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Without Warning -1980- Review

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Sci Fi horror, or Horror Sci Fi, is not something I actively seek out. There is no real reason, it just rarely is to my liking or interest really. Without warning was highly recommended to me, through various platforms and soapboxes, so stumbling upon a VHS release, hey, why not?

Then I saw the cast, and I was drawn right in. Jack Palance and Martin Landau in a violent 1980’s horror film, yes please!!! Sounds like a great big, fun mess.

And you know what???

It really was. If we often on this blog refer to brainless but fun horror as movie doritos, this is the 7-11 nachos variation of horror. Completely overblown, damn near toxic in it’s brainlessness, but tasty as hell.

Without Warning, is a clear influence on Predator, the plot is more or less the same, well the limited plot there is. The lead, Sandy, played by the unfortunately named, Tarrah Nutter, is absolutely stunning, and she plays well enough into the fun of this. But Jack Palance as Taylor and Martin Landau as Sarge, absolutely kill in this. They are clearly having fun with this. Both being so wonderfully over the top.

Plot wise, it has your standard 1980’s formula, teens go to the lake, ignoring the warning of the crazy local gas station owner, and are killed off. This time however, is a barely seen alien, with his living weapon, leechy type things. The resemble some kind of spoiled food product and a squid put together. After their friends are found half eaten in an abandoned shed, Sandy and her blind date fight first for survival, then revenge.

I have the uncut 96 minute version, it’s really not that gory as people make it out to be. Most gore effects are on the monsters themselves, or is merely an after shot. These are done well enough for the time, they look ok. The over the top characters make this really fun, it has good atmosphere, some decent suspense surprisingly, and a moment you don’t see coming. The ending is a little anti-climatic, it leaves a lot of questions, and the alien has slightly more than a cameo, but in the end, this was good fun.

This was a welcome surprise, I really had no hopes for it.

RATING: B+(76%)

PROS: Palance and Landau are having so much fun in this, Tarrah Nutter is stunning, actually achieved some suspense, the alien itself was pretty cool looking for 1980.

CONS: Some plot holes, and points that come and never are mentioned again- the boy scout troop, and the leech things in the jar- some bad, obvious red herrings that go nowhere and have no point.

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