If you havent discovered the wonderful Spainard horror movies starring Paul Naschy. I highly suggest you seek them out now! One Paul Naschy horror movie from the early 80s is a particularly fun, gory and haunting one that practically plays itself almost identical to the plot of a Tales from the Crypt episode. That movie is PANIC BEATS.
Desperate to salvage his crumbling financial empire. Paul Marnac (Paul Naschy) decides to kill his heiress wife with the help of the sexy and ambitious maid. The heiress has a heart condition so the pair decide to slowly and psychologically scare her with a ghost story connected to the manor in which they are all staying. Soon the heiress is scared to death but for the maid just one murder is not enough to satisfy her greed and more murders happen. As the corpses pile up, the ghost story from earlier becomes true and the evil woman is then haunted and hunted down by the very ghosts whom she convinced the heiress were real.
Now with a plot like that you can pretty much say that that sounds like a Tales from the Crypt episode and it pretty much is. But the strengths of this film is that though we dont get the true ghosts n ghouls till the very end. There is enough to intrigue us throughout the rest of the film. We slowly see the murder plots unfold and almost every character is plotting against one another.
Also peppered throughout the whole film are rather old-school, ghostly and rather fun dream sequences and scenes involving the husband and maid trying to scare and convince the heiress that the ghost legend is real. This scenes bring back memories of late night creature features with horror hosts. Believe me these scenes alone deserve to be watched at night with candles or near Halloween.
Also along with those fun “Spooky” scenes the crime aspect of the film is entertaining and always making twists and turns. And with its own share of gory death scenes. There are chokings, Bludgeoning, severed eyeballs, multiple face mutilations, an electrocution and even an axe to the gut with intestines coming out. The film doesnt skip on the splatter but one has to wait for it.
Finally the ending is where the films supernatural side really starts the shine. The spooky, atmospheric and fun hauntings start to happen once there is only one character standing. There filled with rotting corpses returning from there graves, fog filled cemeteries, bloody skulls appearing, shower faucets oozing blood all leading up to the main ghost returning to exact gory revenge on the final character A’la very Tales from the Crypt like.
Now if you are an older horror fan who appreciates the “Spooky” vibe of old horror films along with a good side of splatter then i urge you to see out the horrors of Spain and Paul Naschy from the 70s and 80s, The film PANIC BEATS being a prime example. – James J. Coker