PANIC BEATS (1983) Reviews and Blu-ray release news

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Panic Beats is a 1983 Spanish horror feature film starring Jacinto Molina (more commonly known as Paul Naschy) which he also directed and co-wrote with Antonio Fos. It is a belated sequel to Horror Rises from the Tomb (1972).

Blu-ray release:

Panic Beats will be released on Blu-ray by Mondo Macabro March 9, 2021. Features:

Brand new 4k transfer from the film negative
Two interviews with Paul Naschy
Audio commentary from The Naschycast (Troy Guinn & Rod Barnett)
Optional subtitles
Mondo Macabro previews
Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
Region: All


Paul Marnac (Paul Naschy) and his infirm wife Geneviève (Julia Saly) move to his childhood estate in the French countryside. The estate is also the site of the castle inhabited by Paul’s ancestor Alaric de Marnac, who was known for brutally slaughtering anyone whom he suspected of infidelity. There is a legend that Alaric rises from the grave to continue his deeds.

The estate is currently inhabited by Paul’s aunt Maville (Lola Gaos) and cousin Julie (Frances Ondiviela, billed as Pat Ondiviela). Soon after Paul and Geneviève arrive, mysterious things begin to happen. Geneviève begins to wonder if the legend about Alaric is true…


“Naschy’s direction is as subtle as a flying mallet, but one gets the sense that he genuinely and passionately loves the pulp he’s creating. It’s also worth noting that he sometimes cuts through the overwrought nature of the work with a genuinely creepy moment — the best is an atmospheric nightmare sequence involving the maid. Simply put, Panic Beats pushes the horror genre into pure camp…” AllMovie

” [Naschy] injects the film with an old-fashioned spooky house motif, beefed up with a modern movie sense of violence and sexuality. The film offers nothing too innovative storywise, and even Naschy admits on the disc’s extras that it was partly inspired by Gaslight and Rebecca, but he seems to just toss in a hodgepodge of exploitation and horror ingredients while delivering a stylish and enjoyable effort with a number of twists and some genuinely chilling moments.” DVD Drive-In

“Well performed by its small cast and ably directed by Naschy (who knows how to get mileage from a limited budget), the film nevertheless stumbles on occasion due to some awkward expositional dialog and a few key scenes which go on much too long for their own good.” Eccentric Cinema

“The whole bloody affair ends with a predictable comeuppance, but a perfectly gory one. Bright and colorful, the Spanish splatter is amped up in an effort to keep pace with the era’s slasher films of the other hemisphere […] Naschy makes for a strong-willed presence in front of the camera, and clearly has a ball behind it, orchestrating one gruesome scene after another, at a pace faster than his more famous efforts.” Flick Attack

“Naschy’s sincere love of old-school horror movies is in every frame of this and all his films. Sadly, his reluctance to deviate from these established formulas is a drawback and a missed opportunity for the man to display his talents to their fullest. The soul-deadeningly-long, exposition-laden drive out to the country prepares the viewer for the narrative style and generally plodding pace of the remainder of the film.” The Gentlemen’s Blog to Midnite Cinema

“While Panic Beats is one of Naschy’s best explorations into human motivation, it’s definitely not a ‘feel-good’ movie — it is an unpleasant story about unpleasant people doing unpleasant things. Don’t expect a happy ending!” Denetia Arellanes, The Mark of Naschy

“Yeah, this is another interesting recommendation. Those who can stomach the retro gore and frequent nudity may enjoy it. Much like Dario Argento’s Opera, the film is very dark in tone and does not end in the most happy of ways. Naschy himself even admits this in the interviews packed onto the Mondo Macabro disc.” Mondo Bizarro

“It’s far from the typical Naschy horror, and a owes a lot more to the giallos of Italy – including black gloves and something sinister happening somewhere in the background of the story. There’s at least two, three… maybe four, twists coming at ya and it works and makes a movie that could have been very traditional work very well. Naschy, who also directs, delivers a good surprising character who’s actions is very hard to predict.” Ninja Dixon

“Overall, Panic Beats is plenty entertaining. Part soap opera, part semi-modern day gothic horror film, it moves along at a reasonably solid pace, contains a fun performance from the leading man, and makes the most out of its sets thanks to some wonderful cinematography and eerie lighting.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“Naschy’s follow-up (of sorts) to his Horror Rises from the Tomb is decent enough stuff, if unevenly paced. Some spirited gore and at least one good axe clobbering keep this boat afloat, helped also by several nods to Clouzet’s classic Diabolique as well as Naschy’s admirable direction throughout.” The Terror Trap

“The nudity is better than average as a lot of Spanish senoritas get muy nude and show off their manicured bushes. Too bad Naschy (who also wrote and directed the flick) made the stuff that comes in between the nudity and gore so boring and predictable.” The Video Vacuum

Fear Without Frontiers Jay Schneider FAB Press


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Cast and characters:

Paul Naschy … Paul / Alaric de Marnac
Julia Saly … Geneviève
Lola Gaos … Mabile
Silvia Miró … Mireille
Frances Ondiviela … Julie (as Pat Ondiviela)
Manuel Zarzo … Doctor Lacombe
José Vivó … Doctor Rigaud
Charly Bravo
José Sacristán … Alain (as José Sacristán Hernández)
Salvador Sáinz … Catholic Priest

Original title:

Latidos de pánicos 

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