Don't panic (1987)
Really bad low budget supernatural/slasher mess of a horror film!
12 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Don't Panic (a confusing title which means absolutely nothing by the way) starts by introducing us to Micheal Smith (Jon Micheal Bishof) who recently moved to Mexico with his alcoholic Mother (Helena Rojo). It's the night of Micheal's birthday & the last few guests are leaving his party, or so he thinks. Some of his friends have stayed behind including his best friend Tony (Juan Ignacio Aranda) & a girl from school whom he has the hots for named Alexandra (Gabriela Hassle). Tony, being an idiot, suggests that they hold a séance with a Ouija board he just happens to have, after some goading everyone agrees & the séance begins. Tony talks about a spirit named Virgil & asks him some stupid questions, everyone goes home & that's about that or so everyone thinks... The next day Micheal is late for class but everything is fine. However that night as Micheal is trying to sleep he has a vision, a vision of one of his friends named Debbie (Cecilia Tijerina) who was at the séance, being brutally stabbed to death by an unknown assailant. Oh, & for some unexplained reason Micheal's eye's turn red. At first Micheal thinks that it was just a hallucination but when he hears about Debbie's death & that of another one of his friends at the séance Peter (Mario Ivan Martinez) on the news he becomes convinced that his vision was real. While at school Micheal receives a warning in the shape of yet another vision, a warning which tells him Christy (Melinda McCallum) will be the next to die, Micheal must try & save Christy & his remaining friends who were present at the séance before this unknown source of evil kills all of them...

This Mexican American co-production was written & directed by Ruben Galindo as Ruben Galindo Jr. & is one seriously bad film. The script tries to cross supernatural thriller with stalk 'n' slash horror & it predictably turned out to be a complete mess. Don't Panic is a painfully slow & tedious film to watch with only two murders for well over an hour of it's running time & lots of boring exposition & unnecessary character development for the rest of it. The dialogue is pretty bad, the acting is very bad & the character's are awful. The film tries to conceal the killer's identity & to be fair it might work, unfortunately the version I saw revealed the killer on the back of the video box so I knew who it was all along, I doubt it would be that much of a surprise though. No explanation is given to who Virgil is, what he want's, why he's killing these specific teenagers or how he is able to possess people's bodies. Virgil is just 'there' & we have to accept it. The character's are all stupid, the situations Don't Panic depicts are all stupid & as a whole the film lacks any sort of fore-thought or intelligence behind what's going on. The ending is awful as well, both how Virgil is defeated & that sickening & tacky 'this rose will never wilt as long as there is love between us' scene. Despite what you may have read there is actually very little on screen gore, two people are stabbed which Don't Panic depicts by having blood splash over the floor & on the victims clothes, there is a fairly decent slit throat even if I wouldn't just sit impassively in a car as someone stuck their hand in through the window & sliced my throat open with a knife & a scene in which a knife (it's the same knife in all the murder's actually) is stuck into someones chin & it protrudes from their mouth. All the kill scenes are dull with virtually no build up & director Galindo fails to inject any tension, scares or atmosphere into them just like the rest of the film in fact. There isn't even any nudity either, in fact when Micheal & Alexandra have sex it is squeaky clean stuff, Galindo merely shows them kissing each other on the lips while in bed. As mentioned already in other comments the sight of Micheal running around in his babyish pyjama's is both bizarre & very silly looking. Don't Panic is technically average, the cinematography is static & flat as are the production values in general & the horrible music seems very out of place. There are a couple of scenes where a face pokes out of the TV which is quite an impressive effect. Overall there is very little I can recommend Don't Panic by as it's a pretty terrible film all round really, maybe it's good for a few laughs & a decent slit throat but that's it. One to avoid unless it's VERY cheap & your VERY bored.
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