Two science fiction movies tonight. First up one I hadn't seen before. Without Warning is a 1980 film written by this gang of four: Lyn Freeman, Daniel Grodnik, Bennett Tramer and Steve Mathis. It was directed by Greydon Clark and Dean Cundey was the director of photography. The alien's head was made for $19,000 by Rick Baker. That seemed a lot of money for the time, especially since the alien looks a lot like that guy on the left who was in Star Trek. Even the flying pancake weapons the alien throws kind of remind me of the flying pancakes from an episode of Star Trek.
There's an interesting gaggle of older stars in the thing: Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Neville Brand, Ralph Meeker (his last film), Cameron Mitchell, Larry Storch and Sue Ann Langdon. It was the first film for David Caruso and the second film for Kevin Peter Hall. Kevin played the tall alien and he later played the alien in Predator and Predator 2. He was Harry in Harry And The Hendersons. Sadly he died rather young.
Some young adults are on a trip into the woods. They get warned that hunters are out and it's dangerous by the lake. Turns out the danger isn't the human hunters, the only ones we see are Cameron Mitchell and his son, and they get killed right away. The danger is the alien hunter, he picks them off one or two at a time, with his flying pancakes, while the locals try to figure out what's going on.
The budget was low, $150K, and half that went to Jack and Martin's salary. Take off the $19k for Rick Baker and that leaves $56,000 for everything else. They shot quickly, 3 weeks, and it shows. The film goes between fairly well done scenes and poorly done scenes. I'm betting there was no money to re-shoot and that could have helped. The sound level varies, soft in one scene and harsh in another. The acting is pretty good in the oldies but not quite so great in the newer cast members. None of it's awful for the most part. All in all Greydon delivers a fairly good watchable film that I'd watch again sometime. It got Blu-ray treatment and that makes the Dean Cundey photographed film look quite good. It's about average, scoring a 5.1 on the IMDb, and that isn't that bad a thing. You can watch it on YouTube if you want. See if you like it.
Our second film was another fun alien encounter film. I Come In Peace is a 1990 Dolf Lundgren movie that is out on Blu-ray under it's original title Dark Angel. The Shout Factory Blu-ray comes with a reversible cover showing I Come In Peace on the inside. The film shows the ICIP title when played. I suspect they did that because it looks like the film was marketed under the DA title in the rest of the world.
It's written by Jonathan Tydor and David Koepp (writing under the name of Leonard Maas Jr) and the director is Craig R Baxley. I didn't know anything about Jonathan and I haven't seen any of the 7 other films he wrote. He directed 4 films that I haven't seen. David you might know from some of the other films he wrote and directed. Check out his listing on the IMDb. It's a mixed bag but mostly above average. Craig is a third generation film maker according to the IMDb. He's was a stunt man in the 70s and 80s, working on plenty of TV and movies you've probably seen. He became a director in 1984 starting with episodes of The A-Team. He mostly works in TV, only directing 5 theatrical films, and he's still working.
An alien comes to Earth in a fiery crash that blows up a car really nicely. The alien, played by Matthias Hues, is huge and deadly. He kills and collects endorphins from the human brain to use as a drug on his planet. The bodies pile up and local cop Dolph gets given some help in the form of FBI agent Brian Benben. The reluctant partners go after what they think are human killers. They soon figure out that's something's not quite right. Especially when they find the deadly CD like killing device.
There are some super white gangsters that Dolph is after and they wind up in their own close encounter. A second alien shows up, this one is a cop and he's hunting Hues. He lets Dolph know what's going on before he kicks the bucket alien style. Now, it's up to Dolph and Brian to toast the first alien scum's ass. You can see how here. We were all in agreement that the movie is a lot of fun and well worth seeing. It's got plenty of explosions and gun fire, some chases, some fights, and a bit of romance with Dolph and Betsy Brantley. I don't know if I need the Blu-Ray, I have a DVD already and that should do me.