July 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm (3 Heads, Panic) (, , , )

Panic – 1982 – Italy/Spain

An experiment goes awry and a scientist is infected by a deadly bacteria. He degenerates into a freakish mutant and stalks the streets of a small Italian town. A corporation and the government try to conceal the accident. They quarantine the town and debate whether to kill all the inhabitants with nerve gas. A special agent for the military (named Captain Kirk of all things) is sent in to find and kill the mutant before the creature can spread its infection. He teams up with a sexy lady scientist, but surprisingly, they don’t hook up unless I fell asleep and missed it. In the end, the mutant is killed and the town is spared the horrors of nerve gas. After the credits, a message says, “What you have seen might really happen… Perhaps it already has.”

Like its boring and generic title, Panic is a boring and generic film. The premise is unimaginative, the pacing is agonizingly slow, and so many things don’t make sense. For instance, the mutant’s bacteria is so infectious that the military will kill an entire town, but somehow he doesn’t manage to infect a single other person. In one scene, the hero stumbles upon a humanoid mutant rat in the sewers. The scene ends abruptly and the rat is never even mentioned again. I suspect that important sections of the movie were either left on the cutting room floor or taken out when the Italian film was translated to English.

Panic has a couple of dramatic moments. The monster tears through a movie screen to terrify a movie audience. It’s a bit of a cliche, but it still looks cool. In another scene, a man is killed as his kids watch in terror. Inexplicably, the mutant does not kill the kids.

Rating: 3/10 Shrunken Heads. Some animals were harmed in the making of this film. Three caged rats fight viciously. Amazingly, one of them balances on his tail and kicks the other. Kangaroos also fight like this.


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