Panic Beats [Movie review by the Drudgeon]

Panic Beatsaka Latidos de pánico; Cries Of Terror
93 min., 1983
Directed by Paul Naschy
Language: Spanish (English subtitles available)
My rating: *
IMDB

The second dose of Paul Naschy isn’t so sweet.

* * *

The movie begins with a naked woman running through the woods away from a man, Alaric De Marnac, in full knight armor.  He finally catches her and beats her to death.  We then jump to a doctor’s office where that knights descendent, Paul Marnac (Paul Naschy) has just learned that his wife, Geneviève (Julia Saly), has a weak heart and to help her they need to get some peace and quiet.  Paul decides to take her to his holiday house in Perrouse, which is his ancestral home that he inherited.  Working at the home is Paul’s Auntie Maville (Lola Gaos) who has been like a mother to him and she has taken in her niece, Julie (Pat Ondiviela).  After being introduced to them we get to hear stories about Alaric De Marnac from Auntie.  While driving to the home Paul and Geneviève run out of gas and while he goes to get more, Geneviève is attacked by two men.  Paul returns in time to fight them off and make sure Geneviève is okay.  They get to the house and there is an instant connection between Paul and Julie, which Geneviève doesn’t seem to notice, but Auntie does.  As they spend more time at the home Geneviève seems to be seeing more things and her mind seems to be slipping away.  Is Julie trying to get rid of Geneviève so she can have Paul to herself or is there really something ghostly going on?

Holy crap have I never seen hammier acting in my life.  Now I shouldn’t necessarily say that, because I have seen movies with more ham, but those were also supposed to be that way.  This movie is supposed to be serious and boy do they fail.  The main culprit is Julia Saly.  Every time she is on screen there is so much overacting that I almost get a heart attack from laughter.  On the opposite side is Pat Ondiviela.  She’s not great by any stretch of the imagination, but boy does her conniving come off with believability.

The effects throughout the movie are pretty bad, but there are a few that are actually great.  The best of the best has to be when Julie hits Paul’s mistress in the stomach with an axe and her guts come spilling out.  By today’s standards it looks pretty cheesy, but it still packs a punch.

Now this is the second Paul Naschy movie that I have reviewed and the first was great, but this time around it was shitsville.  Paul Naschy has a knack for writing, acting and directing, but this time around it was fail all-around.  His dialogue was pathetic and he seemed to be trying too hard to make an impact.  The story is pretty interesting but with the dialogue being as weak as it is, it pretty much destroys any good that the plot had going for it.  After watching this movie it makes me a little nervous to continue down the Paul Naschy route.  Avoid this movie unless you are a diehard Naschy fan.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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