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Review: PANDAMONIUM (2020)

Despite nine features and a huge number of shorts, Pandamonium is the first of Mj Dixon’s film’s I’ve seen. From what I’ve heard, they’re fairly straight forward slasher franchises all linked in a shared universe. Pandamonium, on the other hand, mixes a fair amount of humour into its story but is still connected to the others. Its Panda headed Stripper Ripper (David Hon Ma Chu) also appeared in Slasher House 2.

Arielle (Oriana Charles) and Daniel (Will Jones, I Scream on the Beach!) are both starting new jobs at a large law firm. It’s not going well for either of them, especially Arielle, who’s taking a lot of harassment from the lawyers up on the sixth floor. One of the firm’s senior partners was murdered the night before, we see this in an amusing prologue. Damien (James Hamer-Morton, Dead Air, Devil May Care) decides to throw an office party to celebrate one of them getting the vacant position. A real party with booze, cocaine and strippers.

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But once Jasmine (Dani Thompson, Bite Nite, Cute Little Buggers) and her girls show up things get a bit awkward when its revealed Arielle used to be one of them. They get worse when they realize they’re trapped on the sixth floor with a serial killer.

Pandamonium is an old school slasher with a nice mix of characters you want to see dead and ones you want to survive. This makes a nice change from a lot of recent films where everyone sucks and there’s nobody to identify with. Arielle makes a great final girl, cute, feisty and determined to survive. On the other side, there are plenty of deaths to cheer apart from Damien’s. The aptly named Dick (Lee Mark Jones, White Goods, Jurassic Predator) in particular meeting a most fitting fate.

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For what is obviously a low budget film, the effects in Pandamonium are plentiful and mostly well done. The decapitation of the security guard (Nad Abdoolakhan) is a bit off. But there are several well done and fairly bloody stabbings. That’s another nice change from off-screen killings.

One place Pandamonium does, unfortunately, follow the crowd is with the strippers. If you’re not going to have them actually strip, just call them dancers and be done with it. Calling them strippers creates certain expectations for the audience. Especially in a film that’s not family-friendly, to begin with. And when you’re casting actresses like Dani Thompson who have done full nudity, there’s no real excuse.

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But that gripe aside, Pandamonium is a solid slasher with just enough humour to offset the gore. The best laugh involves a reference to a particular song by The Talking Heads. I’m sure you can guess which one. Martin Payne (Millennial Killer, Monstrous Disunion) and Annie Knox (Beneath the Surface, Another God) are also quite funny in the prologue. Until it turns bloody, that is.

Pandamonium is currently available in the UK. Keep an eye on the Mycho Entertainment Facebook page for further release announcements.

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