A parable about the inefficiency and anachronism of the Japanese educational system, which places an unusually large amount of importance on cramming for university entrance examinations, Panic High School is about the suicide of a high school student and its ensuing fallout at his school. When one of his classmates becomes frustrated with the math teacher's lack of sensitivity to the suicide, the student steals a rifle, returns to school, aerates the teacher's chest and then holds members of his class captive. This leads to an aggressive standoff with the police and lots of shots of his parents crying and bowing in shame, totally mortified.
Spoofing the entire 1940s detective genre, and his own performances as a bumbling private detective, Peter Falk plays Lou Pekinpaugh, a San Francisco private detective accused of murdering his partner at the instigation of his mistress, the partner's wife, Georgia Merkle.
The lawyer is visiting a prison to meet with a violent criminal who has been condemned to death. During the visit, things turn bad, there is a riot where prisoners escape and the criminal escapes taking a lawyer hostage.
A country family of five takes in cousin Julia, whose parents recently perished in a car crash. Julia extends her influence over the family and those around them, fooling all except for Rachel, the teenaged girl who knows her cousin is up to no good.