BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Don't Panic (1987) - Blu-ray Review

Don't Panic (1987)

Move over, Jason!  There’s a new Boogeyman on the block and his name is . . . Virgil!  Now, doesn’t that put the fear of God in you?!  The filmmakers of this so-bad-its-not-really-good-at-all horror film were kind of banking on that draw.  Oops.  Virgil the ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period?  Well, no, BUT this dude can be decidedly thwarted with a magic rose that comes into the possession of Michael (Jon Michael Bischof) after his best friend gets (re)possessed by this crummy Virgil demon.  Whatever you do, Don't Panic

Calling all cult cinema enthusiasts!  Your next meal is here.

"Full of enough extra cheese to fill your need for nachos while watching this slasher knockoff"


Allow me to explain.  Filmed in Mexico on a very tight budget, Don’t Panic is a solidly bonkers rip-off of different horror films involving crazy killers on the loose, but this time there seems to be a weird psychic link established between the demon on the loose and the aforementioned Mickey who, when he isn’t ducking spears and daggers aimed at the kids he knows, has to often feel the wrath of he drunk mother, who openly admits to her drinking problem in front of his optometrist.  Mickey doesn't have a seeing problem, but - when the visions kick in - that's the first place his mother thinks to take him to . . . because, well, because maybe his eyesight is causing him to see crazed visions!

The chin-puncturing dagger stabs that he's witness to begin when the birthday boy decides to host his own party.  But Mickey doesn’t want to party the way his new found friends do.  His two friends, being new to the area, are the wisecracking Tony (Juan Ignacio Aranda) and the beautiful Alexandra (Gabriella Hassel), whom Mickey is already making gaga eyes at. I wonder if she heard him sing the title song?  Because - WOW - that should have her packing up before the party even begins.Don't Panic (1987)

Unfortunately, the Ouija board is a big turn off to him, but his friends don’t stop bugging him to play with them in their experiments to communicate with the dead.  Obviously, their séance involving the said Ouija board (always a bad idea) goes spectacularly (and expectantly) tits up.  Suddenly, Mickey is sharing dreams (or are they visions?) of this Virgil dude slashing his way through his friend’s list.  He’s got to do something to stop him, but what can he do?!  I'm not sure the writers even know, but that's part of the fun in this inherently loopy horror flick.

Full of enough extra cheese to fill your need for nachos while watching this slasher knockoff, director Rubén Galindo Jr.'s (Cemetery of Terror, Grave Robbers) exploitation horror title has a few legitimate scares - especially in the hospital - along the way to its closing credits to make this entry into horror passable, but there’s a lot of shoddy dialogue and situations to laugh through first as horror finds its path down Mexico way in Don’t Panic, now on blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome, newly restored in 4K from its 35mm original negative and featuring both its English & Spanish language audio tracks!

Now, if only we could get Mickey some new pajamas . . .

3/5 beers

Don't Panic (1987)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- January 26, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

It’s Michael’s seventeenth birthday and his friends have decided to surprise him with the ultimate birthday bash: breaking into his house and playing with a Ouija board. But what they think is just a harmless bit of fun quickly turns into a supernatural terror when they unwittingly summon a demonic presence named Virgil, who proceeds to possess someone close to Michael, forcing them to savagely kill anyone and everyone Michael cares about. All the while, Michael begins to have terrifying dreams which he slowly begins to realize might be visions of the carnage that only he can stop.  A bonkers tribute to Nightmare on Elm Street from the reigning king of gory Mexican horror, Rubén Galindo Jr. (Cemetery of Terror, Grave Robbers), Don't Panic has gained a long overdue cult fan base in recent years and is guaranteed to leave viewers both awestruck and dumbfounded from its surreal opening through its action-packed finale! Starring American ex-pat, Jon Michael Bischof (who also performs the film’s memorable theme song) and loaded with all the crazy kills you could hope for, Vinegar Syndrome is delighted to present the worldwide Blu-ray debut of Don't Panic, newly restored in 4K from its 35mm original negative and featuring both its English & Spanish language audio tracks!

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original negative, the transfer on this Region Free Blu-ray is probably as good as it gets for this little slasher. Presented in a widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Don’t Panic’s transfer looks pretty clear. The colors don’t really pop thanks to the low budget in play, but there are more refined colors and black levels due to the effort.  Lines are detailed and shadows thick. Grain is high, there are scratches and pops from time to time, but the black levels are solid throughout. 

Audio:

The DTS-HD Master Audio includes both the original English and the dubbed Spanish language soundtracks.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

Complete with reversible artwork, this release will make the cult crowd happy as there are enough supplemental items to satisfy their appetites, including a new interview with the film’s director.

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars


Film Details

Don't Panic (1987)

MPAA Rating: unrated.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Rubén Galindo Jr.
Writer:
Rubén Galindo Jr.
Cast:
Jon Michael Bischof, Gabriela Hassel, Helena Rojo
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The REAL nightmare is just beginning!
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
April 8, 2008 (DVD)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 26 2021.
Synopsis: It's Michael's seventeenth birthday and his friends have decided to surprise him with the ultimate birthday bash: breaking into his house and playing with a Ouija board. But what they think is just a harmless bit of fun quickly turns into a supernatural terror when they unwittingly summon a demonic presence named Virgil, who proceeds to possess someone close to Michael, forcing them to savagely kill anyone and everyone Michael cares about. All the while, Michael begins to have terrifying dreams which he slowly begins to realize might be visions of the carnage that only he can stop.

Art

Don't Panic (1987)

 

Don't Panic (1987)

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