Thursday, October 12, 2017

1980 Week: Without Warning

Schlockmeister Greydon Clark strikes again with this dull alien-invasion picture, which was made so cheaply that only one alien is featured. The picture mostly comprises interminable scenes of teenagers running from danger, so Without Warning is more akin to the slasher movies of the late ’70s and early ’80s than to other space-monster movies of the same period. It’s worth nothing that cinematographer Dean Cundey also shot Halloween (1978), because Clark apes that picture’s style quite shamelessly with heavy shadows and long Steadicam shots. In the opening sequence, a hunter and his son get killed by flying discs that look like fried eggs with tentacles growing out of them, so viewers learn quickly not to expect much. Later, two young couples hop into a van and head for the woods, encountering the requisite creepy old people on the way there. Word to the wise: When the proprietor of a general store filled with taxidermy says don’t go in the woods, maybe don’t go in the woods. Anyway, the flying egg things kill two of the teenagers, forcing survivors Greg (Christopher T. Nelson) and Sandy (Tarah Nutter) to seek help from the aforementioned creepy old people. The gas-station guy (Jack Palance) offers assistance, but a crazed ex-soldier (Martin Landau) makes things worse by slipping into a Vietnam flashback. Landau and Palance enliven their scenes, but the most enjoyable bits of Without Warning are unintentionally funny, as when Greg and Sandy defeat a horrific outer-space monster that’s attacking their car—by knocking it off the car with their windshield wipers. Consider yourselves warned about Without Warning.

Without Warning: LAME


Oculus Orbus said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention the strong similarities to Predator.

Guy Callaway said...

I remember the t.v. spots with the alien critter tossing the disc-thingies like a frisbee.

Unknown said...

Not only does Without Warning have similarities to Predator - Kevin Peter Hall played the alien hunter in both films.