Panic Beats (1982) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Panic Beats aka Latinos de Pánico (1982)

Film: I totally love Paul Naschy (aka Jacinta Molina), but it’s a strange love. I dig Naschy as I see myself in him! We both grew up loving horror films, and loving old heroes like Robin Hood and Zorro (a particular favourite of mine). His favourite monster is the werewolf, as is mine, and he is a not very attractive, hirsute, round-headed dude who has no trouble pulling chicks…

Ok, so we aren’t completely similar!

His films have always stood out for me, even though I have only seen a small percentage of them. It’s not just Naschy’s films though; I think I just love all the films of Spain from this period, as I love stuff from Armando De Ossorio (the Blind Dead films) and Jorge Grau (Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is a particular favourite). I love the beautiful women, the sleazy men, the beautiful vistas, the crazy stories and the flat-out, nutty violence!

Panic Beats tells of Paul Marnac (Paul Naschy) who is moving to the countryside with his wife Geneviève (Julia Saly) for the quiet life where hopefully she can survive her debilitating heart condition…. but does Paul, who married into money when they wed, want her to survive? Has he perhaps enlisted the help of a bloodthirsty young woman to help him in his quest and is there supernatural elements at play here?

Mysogynistic? Possibly. Sexist? Definitely! Trashy? 100%!!! Entertaining? Yes, but this is a slower one, but once the accelerator is pushed about three quarters through the film, boy, does it take off! It does, however, get a little over-complicated with all the double dealing and back-stabbing. It’s not the greatest Spanish horror film by a long shot, but there is enough intrigue and nudity to keep you interested.

Score: ***

Format: The reviewed copy of Panic Beats was the Mondo Macabro multi-region DVD, which runs for approximately 92 minutes and is presented in a pretty good 1.78:1 image and the audio is presented in Dolby digital 2.0, but in Spanish so you’ll have to turn of the subtitles!

Score: ***1/2

Extras: A cool bunch of extras on this disc:

Blood & Sand is a 20 odd minute doco about Spanish horror films, with a slant towards Naschy! It’s informative and quite tongue in cheek and features a groovy soundtrack and interviews with directors José Ramòn Larraz, Armando de Ossorio, Paul Naschy, Jorge Grau, producer Daniel Lesouer, and actors Orchedea de Santis, Caroline Monroe and Daniela Giordano. It’s one of those ‘shopping list’ dodos where you discover a film you may not have yet seen, but immediately need to track down. There’s also a cavalcade of stills and promo material throughout the doco.

Featurette: Paul Naschy on… sees Naschy talk about various aspects of his life, and his life’s work. It’s an interesting interview with him.

There is a stills gallery, but I initially liked this one as it has photos from the opening night of the film’s release, then it just sinks into photos of the film.

The last extra is a title list from Mondo Macabro.

There is also a credits list for the DVD which I find amusing as it is one of the worst menus I have ever seen! Most of the time the options can’t even be read whilst the flames flicker over them.

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: I love Eurotrash horror, and this being a Naschy film means I’ll give it another go, despite it’s awkward pacing.

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