Without Warning is another film being released to Blu-ray by Scream Factory that I’ve never seen, but it’s with good reason. The film has been largely unavailable on home video for the past 30 years. From what I understand, there was a VHS released in the UK, as well as a DVD that was mastered from the same source used to master the VHS, but never a legitimate DVD release, and no release at all in the states. The fact that this film is even being released at all is a miracle, much less that it is being given the Blu-ray treatment, with all-new extras. Without Warning has a lot going for it. It was shot by Dean Cundey, the monster/alien is played by Kevin Peter Hall, who was also Predator, as well as Harry in Harry and the Hendersons, and the film features Jack Palance and Martin Landau in superb character roles, as well as an entire cast of solid performers. For what Without Warning is, it’s really far better than it has any right to be.
A group of teenagers head out to the lake for a relaxing camping trip in the mountains. They ignore the warnings of the local truck stop owner and head to their destination. Things go terribly wrong when they run into an extraterrestrial who throws deadly discs that suck the blood of their victims. The group heads back to the truck stop for help from the eclectic group of residents – a crazy war veteran (Martin Landau, Ed Wood) and a determined hunter (Jack Palance, Batman).
Also starring David Caruso (NYPD Blue, CSI Miami), Neville Brand (Eaten Alive), Cameron Mitchell (Blood And Black Lace) and Kevin Peter Hall(Predator) as the alien, and directed by Greydon Clark (Joysticks, Satan’s Cheerleaders), this “thematic predecessor to Predator” (FilmFanatic.org) is a non-stop ride into extra-terror-strial mayhem!
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We live in a fantastic time where something that has long been considered “lost” can make such a remarkable appearance on home video. Blu-ray may still have its detractors, those stubborn people that refuse to upgrade because of their massive DVD library, but they are benefiting from the format even if they can’t admit it. Look, I get it, I have thousands of DVDs but Blu-ray is the best thing that has happened to home video since we made the jump from VHS to DVD. Had Blu-ray not become a thing, these films that we love would never have been resurrected in such a way. Scream Factory is one of the most prolific companies, fighting tooth and nail to preserve genre cinema for those that love it. Their release of Without Warning makes this evident. It has been lovingly restored in its uncut form, and those that were involved with it were brought back together to talk about how important the experience of creating this film was to them, and what it meant to their career. Dean Cundey had already made it big by the time he chose to shoot this film. His work on Halloween had opened Hollywood doors for him, and despite being advised by colleagues to stop filming exploitation, he chose to do Without Warning anyway. Those of you that follow his career will immediately realize what that means for Without Warning. This movie is instantly elevated in quality with his involvement, and it already had a lot going for it before him.
Scream Factory has really put together an amazing package for their Blu-ray release of Without Warning. We get the uncut version of the film, in high definition, with HD audio, and a ton of special features. The picture quality is great. Even the poorly-lit exterior scenes look fantastic, mostly due to the knowledge and power that is Dean Cundey. The DTS-HD MA audio track represents the film well, never exhibiting any signs of hollowness nor does it have an overwhelming hiss that some of these older Mono tracks are notorious for. The interviews on the disc are endearing, as well as informative. Almost anything you could possibly want to know about the film is contained in the extras. There are a ton of new Scream Factory/Red Shirt interviews with the cast, the director, Dean Cundey and Make-up effects artist Greg Cannom. Scream Factory’s Summer of Fear has brought us some Blu-ray releases of films that a lot of us have been waiting decades for, and Without Warning is no exception.
- Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Greydon Clark
- New Interviews with:
– Cinematographer Dean Cundey
– Co-Writer/Co-Producer Daniel Grodnik
– Special Make-Up Effects Creator Greg Cannom
– Actors Christopher S. Nelson and Tarah Nutter
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Still Gallery