Without Warning (1980)
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Greydon Clark directed. Director of Joysticks, Black Shampoo and Satan’s Cheerleaders!
- Jack Palance and Marin Landau! Alone in the Dark reteam-up!
- CAMERON MITCHELL!!!
- Jaws-Style opening credits with a moving POV through woods. I would’ve thought there’d be more Alien and Star Wars
ripping offhomages than Jaws this month.
- David Caruso? Eh.
- Cameron Mitchell first one on screen!
- Cameron is yelling at his son, still sleeping in an RV (another RV!), to get out and do some hunting with him. He says “On the double, Hubba Hubba!” Isn’t hubba hubba an expression used to describe a cute lady?
- Darby Hinton! Cody Abilene himself! Sweet! (Editor’s Note: As you all very well know that we’re huge Andy Sidaris fans, we have failed you in highlighting one of his earlier flicks—Malibu Express. That will have to be corrected post haste!)
- Man, if only Cameron Mitchell starred in an Andy Sidaris flick.
- Cameron Mitchell is decked out in full hunting gear and camouflage and Darby Hinton looks like Magnum PI.
- Darby Hinton is really acting his little heart out with this “why don’t we bond better dad” moment. Is this significant to the story?
- Cameron Mitchell shoots a shotgun behind Hinton’s back scaring the ever-loving bejessuz out of him. Just because. That’s the Cameron Mitchell way!
- In the next scene, Mitchell sees his son across a river bank looking all glum and Mitchell takes aim at him! This is pure Cameron Mitchell! Something makes him lower the weapon though. Strange change of heart.
- WITHOUT WARNING a small flying alien creature is flying towards Cameron Mitchell! It’s basically a frisbee with pubic hair on the top and tentacles on the sides spinning around in the air and latches onto his neck. It’s borderline cute.
- I can barely see the wires too.
- Darby Hinton is doing next to jack squat in helping his ol’ man.
- If you ever wanted to see an even more awkward David Caruso, then this is the movie for you.
- The two girls are trying to get into the rest stop bathrooms but both the ladie’s and men’s rooms seem to be locked. Until one of the girls leaves and Sandy just happens to open it with just some slight force.
- There’s a written warning on the wall of the men’s room: “No Chance. No Help. No Escape.” That should totally be the motto for Schlocktoberfest!
- WITHOUT WARNING Martin Landau was in the restroom. Awkward.
- Especially since he leaves without washing his hands.
- “So, what do you think of Sandy?” “Seems like a really nice girl.” Well, that was one interesting guy talk.
- So the girls are very concerned about the “No Chance. No Help. No Escape” warning in the bathroom. It’s only friggin’ rest room vandalism! Why would they think it’s incredibly important? It wasn’t written in blood. And it wasn’t on a wooden sign on the side of the woods. I mean, this movie is going to extremes to make this simple dumb sign more poignant.
- RC Cola! Sweet!
- Cute. Baby rats.
- WITHOUT WARNING Jack Palance appears in the gas station shop and asks what the hell the kids are doing in there. They’re trying to pay for the gas they filled the van up with you dolt!
- “Did you shoot all these animals?” No, he arm wrestled them all to death!
- Now the kid’s are giving Palance the third-degree about hunting as a sport when they see all the animal busts hanging in the shop. Bunch of pricks.
- Palance is really giving them a stiff warning about going down to the lake. I thought this movies was called WITHOUT WARNING?
- Larry fucking Storch is the scoutmaster to a bunch of cub scouts. It’s his very own F-Troop.
- Not sure if Storch’s compass going berserk is a sight gag highlighting that he’s inept or that the alien in the area is causing the compass to falter. I mean, it is Larry Storch so I can totally see him as being the comic relief until he’s killed in the next scene.
- Storch finds Mitchell’s RV and is asking for some help. I’m not sure what this scoutmaster needs help with though. Unless because I’m right and Storch is playing a fool, like usual.
- Storch is attempting to light his cigarette by placing it on a rock and trying to flint start the fire on it. While it’s still in his mouth. Probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.
- And now he’s attacked by the flying pubic hair discs! Thanks for stopping by Larry.
- These alien frisbee things totally remind me of the tentacle creature weapons from the Schlocktoberfest classic Rock n’ Roll Nightmare!
- I kinda wish vans would make a comeback. Not minivans, but the old 70s, 80s style bulking vans.
- Hey, Caruso and company are at the lake! They promised Palance that they weren’t going there! They lied?!
- Well this is awkward.
- Hey dude, if you want to impress a girl, maybe not mention that you’re a HAM radio enthusiast.
- Star Wars blanket!
- OK so now their radio isn’t working. So it wasn’t Storch’s inability to use a compass but the compass itself. Something’s strange in the neighborhood.
- Greg and Sandy come back to the van and think that Caruso and his lady are being intimate in the van. But I don’t see no rockin’ so may as well come a-knockin’.
- This Greg character is annoying and looks like an Osmond. Which makes him even more unpleasant.
- Greg’s a tracker all of a sudden as he sees what could be footsteps in mud as they try to find Caruso and his girl, who are missing now.
- WITHOUT WARNING Sandy fell in a large hole that was set up as a trap in the woods. It’s not that deep though as Greg has no issues pulling her out.
- Greg and Sandy happen upon a wood shack in the middle of the woods that says “Water Dept.” They go inside to find all the dead bodies that happened since the movie began. And that’s it, they scream and run back to the van.
- No keys though of course.
- Maybe next time use black wire for the flying aliens in the dark, Greydon.
- The suction cup aliens are on the windshield and clearly Empire Strikes Back ripped this movie off.
- Without much drama, save for the little suction cup creature on the windshield, Greg finds the keys, starts the van (with a little bit of trouble) and they drive off.
- Remember when I was mildly impressed by the gag at the end of Alien Predators when they use the windshield wipers to remove the alien on the windshield. WELL THIS MOVIE DID IT TOO! 5 YEARS PREVIOUS!!!
- Greg goes into this dive bar to ask for some help. The bartender asks this random drunk “You ever find that long-lost wife of yours, Leo?” “Nope, and I didn’t look very hard either.”
- I know that bartender, I looked her up and she was in Zapped and UHF! I knew I recognized the voice.
- Greg is visibly shaken up and trying to ask them to call the police but they want him to calm down and tell the story first.
- Greg is one awful actor. I wouldn’t believe his story either.
- So Martin Landau, who plays Sarge, also is known for telling stories about the flying suction cup monsters. Even after he hears Greg’s account of the creatures, the bar patrons still don’t believe either of them.
- Of course Sandy is gone WITHOUT WARNING! But we saw her being helped by Jack Palance.
- Sarge obviously has terrible PTSD as he’s giving Greg barking orders and commanding him.
- Sarge repeats the No Chance, No Help, No Escape mantra and I can’t help but think that Greg had no problem escaping earlier that night. The only reason he’s still in danger is because he’s hanging around a kook of a veteran in a dive bar.
- OK, so why, minutes later, does Palance bring in an unconscious Sandy. Where was he and her all this time when Sarge and Greg were outside looking for her? My only guess is he was taking advantage of her in the bushes.
- Now all the bar patrons are sitting in the dark since there’s a blackout. No planning, barely talking. It’s riveting entertainment.
- Funny thing is, as we see a wide shot of the whole dive bar as Martin Landau is ranting and raving about aliens and shit there’s some patrons in the back not even giving a hot shit.
- It’s a Crom-damned shame that Cameron Mitchell died earlier in the flick and couldn’t add to the triumvirate of drunken nutbars along with Landau and Palance.
- As someone opens the door of the bar, Landau shoots first and asks questions later and it happens to be the local sheriff! At least he didn’t shoot the deputy. Sorry, I’ll see myself out.
- It’s a battle of wits between cool-headed Palance and nuttier-than-a-shithouse-rat Landau.
- I’m a little confused by these suction cup aliens. Palance finds one still stuck to a post and cuts it with a knife. Because it couldn’t unstuck itself to the post. So whatever it sticks to after flying around like a frisbee it’s pretty much done and stuck there. So where are they coming from is my question?
- So Sarge isn’t arrested for manslaughter or anything? Someone tells him that he better hope the sheriff lives. Can you imagine if all laws were hinged like that? Yeah I shot him but he lived, so what’s the big deal?
- Palance puts an the alien he took from earlier into a jar full of what I’m assuming is formaldehyde in his office at the gas station. What, you don’t have a jar full of formaldehyde in your pantry?
- How long has these aliens been infecting the area? Palance shows Greg and Sandy his huge scar on his forearm and says its from them. Has this community been dealing with these things without getting proper help? Ludicrous!
- Remarkably, Greg knows his way to the wood shack and finds it again in the dark.
- Thankfully, the filmmakers didn’t reveal David Caruso’s ballsack while he lay dead in the shack with such short shorts.
- I’m still unclear why this wooden shack in the middle of the woods is labeled “Water Dept?” Did the aliens write that as a ruse to the humans?
- Welp, WITHOUT WARNING Palance just staring into some void too long in terror gets a frisbee alien to his thigh.
- Palance somehow regains consciousness and strength and cuts the alien frisbee on his leg and tears it off, despite the tentacles dug into his flesh.
- Greg and Sandy flag down a police squad car and without even looking at the driver get in the back seat willy-nilly. As they’re asking a dozen questions without answers, it’s revealed that the driver is Landau. This is dumb.
- You know, Alone in the Dark was stupid too, if I recall correctly.
- So why is Landau holding Greg and Sandy against their will at gunpoint?
- He seriously thinks Greg is the reason for the alien invasion. But he already has been the town loony telling story about the creatures. He only met Greg a few hours ago. So he’s crazy and stupid.
- Greg quickly comes up with a cockamamie story about “his aliens” and their plan to take over Earth as a distraction to Landau to try to get him and Sandy away. Remarkably it actually worked.
- Sarge, mind you, named so because he was in the army for 26 years (so he claims) can’t shoot a grown man running away from him 20 feet away.
- The morons ran for the road and Landau catches up to them in the squad car. But they’ll be OK since he’s only driving 7 MPH.
- Greg and Sandy have no choice but to jump from the bridge 50 feet up into the river.
- AND THEY SURVIVED!
- Man, I have about 25 minutes left and still no sign of the scary alien that was on the cover designed by Rick Baker! Those frisbee aliens are not that menacing enough.
- What a sap. Greg is in the same room as Sandy changing into dry clothes and he doesn’t turn around to sneak a peek once?
- Why is Sandy having an emotional breakdown about a music box she found in this cabin? She said her mother gave her the same type of box when she was 9. This is just like Kate’s Christmas/Santa Claus story from Gremlins but with even less purpose.
- That’s quite the glacier that the fridge has in this cabin.
- “Must’ve been the wind.” After all Greg and Sandy have been through, seriously?
- Is this movie shitting me? Are we really going to spend the rest of the 20 minutes with them playing cat and mouse in this cabin? I’d rather them go back to the dive bar.
- Now the movie has become a coffee commercial. I’m waiting for Anthony Stewart Head to start offering Nescafe Taster’s Choice Blend to Sharon Maughan soon. HOW’S THAT FOR AN ARCANE REFERENCE MOTHERFUCKERS!?!
- Classic movie wolf howl sounds effect. It’s a classic for a reason folks.
- This movie slowed to a crawl real fast. I mean, it wasn’t a barnburner to begin with but I can’t wait for it to end.
- That’s the main alien? It looked like Megamind! It’s ridiculous!
- Oh yeah, in case you cared Greg is dead. Got a suction cup to the face.
- Palance appears WITHOUT WARNING and starts shooting up Megamind and saves Sandy.
- Palance’s grand plan is to go back to the wood shack. He starts explaining to Sandy that this alien is a extra-terrestrial hunter. So this blue meanie throws the frisbee aliens at people or is that something separate?
- Palance rigged the shack with dynamite hoping the blue meanie comes back for its game trophies still in there.
- Landau confronts them and thinks Palance is really possessed by an alien. He’s probably right. Can’t be too sure I say.
- So now we’re watching two old farts fight over a gun in the dark in the woods. Wonderful.
- I can’t believe this dud of a flick has not one, but two, future Academy Award winners.
- Sarge then stops and confronts Megamind and starts taunting it, armed only with a pistol.
- HAHAHAHAHA. Megamind does indeed throw the frisbee aliens at his prey. Like shuriken! Although seeing this big dumb looking alien casually toss these little Frisbee’s at Landau was hilariously silly.
- Palance shoots Blue Meanie in the chest and lemon-lime Gatorade spills out!
- Then Blue Meanie throws a frisbee at Palance so slowly it’s so ridiculous that it wasn’t avoided. Palance then takes his time cutting it off like before, all the while the alien just watches. He tears the frisbee off and turns to say something to Sandy and right then another frisbee from off screen hits his back. It’s hilarious.
- Palance then tells Sandy that it’s all up to her and he runs toward the alien while yelling “ALIEN! ALIEN!” I’m not doing the humor justice.
- Palance never rigged the dynamite correctly and the first plunge didn’t work. Sandy of course knows what’s amiss and fixes the plunger’s wires in no time blowing up the shack, Palance and Blue Meanie.
- End of Story.
Sick Bay: Some weird blood effects from the frisbee weapons, including tentacles or wires that attach to the victim.
Heavenly Bodies: I’m sure at one point Martin Landau and Cameron Mitchell streaked around the lake and had a naked duel or something.
Best Transmission:“You ever find that long-lost wife of yours, Leo?” “Nope, and I didn’t look very hard either.”
Most Successful Experiment: The most successful thing about this POS is that it will be basically remade as Predator seven years later and no one will care.
Experiment Gone Awry: This scene is hilarious and I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be.
Damage Report: I saved the best for last it seems. I can’t recommend this movie as Z-grade schlock enough. It was hilariously awful but so crom-damned entertaining. I know that’s not saying much after all the crap I watched this month but this truly deserves another watch with friends. Having some “decent” actors be at their worst also helps. I just wish Cameron Mitchell was in this longer and acted alongside Landau and Palance, then this truly would’ve been a schlock masterpiece.
Kobayashi Maru Score: