3 postmasters whilst all the time planning the kidnapping of a 17 year old whose late father had left her a large inheritance. The film is creepy and effective, Donald Sumpters bizarre performance as the titular Panther makes you want to double-check the door before you go to bed and pull the curtains all the way across the windows.. Of course, despite Nielsons detailed planning, things go terribly wrong. The films careful direction and adhesion to the known facts of the real events add an air of credibility seldom seen outside of the small screen, and its use of locations close to the real ones make it all the more unsettling. Whether or not the drain where the on-screen Whittle meets her horrible demise is a set or a location in Bathpool park, it still makes you uneasy and once again begs the question- is this just trashy exploitation or something much harder to face, perhaps a desire to present the ever awful truth?