Aug 23, 2020

Panic Beats (1983)

This film follows Horror from the Tomb (1973) which is one of my favorite horror flicks, and one of the few films to get a 10/10 on VZ1.  Ten years after the first film, Alaric De Marnais returns to wreak havoc upon mortals who venture to his ancestral estate.

 Things start off with a bang with a nude woman running through the woods.

The woman (Carole Kirkham) is the wife of Alaric De Marnais

Paul Naschy plays Alaric de Marnac, a character based on the infamous Gilles De Rais

She's killed and we then are transported to present day (1983).

Paul Naschy also plays Paul, the husband of Geneviève (Julia Saly).  He's a humble architect, she a wealthy heiress... but she's been diagnosed with a lung disease.  Paul takes her to his ancestral estate out in the country so that she may get away from the madness of the city and perhaps heal.

Paul is greeted by Mabile (Lola Gaos), the longtime caretaker, and her niece. 

 Julie (Frances Ondiviela

Geneviève hears weird noises in the night. (Paul is away on business)

They keep showing this portrait of Alaric De Marnais over the mantle.  They should have made it creepier, this is hilariously bad.

This scene is genuinely scary as  Geneviève is attacked by a zombie Mabile.

Geneviève faints when she sees the knight. 

 Julie lights up.

She burns out the eyes of Paul in the newspaper.  Pretty peculiar.

 Poor Geneviève is traumatized again by the knight.

Her diseased lungs can't handle the fright, and she dies.

 Hol-up.  It's Paul.

 It's not only Paul, but also July.  They conspired this whole thing.

 Julie gets undressed. 

 So, Paul and Julie are having an affair and they needed Geneviève out of the way.  Paul can now collect her substantial inheritance.  [Dig that Dionne Warwick poster!]

 Meet Mireille (Silvia Miró)

Paul has been having an affair with her, but now he's through.

Mireille isn't going away quite so easy.

Paul is about to strangle her but she wakes up before he can. 

 Julie takes a shower, and mysterious hands creep up behind her.

It's a false scare.  It's just Paul saying hello in the strangest manner possible.

 Paul offers her a ring.

Paul puts a trip wire on the stairs, killing poor Mabile.

 Julie is even more ruthless, strangling her aunt to finish off the dirty deed.

Mireille arrives, and Julie kills the woman by gutting her.

Paul and Julie are married; time to celebrate their "hard work".

Julie throws the space heater in the tub, and he's electrocuted.

But Julie's victims return...

Alaric De Marnais deals the finishing blow. THE END

Nowhere near as good as Horror from the Tomb (1973), but still a damn good horror flick.  Naschy really knew how to create that lurid and nostalgic horror vibe - something done to the extreme in Creepshow, conjuring up the look and feel of Famous Monsters of Filmland and EC Comics.  


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