PandaMonium is a part of the Mycho Movie Universe. The MMU is an independent, British, horror-centric shared cinematic universe that encompasses both feature-length titles and short films. The intense thrills of Cleavers: Killer Clowns is another entry into the MMU that was reviewed here on Film Threat. So, is PandaMonium worth the return visit to Mycho Entertainment’s playground?
Arielle Walters (Oriana Charles) has just been hired as a paralegal at the firm Killmore & Percival. Her first day on the job sees Arielle needing to reorganize and file months’ worth of paperwork, make coffee, ensure the partners know about this or that meeting, and deal with repeated verbal sexual harassment from almost all of the lawyers. The exception is Daniel (Will Jones), who just got a promotion to level 6, which is where the bigwigs of the office roam.
Believing everyone else has gone home for the night, the face of the company, Damian (James Hamer-Morton), hires a dozen strippers to entertain all of the partners for the evening. However, Arielle and Carol from HR (Charlie Clarke) are still on Level 3, finishing for the day. Even more pressing, though, is the appearance of a man in a nice suit wearing a panda bear mask. This person, Jacob (David Hon Ma Chu), begins slaughtering the lawyers and strippers alike. Why is he doing this? Can Daniel and Arielle help each other survive the mass murders? What is Arielle’s connections to the strippers?
“Even more pressing, though, is the appearance of a man in a nice suit wearing a panda bear mask.”
The first thing to stand out about PandaMonium is that it is hysterical. Of Mycho’s nine feature-length titles that are released (or about to be, i.e., Bannister Dollhouse), this is the only one that is more comedic than scary. Don’t misunderstand, as the horror is present, but much of this film is over-the-top dialogue and ludicrous situations. The cheesy ad for the firm that plays as part of Arielle’s interview is a perfect send-up of those cheap but enthusiastic law firm ads that one can find by flipping through channels.
One of the strippers, Aura Dawn (Chloe Badham), always casually says, “Hi Arielle,” no matter what else she’s doing in every scene they have together. Middle of a lap dance? Hi Arielle. Talking to someone else? Hi Arielle. It cracked me up every single time. The whole production runs off this off-kilter comedy that slays.
That is not to say that PandaMonium is all laughs and no scares. On the contrary, there are several tension-filled sequences. The introduction of Jacob in full costume is effective. In an elevator, just his feet and a briefcase can be seen. Jacob then opens the case and dons his gloves and panda mask. He then walks out of the elevator. Thanks to the prologue, the viewer already knows what he’s capable of. As such, the suspense is built up by letting the audience’s mind mull over who he might be after and why.