Thursday, August 25, 2005

WITHOUT WARNING

Dark Sky Films is a new subsidiary of MPI Video, dedicated to the "darker" genre fare. Their premiere offerings include a documentary series about serial killers, slasher films, and the little known noir thriller, WITHOUT WARNING (1952).

In many ways, this sunlit L.A. noir thriller resembles today's various CSI television series, as it is, at heart, a police procedural, detailing the use of then-state-of-the-art forensic science to track down a spree killer who roams Los Angeles murdering hot blondes with a pair of garden shears. Adam Williams (NORTH BY NORTHWEST) is the psycho gardener, taking revenge on his ex by offing every bimbo who reminds him of her, while police detective Ed Binns (12 ANGRY MEN) puts the full resources of the police department to work to stop him.

The performances are good, there's plenty of tension, and even some humor. It's a fine, late entry in the noir genre, and it's good to have this little-seen thriller on DVD.

Dark Sky's disc is culled from a good, clean print. There's some dust and debris scattered throughout – especially around the reel changes – but it's a decent black & white transfer, with good contrast, and solid blacks. The only extra on the disc is a still gallery, but the packaging and menus are especially well designed.

For fans of film noir or police procedurals, it's well worth checking out, and I look forward to more releases on the Dark Sky label.

BUY: Without Warning