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Without Warning (1980) - Blu-ray Review

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Without Warning - Blu-ray Review

3 stars

See truck stop owner Jack Palance take on mentally ill veteran Martin Landau! See an alien on-the-hunt collect Cub Scouts in an isolated shack! See the madness as a young David Caruso gets taken down by a tall extraterrestrial played by Kevin Peter Hall! See Predator years before it actually happened! That’s right, folks. Without Warning, a low budgeted quiet little movie from 1980, actually makes a big splash in its handling of the whole alien on the prowl vibe that John McTiernan's Predator made famous. Unfortunately, the world never noticed.

Directed by Greydon Clark, Without Warning is Shout! Factory's - via the Scream Factory label - latest resuscitation in a sharp Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. The movie has long been neglected by almost everyone and never made its DVD debut … until now with this Blu-ray/DVD Combo release. The science fiction horror movie is set somewhere in middle America and is spookily remote. Without any seen UFO out there among the wildlife, an alien – articulated by Special effects designer Greg Cannom (Jurassic Park) – is ambushing unsuspecting teens and hunters with sponge-like tentacled green bloodsucking creatures.  Holy flying Hot Pockets! 

The plot is pretty much standard horror fare BUT, with cinematographer Dean Cundey (Halloween) behind the lens, cinephiles are in for a treat with nighttime suspense and sharp POV shots. Clark’s small budget was mostly used on the actors and the alien design, everything else shows its limitations but still the film manages to scare up some pretty intense scenes in spite of a pacing that is, at times, a slow crawl. Palance and Landau are especially hammy in their tight-jawed performances but it works for the B-movie as the other actors slobber through their roles.

Much has been written about the movie’s impact on Schwarzenegger, who famously credited it as an influence on Predator many years ago. The film’s lack of DVD presence has famously rocketed it to the top of any horror cult’s must-own list and, here we are, with Shout! Factory answering the call. There’s a chance than that, once you see the film, it’s been slightly overrated in its 30 plus years of VHS obscurity.

I love Scream Factory. Their Summer of Fears saga continues with the release of Without Warning, the horror movie that only Fangoria paid any attention to. While not a sea change on anyone’s career, Without Warning is intriguing enough to be the obscure title you might be looking for. It is both funny and grisly and, with the amount of influence it has had upon its genre, should be a part of a Science Fiction fan’s collections.

Without Warning - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
89 mins
Director
: Greydon Clark
Writer:
Lyn Freeman, Daniel Grodnik
Cast:
Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Tarah Nutter
Genre
: Sci-Fi | Horror
Tagline:
Earth Is The Hunting Ground. Man Is The Endangered Species.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Hubba, hubba boy let's get with it! I'm not going to tell you again, now get out here!"
Distributor:
Filmways Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 26, 1980
Blu-ray Release Date:
August 5, 2014
Synopsis: An alien creature stalks human prey.

Without Warning - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - August 5, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Released on 1080p high definition widescreen (1.85:1), Without Warning looks just about perfect on Blu-Ray from Shout/Scream Factory. There are no grainy images and no flaws. All we get is a pitch perfect video transfer that really brings this three decade old film to life. Colors are sharp and black levels are strong throughout. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track also comes with English subtitles. It’s a booming soundtrack, but it’s not overdone. It’s just right.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Producer/Director Greydon Clark discusses the film, its influence, and the struggles of filming it in a feature length commentary.

Special Features:

Now we come to the extras on this new Blu-ray/DVD release from Scream Factory. There is an audio Commentary with Producer/Director Greydon Clark and a passel of new interviews. There are four of them, to be exact, with cinematographer Dean Cundey, co-writer/co-producer Daniel Grodnik, special make-up effects creator Greg Cannom and actors Christopher S. Nelson and Tarah Nutter. All together, these interviews run about 54 minutes. The original theatrical trailer and a still gallery can also be found here, and all this for a movie most people have never heard of.

  • Greg and Sandy’s Alien Adventures (21 min)
  • Producers vs. Aliens with Daniel Grodnik (12 min)
  • Hunter’s Blood with Greg Cannom (6 min)
  • Independents Day with Cinematographer Dean Cundey (15 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

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