PANICS or P.A.N.I.C.S., an acronym for People Acting Normal In Crazy-Ass Situations, is a comic science fiction mini-series created by Rooster Teeth Productions and released in 2005. The series was produced primarily by using the machinima technique of synchronizing video footage from video games to pre-recorded dialogue and other audio. The series was produced at the request of Monolith Productions as a part of a tie-in with the Director's Edition of the video game F.E.A.R. which the Rooster Teeth team used to produce the series. The mini-series consists of five episodes. Four of these have been released on the Rooster Teeth website, and one — episode 0, a prequel — ships exclusively with the F.E.A.R. Director's Edition DVD.
The story centers on a newcomer to Bravo Team, a special military group formed to battle supernatural enemies. As the series begins, Bravo Team has been sent into a military facility at night to investigate the reports of paranormal activity from within. This is a parody of the main scenario used in F.E.A.R.
Frank stands with the Chief (Bravo Leader) and after being introduced, the Chief tells Bravo squad to give Frank a big Bravo Squad welcome, which is essentially them half-heartedly saying "Hi". They then begin introductions starting with Bravo 1, who informs Frank that in the event of the Chief dying or getting possessed, Bravo 1 automatically assumes leadership. Frank (after a few seconds of thinking) turns to the Chief and asks about the possession bit of what the Chief said earlier, but is ignored. Bravo 2 is introduced as the skeptic of the team, and Bravo 3 as the wild one.
The Chief then introduces Frank again, and Frank asks whether he is Bravo 4. The Chief says no, pointing out that he is Frank. Frank asks whether the Chief is Bravo 4, and is told that he's Bravo Leader. Frank asks if he can be assigned the title of Bravo 4, and the Chief says he'll think about it. The Chief then inquires if anyone has any inquiries before the mission, and everyone says no. Frank tries to ask the Chief a question again, but the Chief assumes its about the numbering again and immediately replies, "No Frank, we're not going to call you Bravo 5". Frank corrects him and asks why his helmet doesn't seem to produce a swooshing "chuck" sound every time someone speaks, like it appears to with the rest of Bravo Squad. After everyone considers what he says, Frank eventually figures out that they're making it with their voices and wonders whether their low, heavy voices are faked too.
Bravo 1 replies that the voices are real, and are caused by a piece of equipment installed within the helmet. Bravo 2 readily agrees and says his helmet comes with it too, and a toaster. Bravo 3 adds by saying his helmet has basic cable television access. Frank calls them a bunch of jerks, which is immediately followed by a toaster's "ping" sound and Bravo 2 asking who wants a Hot Pocket. Frank declares that he hates the team already.
As Bravo Team moves into the facility, Frank begins to narrate the moment with some internal monologue. It is quickly revealed that he is in fact speaking out loud and annoying the team. Frank replies that it calms him down. The team, after letting their annoyance be known, inform Frank that they actually never see any paranormal activity, that in reality they simply run in, waste some time, run back out and say they chased off the ghosts, and get their paychecks. As Bravo 1 rambles on about how their bosses expect them to chase off ghosts with machine guns, something sneaks up behind him and drags him away. As the rest of the team try to figure out what happened to Bravo 1, we can hear him off screen screaming in pain as something kills him. The episode ends with Bravo team realizing the situation and the Chief's dismay at having to write a report on it.
While Bravo 1 keeps screaming for help in the next room, the rest of the team keeps pondering on an optimal solution, preferably one that doesn't involve them going in. Frank is the only one who insists on taking a look on what is actually happening to him, but the others strictly disapprove the idea of entering the hallway. As the screams die off amid sounds that suggest Bravo One choked to death on his own blood, the group tries to pick a volunteer to see what actually happened, but no one seems interested. The Chief decides to go in first and take Frank with him.
The Chief and Frank go into the next room to see what has happened to Bravo 1, with Frank going in first. Before the Chief follows, he leaves instructions for Bravo 2 and 3 that if they hear the Chief scream "corduroy" that they should rush in and help. Bravo 3, of course disagrees, advising the Chief that a code word in the middle of a panic situation is ill-fated. After the Chief enters the room while Frank screams his name, Bravo 2 and 3 agree that if they hear the word "corduroy", they will instead retreat from the premises.
The Chief enters the room as Frank is freaking out from the sight of blood covering the walls. Some of the walls have messages written in blood, supposedly Bravo 1's, such as 'I'm dying' and 'Help me'. After Frank notices that some blood trails lead around a corner, the Chief orders Frank to go check it out. As Frank looks into the other room, which he notes has the same poorly-lit style as the other rooms in the building and the doorways with no doors, the Chief spots the mysterious killer and starts screaming "Denim!" and "Polyester!", neither of which is the code word that he had previously told Bravo 2 and 3. Before he is killed, he curses Bravo 3 for jinxing him. Frank turns around to find the skeletal remains of the Chief and asks, "Hey, where'd all your meat go?"
Back in the other room Bravo 2 and 3 both debate whether they heard the code word spoken. As Bravo 2 tries to come up with an excuse to run to the car, Bravo 3 and then 2 are punched by the mysterious entity, Bravo 2 shrieking "HOLY SHIT! PUNCHING GHOST!". After realizing that trying to shoot it would most likely wind up with them hitting each other instead, they drop their weapons and resort to mêlée combat, punching and kicking at nothing but air as Frank enters the room. Perplexed, he asks "What are you doing?", just as he himself is punched by the mysterious entity.
After some punching, the surviving members of Bravo Squad conclude that they have managed to scare the ghost off. However, Frank points out that since the ghost is invisible, it might still be in the room with them. Frank guesses that the ghost might even have possessed one of the squad members. Bravo 3 agrees with Frank, and then suddenly kills Bravo 2 with his shotgun.
Frank freaks out, but Bravo 3 calmly points out that logically, Bravo 2 was the only one who could have been possessed: The ghost would not reveal it was possessing someone, therefore Frank is not possessed, and Bravo 3 knew that he had not been possessed, so that means Bravo 2 was possessed by the ghost. Frank yells at Bravo 3, saying that ghost possession was only a guess.
Frank wants to get out of the complex, but when he tells Bravo 3 that the Chief is dead, Bravo 3 starts to get suspicious. Stating that all the craziness began shortly after Frank joined the squad, Bravo 3 concludes that Frank must be the ghost and tries to kill him, despite Frank's logical protests. Frank manages to avoid Bravo 3's shotgun blast, and Bravo 3 is suddenly nailed to the wall by the ghost. Frank offers to leave and return with a medic, but Bravo 3 quickly dies. Frank decides to just run away, but turns around to find himself face-to-face with the ghost.
Alpha Team arrives at the complex to find out what happened to Bravo Team. They find a single survivor, Frank, huddled in a corner. Frank informs them that Bravo Squad is dead. When asked whether he is okay, Frank's eyes begin to glow red and he declares in a raspy voice, "Don't call me Bravo 4. My name is... Frank." The Alpha member asks whether Frank would like any eye drops for the redness, Frank declines and asks for a glass of water for his raspy voice.
It is essentially a compilation of outtakes and cuts from the actual episodes released to the public. The outtakes include an alternative demise dialog of Bravo 1, during which he says "D'oh, it just sprayed me with Mace! WHY WOULD IT DO THAT?". Other things are Bravo 2 spinning out of control, and how Frank could recognize the Chief as a charred skeleton. Various takes are also shown with Frank saying alternate dialog to the Chief's skeleton such as "Ooh, gold fillings!" and "Your clavicle's showing!"
Frank is the nervous rookie of the group voiced by David Zellner. He is a bit of a straight man to the group despite having a quirk of vocally narrating the moment to calm himself down. Unfortunately, his nerves got the better of him and Bravo 3 when, in episode 4, he suggests that the mysterious entity might have possessed one of them, leading to the shooting death of Bravo 2. By the end of episode 4, Alpha Team arrives in the scene to investigate what happened and finds Frank as the only survivor and has either been possessed by the mysterious entity, or just has a sore throat and red eyes. The viewer is left to interpret this turn of events.
Bravo Leader, more commonly known as the Chief, is the leader of Bravo Team voiced by Gustavo Sorola. He is constantly disrespected by his subordinates. He also has the unfortunate task of writing up field reports while the rest of the team drinks beer. He, like Bravo 1, is killed by the mysterious entity in episode 3. While all that is found of Bravo 1's remains are walls coated in blood, the Chief's charred skeleton is discovered by Frank.
Bravo 1, a seasoned member of the team and voiced by Mike "Burnie" Burns, is distinguished from the rest of the group through his loud mouth, and the fact that he is dragged off by the mysterious entity during episode 1. Although he eventually dies off-camera in episode 2, the audience and Bravo Team can clearly hear his screams as he is slowly eaten alive. Also known for his constant swearing. Possibly the pointman of the group since he was the first one in the hallway before the rest of the squad entered.
Bravo 2 is the realist of the group voiced by Patrick "Drexel" Burns. Despite being a paranormal activity investigator, he does not believe in ghosts, much to Frank's dismay. He often uses the line, "I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation for this." to precede his delivery of a "logical explanation" for any paranormal encounter the team has had although this eventually makes them sick of hearing it, especially Frank. He unfortunately dies in episode 4 after Bravo 3 decided to kill him on the assumption that the mysterious entity had possessed him. During the mission, Bravo 2 mentioned that Bravo Team is nothing compared to Alpha Team and comments "Man, those guys have always been jerks".
Bravo 3 wears a gas mask for some unknown reason and complains of Frank referring to him as "the gas mask guy." Matt Hullum provides Bravo 3's extremely low vocal range. He constantly questions the Chief's orders, and in the Chief's last moments of life, he blames Bravo 3 for having jinxed him although Bravo 3 did advice Chief prior to his death that using a codeword in a situation like theirs is ill-fated. Bravo 3 is also responsible for Bravo 2's death after shooting him at close range with his shotgun. Bravo 3 was about to kill Frank too, but the mysterious entity nailed him to a wall before he received the opportunity.
|People Acting Normal In Crazy-Ass Situations|
|Teams||Alpha Team • Bravo Team|
|Personnel||Bravo Leader • Bravo 1 • Bravo 2 • Bravo 3 • Frank|
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