Without Warning (1980)

While other men hunt, an intergalactic hunter has come down from the stars to track the most dangerous game, invisibly hiding until it can kill them with its throwing star weaponry. The creature is played by Kevin Peter Hall. But this isn’t Predator! This came out seven years earlier! This is Without Warning!

The film opens with a father and his reluctant son hunting. In moments, they are killed by flying creatures that have tentacles that pierce their skin.

Meanwhile, four teens ignore the warnings of Joe Taylor (Jack Palance!) and decide to camp here. Is this a dangerous area? You bet. Not even F-Troop‘s Larry Storch can survive, as he is killed and his Cub Scout troops run into the woods.

Two of the teens die pretty much instantly and their bodies are found in a shack. As the survivors run, one of the creatures tries to attack them through the windshield. They go back to the truck stop and no one believes them except for PTSD veteran Fred “Sarge” Dobbs (Martin Landau, Ed WoodSpace: 1999).

Landau is great in this, as he descends into paranoia, sure that everyone is an alien. He’s a villain who is acting like the heroes of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or They Live.

It turns out that the shack is where the creature is keeping his trophy kills. Only Sandy survives, as Sarge goes nuttier than ever and Taylor sacrifices himself to stop the gigantic alien.

Greydon Clark directed this. You may know him from acting in films like Satan’s Sadists. Or perhaps you’ve seen one of his films, like Satan’s Cheerleaders.

Cameron Mitchell, Neville Brand and Ralph Meeker all show up to add some Old Hollywood to the proceedings. And then there’s a young David Caruso as one of the teens. Don’t blink or you’ll miss Cinemax late night icon Darby Hinton (Malibu Express)!

The majority of the film’s budget went to having Landau and Palance on board, as well as having Rick Baker design the creature’s head. And hey! Dean Cundey (Halloween) makes this movie look way better than it’s $150,000 budget would lead you to believe!

Scream Factory put this out on blu ray and it’s seriously way better of a production than this film probably deserves. But that’s why those guys are awesome and why so much of my paycheck goes to them.

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