Warning Sign (1985) Poster

(1985)

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8/10
Realistic enough to be truly frightening
dgpowell-326 August 2001
Unlike many horror movies where you need to check your credulity at the door, what you see in this film is actually believable. The idea of military scientists finding a catalyst which induces rage in the human mind, then mating it with a virus as a delivery device, is a very scary idea! Imagine you could catch homicidal mania as easily as you could catch the flu.

The acting in this movie is good if somewhat uneven. Joanie (played wonderfully by Kathleen Quinlan) is a very intense character. Sam Waterston is good as her lover and the local sheriff.

The film is not slick, but has some intense moments that many "slicker" films can only dream of achieving. Overall a very suspenseful film.
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8/10
not bad for its time
raegan_butcher14 April 2006
This wasn't a bad film for its time. The cast is especially good. Sam Waterston and Jeffery Demunn play very well off each other and Kathleen Quinlen is a criminally underused actress, so it is always nice to see her.

The plot line has echoes of George Romero's earlier paen to paranoia and bio warfare spills 'The Crazies'. This film also pre-figures Resident Evil and 28 Days Later but played on a much smaller scale. Watching a film shot in the mid 1980's now serves as a reminder of just how bombastic and over-the-top most current films have become.

A modest effort but entertaining nonetheless.
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8/10
An excellent, exciting and underrated 80's medical science sci-fi/horror sleeper
Woodyanders20 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In remote rural Utah a crisis situation transpires when a lethal experimental germ warfare virus gets loose in government Lab P-4 and causes the folks who become infected to degenerate into dangerous murderous raving lunatics led by Dr. Nielsen (robustly essayed by Richard Dysart). Gutsy, but frightened security chief Joanie (a fine and engaging performance by Kathleen Quinlan) is trapped inside with the deadly deranged crazies. It's up to Joanie's take-charge sheriff husband Cal Morse (superbly played by Sam Waterson) and bitter, boozy discredited doctor Dan Fairchild (the always great Jeffrey DeMunn) to rescue Joanie before it's too late.

Director Hal Barwood expertly crafts and maintains an intense, nerve-jangling tone throughout, keeps the pace hurtling along at a steady, speedy clip, and delivers an ample amount of shocks while relating the chillingly plausible story. Furthermore, the barbed, incisive and provocative script by Barwood and Matthew Robbins offers a pointed and trenchant critique of government arrogance and incompetence alike (the government creates the problem and proves to be totally all-thumbs when it comes to properly rectifying it). Both Craig Safan's pulse-pounding score and Dean Cundey's polished cinematography are likewise up to par. The uniformly terrific acting from a bang-up cast warrants kudos as well, with especially praiseworthy work from Yaphet Kotto as ineffectual fed Major Connolly and G.W. Bailey as the bumbling nice guy lab employee who serves as the inadvertent catalyst for all the trouble. The fact that the main protagonists are a bunch of smart and capable adults rather than your usual array of dumb immature kids qualifies as another substantial plus; it's a nice and refreshing departure from the standard teen-oriented horror fare prevalent in the 80's. An intelligent, absorbing and above all quite suspenseful little sleeper that's well worth checking out.
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Above average Sci Fi quasi Living Dead drama.
rixrex19 February 2006
I remember seeing this 20 yrs ago and having a very favorable impression, but the recent copy I bought and viewed this week showed both better and worse aspects, different from what I recalled. Anyway, the story is quite catching and most of the acting is above average, thanks to a good ensemble cast of quality folks. Very well done art/set design makes up for rather standard plot direction, with some nicely eerie moments. There's well written, believable dialog interspersed with silly, and well developed characters interspersed with stereotypes. So it's a mishmash but a good one. Would have been nice to see a more believable military response to the viral outbreak, but the budget must have only been enough for a small crew of national guard type soldiers rather than a more believable crack platoon outfit that would have been all over the locals, and sent them packing. Definitely a good half of a double feature with Endangered Species, or Andromeda Strain.
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Good cast/bizarre movie
drosse6715 February 2002
I recently saw a preview for Resident Evil, the latest sci-fi/gore opus from Event Horizon director Paul Anderson. (Not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson). It looks like a big budget, explosive version of Warning Sign, a strange little horror movie I remember watching in the '80s. The plot of the 1985 film involves a deadly serum leaking inside a bio-chemical plant in rural Utah. The plant is sealed off--no one can get in or get out. What happens inside is best described as Night of the Living Dead meets the Andromeda Strain. All in all, not a bad horror film, and the actors (Sam Waterston, Kathleen Quinlan--both Oscar nominees, but alas, not for Warning Sign) manage to keep straight faces. The film has an "Alien" feel to it, and is quite stylish to boot. More than anything, the film has a good, somewhat believable premise for a horror story. But the execution is just so odd. Scientists becoming zombies or monsters has been done before, and the atmospheric first half of the movie is somewhat ruined by the over-the-top, borderline campy second half. We'll see soon enough whether Anderson's version of the idea is successful, although judging from the ads, I seriously doubt it.
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8/10
Really good mature sci-fi, if your into the Zombie genre its also worth a look.
rettercritical15 August 2009
I don't know if Zombie purists would call it a zombie film but this nice little picture stands the test of time to tonight's DVD viewing. I enjoyed almost all of it but the ending could have been better. The film makes some big comments on genetic engineering and the government/ corporation relationships regarding this. I would google this subject out and you will find some stories just as scary as this film!

Some real scares there. I like how the film doesn't make me cringe like many sci-fi/horror films of the period but actually impressed me. A hidden gem. Highly competent film that sustains almost to the end. The film involves some zombie concepts but doesn't follow the formula quite like the other films in that genre.

Great cast and the direction is restrained. The film stands the test of time so source it out.
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7/10
The government are up to no good… what's new?
lost-in-limbo24 December 2009
Durably taut, but rather restraint little low-budget biological thriller that sees a group of scientists quarantined inside a building when a deadly chemical agent they're working on is accidentally released, causing them to become violently homicidal. Caught in the middle of it is a lady security guard, who might just hold the answer for a vaccine, as she seems unaffected.

Confidently directed, thoughtfully written (as it could be seen as a minor blue print for "Resident Evil") and exemplary performed, but "Warning Sign" seems to go by unnoticed, despite it's considerably gripping and unnerving progression. Their low-scale origin is probably what tips it in that forgotten category, because it's not excitingly barnstorming in its thrills or cast. Nonetheless it bestows moments of furious intensity and compact suspense… in what feels like a waiting game after not taking all that long to get into it. The acting led perfectly pitched by Kathleen Quinlan, Sam Waterston, Jeffrey DeMunn, Richard Dysart, G.W. Bailey and Yaphet Kotto. Craig Safan chips away with an ominously airy electronic score. Director Hal Barwood well measured style, ably operates with his actors in constructing a real fearful mood inside the building, but also making the air outside just as dangerously on-edge. When it came to its irony enclosed ending, it felt a little out of place and rather forced than what it naturally built-up.

An earnest, but well engineered sci-fi / horror outing that's more than your simple filler.
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9/10
great movie
lucianolvr6 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
FINALLY I found out the name of this movie. I saw it alone in my living room about ten years ago, on t.v., and was so incredibly creeped out, especially when the scientists come on their "quest" after waking up. They acted so gentle, mild, yet we the audience knew that they were completely homicidal and insane, hiding axes behind their backs. Yikes!!!!! This movie came out at least a decade before 28 days later, another film I love, but Warning Sign was first!!!! Also, I love the fact that the enemies are formerly intelligent, successful people. always, the idea of people who you know and trust, changing into something evil is so disturbing to the human psyche. I've been searching for the name of this movie for so long, and finally got it by googling the actress, whose name I just happened to remember. Great movie!! very suspenseful and interesting.
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Sci-Fi meet science factoids
Mr.Flick-220 August 1999
Historically, many may not remember but this film was released at the time of Chernobyl nuclear accident in Russia. Life does not imitate art here but plays a close second. Although, the ending is not fully satisfying, the first reviewer Jack Sommersby fails to see some superb talents behind the camera. Visually, the lab sequences are very terrifying and well acted. Worth a second look.

Mr Flick-2
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10/10
One of the Best Science Fiction Movies of the 80s
sonthert10 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie on HBO years ago. As time has gone on and I have seen more Science Fiction, horror and zombie movies, I have come to regard this movie as one of the best of all three. Certainly one of the high-points of the 80s Science Fiction entries.

This movie came out at the same time as "The Stuff", but "Warning Sign" is a more refined and seemingly a much higher budget movie. It has a very slick look when compared to "The Stuff". It even looks pretty good when compared to "Aliens".

**********************Spoilers Below************************* The movie starts out as an average workday at BioTek, the Head of Security, Joanie Morse played by Kathleen Quinlan is going through her end of the day checks and talking to her husband, Cal Morse, the town's sheriff and aspiring lawyer played by Sam Waterston as he's on routine patrol. Something goes wrong. She initiates a security protocol. Yaphet Kotto plays Major Connolly who heads up the US response team who arrives in short succession. Townspeople, unaware of the danger begin to form a mob, headed by Vic played by Jerry Hardin (X-Files, Star Trek the Next Generation). Inside, bands of roving scientists, technicians and workers break out of containment areas and infection begins to spread while the infected begin to act irrationally. Several bands of people in the plant attempt different strategies, from holing up to finding a magical antitoxin. G.W. Bailey (Sgt. Rizzo from M*A*S*H* TV Series) plays Tom Schmidt who is trying to administer the antitoxin after overcoming disbelief at the accident, thinking its a mix-up for the first half of the movie. Richard Dysart plays Dr. Neilsen ("The Thing", "The Prophecy"), the head of the research team working on the virus and becomes the most violent infected person, taking charge of a dangerous band of infected people who attempt to hide the accident in infected mind irrational perspective, which involves lots of smashing and trying to infect the uninfected. Cal Morse contacts Dan Fairchild played by Jeffrey DeMunn, a former employee at BioTek for more help to try to get Joanie Morse out when she seems to be uninfected. The government sends in a containment team which is overtaken by Dr. Neilsen's infected team inside the plant and Major Connolly decides to initiate a lock-down to contain the infection and minimize the spread of the infection. Sheriff Morse and Dan Fairchild then break into the plant to attempt to rescue Joanie Morse and find the secret to the spread of the disease. ***************************End of Spoilers***************************

First off, the acting is very good for a movie of this genre. Kathleen Quinlan, Sam Waterston, Jeffrey DeMunn, Richard Dysart, Yaphet Kotto and G.W. Bailey all deserve some recognition for their acting. I like Jerry Hardin's Sci-Fi work, so I mention him, although his role was a little lacking, there wasn't much to grab on to. Hard to make "Irrational Redneck" an Oscar-winning performance.

The director uses lots of modulation in the way the character's speak their lines to add emphasis to the dialog and to allow the audience to distinguish the infected from the uninfected. Kathleen Quinlan, when under extreme stress, at one point drops her western accent and produces a pure New York Brooklyn accent. Since she is from California, it isn't an accident, bad editing or bad acting I don't believe. Its meant to convey her stress. The infected people speak in a melodramatic way which seems cheesy, but on closer inspection is a device the director is using to make the audience aware of the mental stress the infection causes. I would liken Barwood's attempt to Clouzot's analysis of characters in "The Wages of Fear" or "Diabolique", but far less insightful than Clouzot. I fear it may have been lost on most people, though. Perhaps writer/director Barwood tried to do too much for a movie of this type. Maybe "Towering Infernos" can't contain deep, socially-conscious points. The movie stretched out a little too far but it is still great and worth watching at least once.

The movie isn't a full horror movie. I don't think it was meant to be. Its more in the vein of "Andromeda Strain" especially, "The Crazies" and "Quarantine" to a lesser extent. Its more of a science fiction movie with zombie-ish infection. "Warning Sign" tried to accomplish more, achieve a higher level and missed somewhat. For a horror or zombie movie its tame, but the movie doesn't go out of its way to bludgeon you into being afraid. Its not that scary. Its more creepy than scary, but not a common "Vincent Price"-brand of creepy. The movie breaks itself out as a serious movie with an attempt at social commentary (although fictional?), great makeup effects, a great screenplay, a pretty good "Dawn of the Dead"-like electronic background score, but tuned up for the 80s. The entire movie has an air of reality similar to "Andromeda Strain". It feels like it could be an actually happening, everything is just persuasive enough to make sense, there seems to be an understanding of science written into the screenplay which is rare in zombie movies. Too many zombie movies have taken the approach "Don't worry about it, just watch the movie" to the point they slightly insult the intelligence for people who are unable to suspend disbelief. "Warning Sign" dots the 'i's and crosses the 't's. There are points of costume and props that are poorly thought, but they are background material.

I found the ending to be a little mushy and a little too far outside the horror audience to be appreciated. As an adult, I still find it a little crummy, but it works for me ultimately and it provides closure.

Fortunately, Anchor Bay released this title on DVD. Watch this movie, it's carefully constructed screenplay is worth unwinding.
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7/10
Warning: objects in your DVD-player are SCARIER than they appear!
Coventry10 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Warning Sign" looks like another ordinary and routine 80's horror/Sci-Fi movie, but actually it's quite a lot better than that! The professionally written screenplay, realistic make-up effects and stellar performances from a great cast make this one of the most underrated "science-projects-gone-bad" films ever and it's a damn shame that I only found out about it now. The basic idea behind this movie, which involves the development of secret government bio-weapon that turns random people into aggressive maniacs, is rather disturbing and not even that unthinkable if you follow the movie carefully. Strategically located in rural Utah, there's a hi-tech institute of which the people think it improves national agriculture techniques. The institute's real purpose – biological warfare – only becomes clear when a serious accident occurs and the whole place is hermetically sealed. The employees that are trapped inside all slowly transform into zombie-like monsters, except for one (the local sheriff's wife), and her immunity becomes the only hope for rescue. This fast-paced Sci-Fi thriller offers plenty of genuine suspense and the make-up effects never go over the top, unlike in the majority of other 80's paranoid government conspiracy movies. The fear and despair of the people trapped inside the institute is very well captured and the atmosphere outside the building is even more intense. Sam Waterston, Kathleen Quinlan and Jeffrey DeMunn are all great in their leading roles and there are excellent supportive roles for Richard Dysart, Yaphet Kotto and G.W. Bailey. Although not a very experienced filmmaker, Hal Barwood's directing is surefooted and impressive. The climax should have been more exciting, though. Now the "happy ending" feels a bit too forced and implausible.
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5/10
Biohazard
AaronCapenBanner8 December 2013
Hal Barwood directed this thriller that stars Sam Waterston as Utah sheriff Cal Morse, who is forced to deal with the accidental contamination that has occurred at a research facility dealing with toxins. The military arrives to control things, but the families of the employees trapped inside the sealed-off containment area want answers, and threaten to batter down the doors to rescue them, which would be most unwise, as the released toxin has turned them into psychotic killers, except Cal's pregnant girlfriend Joanie(played by Kathleen Quinlan). Cal and a scientist(played by Jeffrey De Munn) must infiltrate the facility, to find a cure... Marginal film at least doesn't go overboard into Zombie clichés(thank goodness!), but despite the fine cast, it just misses, becoming a bit too predictable and unimaginative, though is certainly watchable enough for what it is.
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7/10
bio warfare comes to middle America
roguewanderer5 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This oldie but goodie focuses on an apparent agriculture development lad in middle America. What the residents don't know is that it actually the front for a bio warfare lab. When one of the weapons is accidentally released the survivors who are uncontaminated have to survive, while the sheriffs wife is trapped inside as the security guard - has to be rescued by sam waterson - with the reluctant help of a former scientist. While this is happening the locals decide that the army keeping them from their loved ones are not working in their interest and so decide to break the quarantine and release not only their loved ones but unbeknowst to them the bio weapon. Will a cure be found before the locals get in? will the survivors trapped within not yet infected get out? who will survive? for a movie made in the 80's it gives a idea of how people react to a biological agent which in its self is a scary thought. Thought the ending is a bit pat it is a realistic depictions of an event that could occur. an excellent treatment of a very real possibility in the past and still current today especially in the light of sars and the bird flu
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6/10
Bio-weapons in Utah
view_and_review26 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Monsanto... er, I mean BioTek... er, I mean the U.S. government created a biological weapon. Much like the movie Crazies, this bio-weapon causes the infected to become homicidal maniacs. The chemical breaches its containment through a series of accidental events. The good thing is that BioTek has a very effective containment plan in the event of a breach. The bad thing is there are local yokels outside trying to break in as well as infected inside trying to kill everyone in sight.

The movie started well. I liked the professionalism of the security guard, Joanie (Kathleen Quinlan). It is somewhat odd that such a serious task would be left to a mere security guard, but she did everything right. That is until she decided it was a good idea to drag around Dr. Sicky aka Dr. Schmidt (G.W. Bailey). She had ample evidence that he was sick, that should've been enough for her to keep her distance--even if she thought she was already infected. If that wasn't enough, she also saw the violent tendencies of the other infected so why drag around a guy who's going to kill you one way or another.

As I said, the movie started off well. Joanie enacted the protocol and the U.S. military showed up to keep the germ under wraps, both literally and figuratively. Then the movie devolved from there. Joanie became less intelligent and the military completely lost control. The fact that the military lost control didn't bother me as much as the idiots who overran the military. Are people in Utah that dumb?

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not bothered that they have a distrust or a dislike for the U.S. government. I'm bothered that they think it's appropriate to unseal a building that deals in chemicals! The name is BioTek and they deal in genetic engineering. Even if your family and friends are in there you think it's wise to let whatever is in there out?

Barring the Utans, or Utahans--or whatever you call people from Utah--barring their destructive behavior I thought the movie was pretty good. A toxic agent was loose and only Cal (Sam Waterson) and Dr. Fairchild (Jeffrey DeMunn) cared enough to try to do anything about it. Once they got into the sealed facility it was a race against time as they found themselves infected. It wasn't a great movie but it could've been a lot worse.
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10/10
Sometimes Shmidt Happens...
TheBlueHairedLawyer28 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Warning Sign is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is extremely underrated but it's a beautiful movie. The beginning has stunning shots of Utah mountains, farmland, crop dusters spraying pesticides, all with Craig Safan's spectacular soundtrack that compliments the entire film.

Joannie Morse works for a huge agronomics facility called BioTek. Unknown to her and most employees, BioTek is really a biological weapons station, researching viruses in the event of the Cold War and attacks from the Soviet Union. A cheerful and unknowing employee, Mr. Shmidt, accidentally steps on a vial of the virus and it spreads through the factory, and everyone is locked inside. Joannie is the only one who doesn't begin to get sick, and she tries to rescue Shmidt and escape with him, along with the help of her husband Cal and an ex-BioTek employee from the outskirts of town, Fairchild. Unknown to any of the four, the virus causes the infected to become killers, bent on sociopath manipulation and using kindness to lure their victims. Visually, the lab sequences are very terrifying and well acted. Typically most sci-fi films featuring corrupt corporations (Resident Evil, Hell of the Living Dead) portray scientists as evil rats in white lab coats who tower over a mix of hazardous chemicals, but this movie is not that way. In the end, as a parting and rather depressing scene, the government shuts down Biotek and abandons it in an open but lonely field, leaving behind the dreadful events. Rather than a snobby group of suburban teens, Warning Sign is about smart and capable adults who just make a couple of simple mistakes and create an inferno of danger.

Kathleen Quinlan, who played the role of Joannie, was in a similar role in the film the Missing Are Deadly, which was like Warning Sign but on a much smaller scale. It's up to Joanie's take-charge and rescue her co-workers, including her best friend Tom Shmidt, who is unknowingly spreading the virus. Sheriff husband Cal Morse and his drunk friend Doctor Dan Fairchild are out to rescue Joanie and her co-workers before it's too late. Historically, many may not remember but this film was released at the time of Chernobyl nuclear accident in Russia. The acting of all the characters, especially Fairchild and Shmidt, was amazing. I'm honestly very surprised the film doesn't have higher ratings. The plot is suspenseful, yet not too far-fetched like Resident Evil or Death Factory. If you want an amazing and eerie horror film, you'll certainly enjoy this. Despite the budget, the actors did a great job and the film was made to look as real as possible. The mysterious Biotek building and its surroundings were excellently designed, and the plot was realistic. Unlike the completely unrealistic idea of cannibal living dead in Resident Evil and Hell of the Living Dead, Warning Sign showed something of a different sort, not zombies, just innocent people who were contaminated and then lost their minds to murder people. Warning Sign is one of my favorite films of all time, I'd love a movie novelization of it. I just hope it's never remade, the CGI of the 21st century, cellular devices, bad music and even worse acting would ruin this wonderful classic.
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6/10
Make it more of a horror movie and I would have loved it.
Aaron13756 April 2009
This movie has a facility that manufactures chemical agents and such in it. Well there is a problem at said facility and there is the movie. Well not quite, seems a deadly virus or something to that effect has been accidentally released. The lady working security and such locks the place down which is what she is supposed to do under the circumstances. Well people inside the place want out insisting they are fine and the family members on the out want in worried about their loved ones. Then the movie takes a twist and those infected become increasingly violent adding to the horror aspect of the film. If this movie had a bit more of the violent killer psychopaths I admit I would have enjoyed it more, still it made for an entertaining thriller. You keep hoping they will find a way to get rid of this infection, that they will be able to keep the relatives from totally going nuts and breaking in, and you hope those trapped inside stay inside because if not the world will become exposed. Interesting movie that would have been more of a film I liked had they moved a little faster to infection starting to really make the people go crazy.
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6/10
Really good thriller
paulclaassen28 June 2018
This very underrated film happens to be one of my favorite thriller/horror films of the 80's. This film is so stylish that even the blood spatter that follows is done tastefully and not gory. A virus turns biologists into zombie-like humans, but they don't want to eat your brains and you don't turn into a zombie when bitten. They do, however, want to kill the living, hence the zombie referral, although it is by no means a zombie film. The cast is incredibly good and convincing, and the make-up effects are equally good. Interesting fact about director Hall Barwood is that this was his only film project as director. After this, he ventured into video games.
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8/10
A well-done addition to the whole "infection" genre.
Hey_Sweden20 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"Warning Sign" is a reasonably intense and absorbing thriller made capably if not stylishly by debuting director Hal Barwood, whose credits as a screenwriter include "The Sugarland Express", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Corvette Summer", and "Dragonslayer". It benefits from a compelling cast of adult characters that are all well acted, and a quality look (it was designed by Henry Bumstead and shot by Dean Cundey). The music by Craig Safan is good and full of stingers along the way. The story is familiar but entertaining; there's some suspense, some action, impressive makeup effects, and a sense of humour to go with the expected thrills. Granted, it gets rather corny in the end, but for the most part it's quite enjoyable.

Biotek is a company operating in Utah that would seem to be doing agricultural research. But, in tried-and-true movie tradition, it's a front for a sneaky U.S. government that actually uses the place for designing germ warfare. Things go straight to hell when a particularly nasty virus, contrived with the purpose of stimulating the rage centre of the brain, gets loose and spreads throughout the building. Joanie (Kathleen Quinlan), a well meaning security guard, does her best in the situation at hand, while her worried husband Cal (Sam Waterston) works with scientist Dan Fairchild (scene stealing Jeffrey DeMunn) to make up for the bumbling inefficiency of the bureaucrats and officials (led by Yaphet Kotto as Major Connolly) that gather outside.

An obvious predecessor to subsequent efforts such as "Outbreak", "28 Days Later", and "Rec", this has some very effective moments. It shows how things make a quick progression from bad to worse. Quinlan and Waterston are appealing in the leads, and the always excellent Kotto and DeMunn are joined by Richard Dysart, G.W Bailey, Jerry Hardin, Rick Rossovich, Scott Paulin, Keith Szarabajka, Jack Thibeau, and Meshach Taylor in the supporting cast. Bailey in particular is noteworthy because, in addition to his comic chops that he showcased as sneering antagonist Harris in the "Police Academy" series, he can do good dramatic work like he does here. Dysart is very amusing as his character Dr. Nielsen becomes more over the top.

Very entertaining overall for fans of this kind of thing, this does have protagonists that gain our sympathy and the appropriate amount of twists and turns in its story.

Eight out of 10.
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10/10
One of my favourite movies!
MafiaScarecrow21 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Typically most sci-fi films featuring corrupt corporations (Resident Evil, Hell of the Living Dead) portray scientists as evil rats in white lab coats who tower over a mix of hazardous chemicals. This movie tried its best to be realistic, beginning with just average scientists who make the simple mistake of releasing a bioweapon that drives them to madness eventually. The government comes in, revealing that the Biotek Agronomics factory is secretly something the world shouldn't see. All the employees including most scientists and a security officer, get trapped inside Biotek as they begin to faint and get sick from the virus. Joanie (the security officer), wants nothing more than to help her co-workers and get back outside to her husband. She joins her scientist friend Doctor Schmidt, who is starting to also fall victim to the virus, and they realize that their once-normal co-workers have all gone insane from the virus, becoming hostile drones who want to kill everybody. By the time Joanie and Schmidt get away to the lab, Schmidt is already dying and Joanie wants to quickly find some sort of cure.

Meanwhile, outside, Joanie's husband Cal is teaming up with a former Biotek employee alcoholic to save everyone. They plan to infiltrate the premises, find Joanie and the scientists, and get out. When they get to the lab, Schmidt is dead (the virus had been on his contact lenses and Joanie murdered him to save herself), and Joanie is searching for a cure. When she finally finds one, she saves her friends and gets out with her husband. The only casualties are Schmidt and another older scientist, so the government shuts down Biotek and abandons it in an open but lonely field, leaving behind the dreadful events.

First off, I love the soundtrack. The main theme has to be the most amazing music I've ever heard in a film. Second, despite the budget, the actors did a great job and the film was made to look as real as possible. The mysterious Biotek building and its surroundings were excellently designed, and the plot was realistic. Unlike the completely unrealistic idea of cannibal living dead in Resident Evil and Hell of the Living Dead, Warning Sign showed something of a different sort, not zombies, just innocent people who were contaminated and then lost their minds to murder people. It's original, it follows real pharmaceutical science somewhat, and it was made before the 21st century (A.K.A. the century of stupidity if people think the Hunger Games garbage is better than this). I'd give it 10/10 stars any day, and recommend it to anyone looking for a horror film with real aspects of science in it. Sadly, Warning Sign is currently unpopular and very underrated. I think it's a movie everybody should see at some point, because it creates a scenario of the thing everyone is afraid of... what if scientists are doing something evil?
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5/10
This is NOT a zombie movie! Not by any definition!
EllenRipley1121 April 2006
I was told by another poster here that this was a zombie movie, so I found a cheap VHS copy on eBay and plopped down some PayPal to check it out. Sad to say, this is NOT a zombie movie. It's even MORE NOT of a zombie movie than "28 Days Later..." was. "28 Days Later..." and "Warning Sign" depict LIVE people, who become infected with a virus/germ that turns them into raging lunatics. "28 Days" was more extreme than "WS", in that the infection was instantaneous upon contact with contaminated fluid, whereas in "WS", the germ was airborne, and first you get really sick, then you PASS OUT (they didn't die--they showed the one guy was still breathing), and when you wake up, you are COHERENT, you RECOGNIZE others, you're just REALLY ANGRY and want to hurt people. In "28 Days", they were BLINDED by the rage, they screamed and grunted rather than talked, they bit and clawed--they were reduced to animals, while in "WS", they had conversations with the people before attacking them, if you can call those attacks. The "infected" in "28 Days" make those in "WS" look like PMSing Girl Scouts. I was kinda disappointed in "WS", even though it had a pretty good cast for 1985--but it was kinda sappy towards the end, too "they all lived happily ever after" for me. I'm sorry, but the "infected" in "WS" were NOT even close to resembling zombies!
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1/10
One of the worst films I've ever seen.
gfennimore-7993912 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The casting makes no sense. The acting is terrible. The story itself is preposterous. No one knows what they're doing in the lab nor what is going on. No one follows the protocols. It is a terrible film that is so bad it makes you angry. I was hoping that they'd all be killed except for the security guard, Kathleen Quinlin. Don't waste your time with this one. See Lifeguard instead.
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5/10
Good cast... lowwww budget
rcmoorejr1 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Sam Waterston... Kathleen Quinlan... Yaphet Kotto... Richard Dysart... all in all a good cast. It manages to never get truly laughable, even though it's pretty dated now. The story is actually not bad. Kathleen Quinlan is very good as a security guard trying to do the right thing when the biohazard erupts. Sam Waterston is okay...Yaphet Kotto would probably delete this from his credits if he could. What trips up this movie? The biohazard erupts and the plant seals itself automatically with steel doors. Then the government boys show up. Three lab workers who got out are rounded up and stuck in 'bubble boy' baggies, and they hang out with the rest of the townspeople in front of the plant through the movie(!)....they are conveniently unzipped in the final scene. A steel door protecting uncontaminated scientists is pounded by the crazed with a fire extinguisher... and in the final scene it is shiny and new when it opens to release the scientists... A jackhammer employed to cut a hole in the wall is clearly not working when the hole is opened. I must say, though, that it held my interest until the end.
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5/10
Deadly germs cause havoc.
michaelRokeefe11 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A small community in Utah stands by in disbelief and fear. There is a leak at Biotek, supposedly an agriculture research lab. These germs, exposed to the air, forces the ultra secretive building to be sealed off. Citizens want their loved ones rescued; not knowing that some are infected and are dropping dead. But, lo and behold, the dead are rising as berserk zombies. They become just as lethal as the germs slowly filling the building. The local sheriff(Sam Waterston) really has a hard task at hand, because his girlfriend(Kathleen Quinlan)is in there with the infected. Not necessarily suspenseful, the horror is minor; but the Sci-Fi flourishes. No great shakes. Others in the cast: Yaphet Kotto, Jeffrey De Munn, Richard Dysart and G.W.Bailey.
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