No Chance. No Help. No Escape. Without Warning

I could've told you guys this review was coming, but then it wouldn't have been... Without Warning!  Thank you, that's all I got.

Nah, okay.  Without Warning is an early 80s (filmed in the late 70s) sci-fi horror that's graduated from a long guilty pleasure of mine to a straight up, actually great little flick.  Director Greydon Clark doesn't exactly have the most critically renowned track-record, ranging from titles like Satan's Cheerleaders to The Forbidden Dance, with a whopping six features appearing on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax.  But this - and it might sound like a backhanded compliment given what I've just said, but this is his masterpiece.
First of all, Without Warning is a tight, well-paced script with a premise, not for nothing, introduced the Predator concept years before Predator.  Yes, an alien comes to Earth to hunt humans for sport.  And, as in Predator, out protagonists get caught in the middle of a violent three-way conflict with not just the aliens, but armed humans who prove to be just as dangerous.  It sure doesn't hurt that said dangerous humans are Jack Palance and Martin Landau.  In fact, the cast is chock full of great character actors, including Neville Brand, Cameron Mitchell, F Troop's Larry Storch in a genuinely funny comic relief role and a young David Caruso.  The alien has a great design created by none other than Rick Baker, and his weapons are awesome.  The great Dean Cundy (Halloween, Jurassic Park, etc) shot the  film, it's got fantastic lighting and a genuinely moody atmosphere that gives the material an elevated level of credibility the film's limited budget and far-out concepts otherwise probably couldn't have sustained.
For years, Without Warning was only available via cheap, often cut, foreign DVDs.  I used to own the Scandivian DVD from Another World, which was the first anamorphic widescreen option, but had a few scenes patched in with subtitles and no audio.  Nobody had done this movie right until Scream Factory released it as a DVD/ BD combo pack in 2014.  Uncut, widescreen, HD and they even gave it the proper special edition treatment with a bunch of great extras.  It was easily the definitive choice for years, but its since gone out of print.  Fortunately, Kino has seen fit to not only bring it back into print, but to give it a new, 2k scan.
1) 2014 SF DVD; 2) 2014 SF BD; 3) 2022 Kino BD.
Scream Factory and Kino both properly matte this film to 1.85:1, though Kino pulls back to reveal a tiny pit more picture along all four sides.  Scream Factory's blu still holds up fairly well, except it's soft.  It almost looks like standard def until you compare it to the DVD, which is really soft.  But there's still very little sign of actual film grain until you look at the new transfer from Kino, which is much sharper and more refined.  And it's not just the grain, but actual detail in the film is clearer and easier to make out.  It's definitely a superior scan... but the colors are a little more debatable.  Overall, Kino's are more stark and contrasty, where Scream's are warmer.  Just look at the skin tones in that second set of shots.  Kino also has deeper, darker blue night scenes.  Honestly, I can't decide which set of colors I prefer; it varies shot to shot.  But Kino's PQ wins in the other departments, which easily tips the scales in their favor.

All three discs offer the original mono track, in DTS-HD on the blus.  Scream Factory and Kino both include optional English subtitles as well.
Scream's extras really add a lot of value, starting with a pretty great commentary by Greydon Clark.  He has a lot of memories and behind-the-scenes info.  He runs out of things to say by the last half hour or so, though, so you can turn it off early and not miss much.  Red Shirt then provides some first class interviews, the best of which is probably a joint featurette with the two young leads, Christopher Nelson and Tarah Nutter.  We also got ones with producer Daniel Grodnick, Dean Cundy and effects artist Greg Cannom.  There's also a stills gallery, a trailer and reversible artwork.

And Kino has kept all of that.  And they've even added a little more.  They've thrown in the Trailers From Hell (in addition to the basic trailer) with Mike Mendez.  That's fun, though he's a little dismissive of this film as anything more than a cheesy lark.  And in addition to reversible artwork, Kino's disc also comes in a slipcover.
So yeah, this new Kino is a nice upgrade, though there is a subjective aspect re: the colors.  Still, if you already own the Scream blu, that might make this a lower priority upgrade.  If you don't have it, though, I'd sure rather pick up the slightly superior Kino disc for a reasonable price than shell out the crazy, inflated prices people were EBaying the 2014 blu for.  So it's all good news.

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