Trail of the Pink Panther [1982)

Ugh.  Ay carambas!  Yikes.  This film is torture.  I will not claim to have made it all the way through, but I held on as long as I could.

This really is just a travesty all around.  It starts well enough.  Harvey Korman is an admirable Auguste Balls.  “Maybe they did have enough outtake footage to patch together a film,” I thought.  I kept as alert as possible, trying to find the inevitable and unenviable “break point.”  It comes after Sellers exits the elevator:  the last laugh.

It is a jaw-dropping stroke of hubris…Sellers doing soft-shoe on the spilled rice and then the exact same set piece with the keys in the door and the ripped trousers.  It’s all downhill from there.  It turns into a “greatest hits” playback of scenes from the previous films with stupefying ennui courtesy of interviewing those who had known Clouseau.

I must say, however:  I made it further into this debacle than I thought I would.  At least the “pup-out” lighter scene was priceless (truly the last laugh).  Perhaps I will return to this revolting pastiche once my stomach has calmed down…in a couple of weeks.