Pánico (1966)

With a name like this, I just had to review this one.

It’s directed by Julián Soler, who also made Santo vs. Blue Demon in AtlantisEl Castillo de Los Monstruos and El Hombre y La Bestia, this is a three-part horror anthology.

The first story — Pánico — has nearly no dialogue, just a young girl (Ana Martin, who is in a movie I just have to track down — La Mujer del Diablo, as its a Mexican gothic occult movie directed by Alfredo B. Crevenna) being hunted as she runs through the woods, followed by a witch (Ofelia Guilmáin, The Exterminating Angel) with a knife. She keeps seeing the same three boys over and over again, as well as the doll of a child. At the end, she ends up strangling the witch and then dying within the real world, as she had been trapped in a mental institution after the three men we keep seeing had assaulted her, which cost her her unborn child.

In Soledad, Joaquín Cordero (Dr. Satan!) and José Gálvez (the devil in Macario) have just buried the body of a girl during a plague. They soon turn against one another and the hallucinations both suffer leave them — and you — wonder who is alive and who is dead.

Finally, the last story is Angustia, which is a cover version of Poe’s The Premature Burial with some comedic elements, as a scientist and his cat both ingest chemicals that make them seem dead. He’s played by Aldo Monti, who would go on to direct the giallo-esque Santo en Anónimo Mortal and an occult thriller called Seducción Sangrienta that I also need to track down. He spends much of this story trapped in his coffin, trying to get anyone to notice that he is still alive, including his wife (Alma Delia Fuentes, Blue Demon Destructor of Spies and Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción). By the end, he of course gets buried alive and then reincarnated as a catterpillar that his grieving wife steps on.

This was written by Ramón Obón, who has over a hundred script to his credit, including Las SicodélicasThe Empire of DraculaLa Señora MuerteSanto vs. Los LobasEl Látigo contra SatanásLa Furia de Los Karatecas and Terror y Encajes Negros.

Plenty of weird fun here and it feels really experimental. The short running time really helps, as unlike modern portmanteaus, it never drags.

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