Blu-ray Review: WARNING SIGN

WARNING SIGN was directed by Hal Barwood from a screenplay he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins and stars Sam Waterston, Kathleen Quinlan, Yaphet Kotto, Jeffrey DeMunn, Richard A. Dysart and G. W. Bailey. The movie features cinematography by Dean Cundey.

When tampering with the natural order of things, man must not ignore the Warning Sign. In the rolling Utah countryside, a small town is host to a fortress-like research facility, which the townspeople believe is developing new advancements in agriculture. But deep within is a top-secret project to create a bioweapon that turns anyone exposed to it into a raging, psychotic killer. When the unthinkable happens and the facility is locked down, Sheriff Cal Morse (Sam Waterston) must choose between keeping the town safe and rescuing his wife Joanie (Kathleen Quinlan), who is trapped inside. But for Major Connolly (Yaphet Kotto), there is only one remorseless solution: contain the deadly virus … at all costs.

This 1985 outbreak thriller takes place in the midwest at Biotek Agronomics, a facility that experiments with the genetic modification of plants. The thing is, this is the cover for the pesticide plant because it’s actually a top-secret bio-engineering facility for the government. A tube containing one of the experimental bioweapons is accidentally broken during a routine exorcise and the place is quickly put on lockdown. This is when things get terrifying for everyone trapped inside the building because the infected slowly turn into raging maniacs and the only one not infected is Joanie who works as the security guard. She’s the one who follows protocol and ends up running for her life because everyone else inside has lost their mind.

What happens is, when the building goes on lockdown an alert is automatically sent to the government so now the military shows up and won’t allow anybody in from the outside. This is when Cal teams up with a doctor who’s attached to the project and the two of them find a way to sneak inside the facility where they quickly locate Joanie. All that’s left now is for them to find enough time to come up with a cure while the deranged personal chase after them. They have a little setback because the two men end up getting infected with the virus. It’s a race against time but the trio finally comes up with a vaccine to cure the remaining survivors and they’re escape this nightmarish outbreak.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork for the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the alternate artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is Warning Sign was a pretty cool outbreak thriller that reminded me of 1973’s The Crazies except this movie was much tamer than the horror classic. I do feel like this one helped to pave the way for others like it to follow – movies like 28 Days Later and Outbreak would come along many years later. Even though this outbreak thriller was light on the blood and gore it made up for it with the suspense, thrills and chills because it was a race against time to see if a cure could be found. There were also a couple of eerie scenes with some of the infected people and how they changed in apperance as well as their mannerisms. One more thing that gave Warning Sign its fear factor was the fact that Big Gov was connected to this top-secret facility and we all know good and well that the sleazy government has these kind of sinister operations going on all over the place. Have you ever been to the CDC in Atlanta? Exactly! Did I mention the actors because this movie has a great cast and I thought the director did a great job for this to be his one and only helming gig. This ended up being another first time watch for me and I thought it was a thought-provoking outbreak thriller that deals with a terrifying what if scenario. Warning Sign will make its Blu-ray debut on March 26th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 99 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include two new interviews, some audio commentary, a TV spot, theatrical trailer and still gallery.

  • NEW interview with director/co-writer Hal Barwood (18:36)
  • NEW interview with producer Jim Bloom (42:18)
  •  Audio commentary track with director /co-writer Hal Barwood
  • TV Spot (00:32)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:27)
  • Still Gallery (02:28)
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