Warning Sign

Discussion in 'Movie Reviews' started by miketardis, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. miketardis

    miketardis Sophomore Member

    WARNING SIGN (1985)
    Directed by Hal Barwood. Stars Sam Waterston, Kathleen Quinlan, Jeffrey DeMunn, Yaphet Kotto. Classy actor Waterston, star of THE KILLING FIELDS, in a zombie movie? That’s pretty much what WARNING SIGN is, at least as much as 28 DAYS LATER. Someone accidentally smashes a vial inside BioTek, a Utah biological research center, and the employees--most of whom believe they’re working on agricultural research--are trapped inside. The government is secretly working on germ warfare, and the insidious toxin causes the infected employees to rage against one another, going psycho until they kill each other off. Government flunky Kotto shows up with the Army to talk some b.s. to the worried families, who aren’t aware of what’s happening inside the sealed-off facility. That includes local sheriff Waterston, whose wife Quinlan is the security officer inside. When Sam realizes that Kotto’s job is to keep the situation quiet until all inside are dead, he recruits a disgraced BioTek scientist (DeMunn) for a covert rescue operation.
    Barwood, a first-time director who co-wrote the screenplay with Matthew Robbins (DRAGONSLAYER), has little affinity for suspense or horror, and has trouble deciding what kind of thriller WARNING SIGN should be. The infected characters act exactly like crazed zombies, wandering about whaling on one another with fire axes, yet they’re never frightening. The apocalyptic tone of many films of this nature is neutralized by the scenes set outdoors in the crisp, clean Utah air, and Quinlan is the only trapped character we really care very much about. A greater sense of urgency and excitement would have helped the film. Waterston may be miscast, but Quinlan and DeMunn are quite good. Craig Safan did the score. Also with Richard Dysart, G.W. Bailey, Rick Rossovich, Jerry Hardin, Scott Paulin and Meshach Taylor. Filmed in Utah and in a California high school. Waterston earned an Oscar nomination for THE KILLING FIELDS the same year this was released.

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