When I was an impressionable young horror fan of thirteen I first saw pictures of Intruder in an issue of Fangoria. Instantly I was drawn to pictures of dismembered bodies stuffed into garbage cans, a head sawed in half, and various other bloody demises courtesy of the effects guys at KNB. So eventually when it was released on video by Paramount, I greedily snapped it up only for it to be missing all the glorious gore I saw in those magazine pictures. That's right, Paramount had chopped-up Intruder so it could get by the MPAA and for years the uncut version has only been available on murky bootlegs - that is until Charles Band and his newly formed Wizard Entertainment saved the day by releasing the film on DVD with all the missing bloodshed intact.
As with most slasher movies the story here is pretty simple. It's late one night at the Walnut Lake Market and right around closing time. Sooner than you can say "early suspect", cashier Elizabeth Cox is being harassed by her obsessive ex-boyfriend who's just out of jail and just won't take "no" for an answer. This leads to all sorts of scuffling with the employees, many uttered threats, and gives the movie one huge big red herring to ride out the first hour or so on.
After the customers are all out and the store is locked down for the night, the staff continues on in order to markdown all the stock when it's announced that the owners have decided to sell-off the store and it will be closing down within the month. Everyone is pretty bummed out by the news, but that's soon forgotten when someone begins methodically killing off the staff one-by-one in various gory ways.
While Intruder is a bit leisurely getting to the kills, when they do arrive it's all about the crimson flow as it's kicked off with a nice "eye stabbing" and goes from there as people are knifed, crushed in a garbage compactor, and generally cut to bits in rapid fashion giving the guys at KNB ample opportunity to mutilate the human body in ways rarely seen in late 80's slasher movies (you gotta see that "head saw" moment to believe it).
Coming off co-writing the successful Evil Dead II, director-writer Scott Spiegel gives the movie some style by coming up with various off-beat camera angles and even takes the opportunity to cast his ED buddies Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, and Bruce Campbell in smaller side roles (with both Raimi brothers being pleasingly killed off). His script is a bit thin and the character development is pretty mild, but this is all about deaths and they're worth the price of admission alone. Spiegel also manages to get in some alright suspense and excitement during the "cat 'n' mouse" scenes of the finale even throwing in a quite pleasing "twist" ending.
If you're a fan of slashers, like I am, then you owe it to yourself to pick-up a copy of Intruder. It might not be the "Special Edition" DVD rabid fans of the movie would love to have, but it is the first time it's been officially available uncut and that alone makes it worth the ten bucks you'll be putting out for it.
Visit Wizard Entertainment for more info and to order. (Chris Hartley, 9/23/05)
Directed By: Scott Spiegel.
Written By: Scott Spiegel.
Starring: Elizabeth Cox, Renee Estevez, Danny Hicks, David Byrnes.
Picture Ratio: Full Frame.
Picture Quality: I'm not quite sure is this is the correct aspect ratio for the movie, but it doesn't look to be "Pan & Scan", so perhaps it is. The picture here isn't the greatest clarity around, in fact it's just a tad above VHS quality, but it'll do just because of how hard the movie has been to come by all these years.
Extras: If you count a re-edited trailer by Wizard that gives always the killer's identity there's really nothing here except a few trailers for their other releases (Cinemaker, Monsters Gone Wild!, When Puppets & Dolls Attack!) and an ad for their website. Of course it'd be great to get something, even interviews, but oh well. I do however have to complain about the screenshot on the back of the box that's obviously superimposed Bruce Campbell on it - it's a total sham considering he's not in it until the very end and when he does show-up he's playing a cop.