Director: Tonino Ricci (as Anthony Richmond)

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Panic The dubbed Italian shlock import Panic (Bakterion, 1976), set in England, has a researcher (Roberto Ricci) performing questionable research into germ warfare. The experiment literally blows up in his face. Contaminated by a virulent germ agent, he is transformed into a hideously ugly stalking mutant vampire psycho murderer, supposedly contagious though that doesn't play much of a role in what is actually seen. The "originality" of the piece includes even the shower scene from Hitchcock's Psycho.

For the longest while we get only half-second glimpses of the mutant psycho as he goes about killing. One big scene involves a priest (Eugenio Benito) with several little choir boys barricading themselves in the sacristy. Threatening children is always good for a bit of shlock thrills.

Eventually the mutant is revealed in his full glory, & is quite well done for spaghetti sauce & meatball make-up. When the brave girl lab assistant (Janet Agren) attempts to help him & he goes momentarily rational, it's almost tragic, though too goofy to pack actual emotion.

Meanwhile the military knows an unstoppable germ has been unleashed & intends to nuke the whole region rather than risk the disease spreading. Our heroic lead (David Warbeck) has only a few hours to find a magic instant cure for the incurable disease or it's all over for everyone, & it's bound to come down to the last two seconds.

This one ain't much even for the so-bad-it's-good category, though low-budget FX fans may get a small charge out of the monster make-up.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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