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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Don’t Panic (1987)

Recently I have discovered the movies of Mexican director Ruben Galindo Jr. Specifically the three that were dubbed and released in the US. I have already watched Cemetery of Terror and Grave Robbers, so I only had Don’t Panic to check out. I’m glad that I waited to watch this one until last because while I loved the first two this one has issues.

Michael has just moved to Mexico City and is celebrating his birthday with some school friends. After they leave some of them sneak back and convince him to play with a Ouija board. He wants nothing to do with it, but there is a cute girl, so he caves and has a go. Immediately he starts having nightmares of someone killing the other people at the party. But these aren’t just bad dreams as the bodies start to pile up. Clearly something evil is afoot and it is up to Michael to try and save them as well as defeating the evil. Who is the killer and why is this happening? Okay there are some spoilers coming up so if you don’t like that stop reading now. 

For a bit we are led to believe that it is Michael who is possessed. But it turns out that his best friend who brough the board and contacted the spirits is the one who has a demon hanging out in his noggin. Though they are somehow connected so Michael dreams while the other guy kills. This all leads to a big showdown between the pair where no one wins. Yeah, it finishes on a downer. 

Dinosaur PJs... okay I guess
Don’t Panic suffers from some serious pacing issues. While I suppose that they were trying to build some tension and mystery with the story it comes off as confused and disjointed. Sure, we find out what is happening in the final act, but by that time I didn’t really care. The characters aren’t interesting, the story moves along at a glacial pace, and the payoff feels rushed and pointless. It also doesn’t help that the acting isn’t very good with a lead actor and actress that I didn’t care about at all. The worst bit though was the possessed friend, Tony, who doesn’t have enough screen time nor presence to make for a compelling or interesting bad guy. I wasn’t interested in either the story or characters. 

Gore wise there is one highlight with a knife thru the chin that looks decent. The rest of the gore is mediocre and nothing memorable. Almost all of it is backloaded in the last third of the movie which again doesn’t help with the pacing. This is a movie that needed to follow the formula closer and give us boobs or blood every few minutes. 

Let me recommend Cemetery of Terror and Grave Robbers from this same director. As I’ve already mentioned these are great, but Don’t Panic not so much. If you have already watched this one and dismissed the other two trust me, you need to go back and check them out. Not much else to say here. 

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