Panic – Italy/Spain, 1981

‘PRAY it doesn’t happen HERE -‘

Panic – original title: Bakterion– is a 1981 Italian/Spanish science fiction horror film directed by Tonino Ricci (Night of the Sharks; Encounters in the Deep; The Shark’s Cave) [as Anthony Richmond] from a story and screenplay by Jaime Comas Gil (The Shark HunterEncounters in the Deep) and Víctor Andrés Catena. It stars David Warbeck, Janet Agren and Roberto Ricci.

In Newton, a scientist’s experiment with a deadly bacteria goes awry and leaves him horribly deformed. The monstrous man then runs amok…


” …Panic is certainly entertaining if you’re in a very, very forgiving mood. The English dub (even Warbeck doesn’t get to use his own voice) is one of the crazier of the period, especially when it comes to the more sex-starved characters, and at least it’s a bit of a change of pace from the slasher films and supernatural gore epics around the same year.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

Panic is a film too dumb to explore the politically-charged Dr. Strangelove and Fail-Safe implications of its plot and little is made of a Prime Minister willing to obliterate an entire city to kill one contaminated scientist. Adams doesn’t even appear to be contagious, since none of the people he encounters become infected.” Good Efficient Butchery

“Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as exciting as it sounds, even with the occasional bloodletting, oozing, or smattering of female nudity, although the “ticking clock” of whether our heroes will be able to corner their quarry before the Army “contains” the town with an air strike of nerve gas is pretty amusing.” Horror 101 with Dr. AC

Choice dialogue:

Sergeant O’Brien: “This is our case. And I want this killer in jail before those London headshrinkers start excusing him! So, get going.”

Sergeant O’Brien: “Look Captain, the army undoubtedly has a radio. You could call your superiors and ask them to lift the roadblock.”

Cast and characters:

  • David Warbeck as Captain Kirk [dubbed by Ted Rusoff]
  • Janet Agren as Jane Blake
  • Roberto Ricci as Professor Adams
  • José Lifante as Sergeant O’Brien
  • Miguel Herrera as Professor Vince
  • Eugenio Benito as Father Braun
  • Ovidio Taito
  • José María Labernié as Colonel Rutledge
  • Ilaria Maria Bianchi
  • Fabián Conde as Drunk
  • Vittorio Calò
  • Franco Ressel as Mr. Milton, President of ChemiCal

Image credits: Cinema Arcana

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