Panic Movement (‘Mouvement panique’) was a collective formed by Fernando Arrabal, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Roland Topor in Paris in 1962. Inspired by and named after Pan (Greek god of the wild), and influenced by Luis Buñuel and Antonin Artaud’s ‘Theatre of Cruelty,’ the group concentrated on chaotic and surreal performance art, as a response to surrealism becoming petite bourgeoisie.
The movement’s violent theatrical events were designed to be shocking, and to release destructive energies in search of peace and beauty. One four-hour performance known as ‘Sacramental Melodrama’ was staged in 1965 at the Paris Festival of Free Expression. The ‘happening’ starred Jodorowsky dressed in motorcyclist leather and featured him slitting the throats of two geese, taping two snakes to his chest and having himself stripped and whipped. Other scenes included ‘naked women covered in honey, a crucified chicken, the staged murder of a rabbi, a giant vagina, the throwing of live turtles into the audience, and canned apricots.’