Panic [Bakterion] (1982)

(aka, Monster of Blood)

It’s really amazing.

Look at all they had to work with here:  a scientist accidentally exposes himself to a deadly biowarfare virus that turns him into a blood-sucking mutant.  The government sends troops in to seal off the town.  The locals get so angry and frightened they nearly riot.  And, in a desperate bid to stop the virus, the government plans to kill every living thing — including all the residents — of the town (after all, a thousand dead is better than millions).

Yet we are talking about a seriously boring film:  A scientist vanishes:  people talk about it.  He turns into mutant:  people talk about it.  The bodies have been sucked dry of blood:  people talk about it.

In fact, they don’t even seem to need even that much of an excuse to talk.  And talk.  And talk.

I think the idea here was that this would be sort of an Italian version of George Romero’s The Crazies (complete with white-suited soldiers in gas masks) , mixed with some fairly routine mutant on the loose stuff.  For whatever reason, they chose to confine the virus to a single victim (and that giant “Guinea Pig”, don’t forget that!), so we miss out on the hordes of zombified victims attacking the soldiers.

Which, admittedly is sort of routine these days.  But at least it wouldn’t be more talk.

Oh, well.  There really isn’t much to recommend this one, unless you are likely to get all excited because the hero is named “Captain Kirk.   Or, unless you are an obsessive, hard core fan of Italian SF.

After all, no matter how ugly — or boring — the toad, there’s always someone who loves it.

Well…sometimes.

Maybe.

It could happen.

Watch on Amazon:

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