Without Warning – USA, 1980


Without Warning is a 1980 science fiction horror film starring Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Tarah Nutter, and Kevin Peter Hall (Predator), directed by Greydon Clark (Satan’s Cheerleaders, Uninvited). The film is also known as It Came… Without Warning, The Warning and Alien Shock, its German title.

Main cast and characters:

Christopher S. Nelson (Greg), Tarah Nutter (Sandy), Jack Palance (Taylor), Martin Landau (Dobbs), David Caruso (Tom), Lynn Theel (Beth), Sue Ane Langdon (Aggie), Neville Brand (Leo), Larry Storch (Scoutmaster), Ralph Meeker (Dave), Cameron Mitchell (Hunter).

Special effects designer Greg Cannom, who was later involved in major studio productions such as Jurassic ParkHook and Titanic, created the memorable aliens for this low budget film.


A father and son go into the mountains. Before they can begin hunting, which the son does not want to do anyway, they are killed by flying jellyfish-like creatures, which penetrate their skin with needle-tipped tentacles.

Some time later, four teenagers, Tom, Greg, Beth and Sandy, hike in the same area, ignoring the warnings of local truck stop owner Joe Taylor (Jack Palance).

A group of cub scouts is also in the area; their leader (Larry Storch) is too killed by the alien creatures, while his troop run into an unidentified humanoid and flee…

the warning british vipco vhs sleeve


“Despite its many shortcomings, it nonetheless has a goofy charm all its own that at least makes it worth one viewing for the peculiar creatures. Old school horror fans will also get a big kick out of spotting many of the familiar faces from TV and movies.” Cool Ass Cinema

“This movie is boring. It starts off OK enough, with some little alien things (that look like the result of a mating between Alienfacehuggers and starfish) flying around and killing folks like Mitchell, but then it just falls apart after they find Caruso’s body (poor sod doesn’t even get a death scene). The alien frisbees all but completely disappear until the closing reel…” Horror Movie a Day

without warning poster

“Greydon Clark directs from a script with no less than 4 writers listed for some reason. He gives the flick a rather pedestrian pace but, he treats his material seriously as do the cast, especially Palance and Landau who properly chew up the scenery with Landau especially cranking up the nuttiness.” Tomb of Nostalgia

Without Warning’s biggest enemy is its pacing. Director Greydon Clark never latches onto a tempo to help build momentum or suspense. Sure, he creates a foreboding atmosphere here and there, but true terror is never achieved. (The most effective element is composer Dan Wyman’s spooky blend of piano tinklings and early ‘80s synth). FilmFather

Without Warning Blu-ray

Buy: Amazon.com

alien shock without warning jack palance

without warning greek vhs sleeve


Wikipedia | IMDb

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Categories: 1980s, alien, cheesy horror

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4 replies

  1. Just saw this and immediately Pedator came to my mind. So this is the movie Predator ripped off😋😁; I’ve been trying to figure that out for a while now.
    Anyway, Palance and Landau worked well together and the FX used are farout for the times. Gold movie indeed!

  2. I totally agree with you David and those flying alien thingies are excellent for the time/budget. Alone in the Dark (1982) is another underrated Palance/Landau get together that also features Donald Pleasence! http://horrorpedia.com/2012/07/24/alone-in-the-dark/

  3. Been watching my Blu Ray. Time has been good to this one. Dean Cundey’s camerawork is top notch. He was using an early steady cam for many a shot and the movements are very smooth. Landau and Palance going over the top actually works well in the context of the film. Tarah Nutter is one of my favorite final girls ever. The connection to Predator makes for great trivia. I mean how cool is that Kevin Peter Hall played 2 totally different types of aline big game hunters? A wonderful B film.

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