27 May 2024
Panic Beats (1983)
94 min.
Directed by Paul Naschy.
With Paul Naschy, Julia Saly, Lola Gaos, Silvia Miró, Paquita Ondiviela, Manuel Zarzo, José Vivó.
Watchable Spanish terror.

Paul de Marnac (Naschy) discovers his wife Genevieve is suffering from heart problems, so he decides the two of them should spend some downtime at his family's country home.

But once there, Genevieve is terrorized by strange happenings: snakes in her bed, zombie hoods hanging out in her bathtub, loose eyeballs in her soup, etc.

Could Paul's ancestor, the evil 16th century knight Alaric de Marnac, have risen from his grave once more to exact bloody vengeance?

Or could someone simply be trying to drive her to death's door...through fear?

Naschy's followup (of sorts) to his Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) 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.

Also known as Frantic Heartbeat.

Spanish: Latidos de pánico.

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