Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Without Warning (1980)

This very low-end mixture of science-fiction and horror follows four teenagers on a day trip out amongst the secluded wilderness of nature. Despite a somewhat cryptic warning from a local gas station owner, the four press on with their journey with little to no concern. Some time after setting up camp by a small lake it becomes apparent that the four are now prey for an alien creature who attacks with hideous flying disc-like parasites, attaching themselves to the desired victims. 

In what is a simple premise, Without Warning breaks from tradition hostile alien oriented films by revolving around the recurring theme of hunting. The two veteran stars of the film; Jack Palance who we briefly meet early on and Martin Landau, carry the film for the most part. Both their characters have long suspected the presence of an alien visitor in their area but have very different ideas regarding it's purpose and motive. Landau as an eccentric former U.S. Army Sergeant balances on the line between friend and foe which proves to be entertaining. The main issue Without Warning has is pacing. There are lengthy gaps between the action, including one very drawn out sequence following the film's climax. This makes the short run-time of under 90 minutes a struggle to sit through. Dialogue is laughably odd in places and performances are what you would expect from a film of this grade. However despite the amount of flaws the film's very modest budget of just $150,000 is utilised well, given that $75,000 was split between Martin Landau and Jack Palance for their acting efforts.

Without Warning is credited with being an inspiration for the 1987 action, sci-fi Predator, both of which feature Kevin Peter Hall as the alien antagonist. I think it would have been a real treat to see this film during the days of regular drive-in theatres. I can see myself watching it again; not any time soon but perhaps on a quite Saturday evening to further enjoy the luxury of wasting time.


You can follow me on Twitter @cinematic_rand
'like' my Facebook page cinematic randomness where you can see all my cinematic exploits.

No comments:

Post a Comment