Morbidly Beautiful

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An uninspired zombie mutant story, it hoped to bank on tropes and the assumed connection to George A. Romero’s franchise of the undead.

A mutated creature murders ruthlessly, and the only one that can stop him is Captain Kirk, but not THAT Captain Kirk. Let’s dig into 1982’s PANIC, directed by Tonino Ricci!

As I See It

Also known as Bakterion, there is a ton of useless footage that makes up this pseudo-zombie flick. I wouldn’t even use the term zombie if it weren’t released under that title in some regions. Zombie 4, to be exact. It has no real connection to Fulci’s Zombie or any other zombie film.

An international cast (Sweden, New Zealand, etc.) in an Italian and Spanish production wasn’t enough to be anything universally except boring.

There is good gore, the face of the monster especially, which looks a bit like chopped meat. The obligatory nudity, sex scenes, and shower scene are, of course, included. It’s not giallo, but it does have an echo of the genre’s atmosphere even though it is a monster flick.

The solution to the problem (a single, mutated, deranged killer) is tired and used way too much throughout genre cinema history.

I say that knowing my favorite film of all time — Return of the Living Dead — used the same trope: blow everything up.

That old trick hasn’t stopped showing up through the decades, as even the smash hit HBO TV series The Last of Us uses it.

I’m guessing giving David Warbeck’s character name of Captain Kirk was a joke, and certainly not the first time William Shatner has found himself indirectly involved in horror films he wasn’t starring in.

I’ll count my time not wasted since I got to see the pleasant and gorgeous Janet Agren on screen.

Famous Faces

David Warbeck (Captain Kirk) was in Fulci’s Beyond and the remake of The Black Cat, as well as Hammer’s Twins of Evil and Sergio Leone’s Duck You Sucker!

Janet Agren was in Fulci’s City of the Living Dead, Umberto Lenzi’s Eaten Alive (alongside Cannibal Holocaust’s Robert Kerman), and she played Varna in the Conan spin-off Red Sonja starring Bridgitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Of Gratuitous Nature

There is the requisite shower scene, which ends up being very European in nature (the current generation of Americans isn’t afraid of body hair either), and they actually put some action in there instead of just showing a naked woman.

Of course, there is the theater fondling scene, but it’s the start of all the action that is the most gratuitous. You HAVE to show teens having sex in a car as the first victims of any killer, right?


This was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make for this section. Janet Agren (Jane) is an absolute Swedish goddess.

Ripe for a Remake

There is nothing new under the sun.


It was released in Greece as Zombie 4, attempting to attach itself to Fulci’s Zombie (aka Zombi 2) and subsequent Zombie 3 and Zombie 5: Killing Birds, which all have some indirect origin in the zombie lord George A. Romero.

Where to Watch

Code Red released a Blu-Ray with scant extras. You can stream it on Tubi, The Roku Channel, and Dark Matter TV.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 1

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