If there is one genre that's been exploited to death over the years it has to be the slasher film. Some are good, some bad, others excellent but there will always be the large batch of these films that are so bad that they shouldn't have ever been made. Luckily this isn't one of those films that are complete wastes of time, as it’s actually a fun little slasher flick. Not that it changed the face of the slasher film forever or anything, but it did manage to make a mark in special effects as it was the first film that the KNB effects crew (Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger) collaborated together on. That alone makes it a pretty important film, but the fact that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell actually make appearances here make it noteworthy otherwise too. But personally that stuff doesn’t matter to me as much as the movie itself, which considering what they had to work with, is still a pretty nasty and effective little number.
"Intruder" takes place in a grocery store late at night and literally from the first scene in the movie you can tell something here isn’t quite right. As the night crew is getting ready for their work for the evening and the store is preparing to close, a cashier has issues with an ex-boyfriend. He's kicked out of the store and gets into a physical altercation with some of the employees before making his exit. Almost immediately after the skirmish employees of the store are bumped off one by one by a sadistic killer and the blood starts to flow. Is it the jealous ex-boyfriend looking for revenge, or is there another madman about taking them out?
Although the story of “Intruder” isn't anything new for the slasher film(although it’s probably the first time one was set in a grocery store), there is one thing that does set it apart from lesser films. That fact is that although it's not going to have you thinking, it's certainly a lot of fun from beginning to end. First off the kills in the film are pretty spectacular and considering that the movie is mainly shot in a grocery store director Scott Spiegel manages to make a decently suspenseful film. Some Slasher flicks screw up their stalk and slash scenes royally or lack them altogether. This one though manages to get everything right in that department and it makes for a much more entertaining experience overall.
Renee Estevez (Lethal Weapon) plays a side role in the film and honestly she should have probably been the lead. The lead actress (Elizabeth Cox) doesn't have the chops to really play the role she's given and it hurts the film a bit. Not like you're in need of an Oscar award winning performance here, but it does effect the film in my opinion. The fact that Sam Raimi is in a film like this (as is his often killed in horror films brother Ted) is just insane and adds to the fact that it's actually a pretty special flick for what it is.
I have to admit to being skeptical the
moment I heard “Intruder” was coming to Blu-ray as I didn’t think there was
enough of a demand for the film to warrant such a release. Also, it’s far from a classic of any sorts so
it was pretty surprising to hear someone was going to release it. Then I heard that Synapse films was putting
it out and it all started to make sense.
If you’re unfamiliar, Synapse puts out Independent films as well as
pictures from all over the world, generally in the horror or exploitation
genres. They do fantastic work in
remastering all of their titles, so almost immediately became excited for the
release after finding all of this out.
Luckily my expectations were met here too as they did a fantastic job
remastering this one and it’s easily the best I’ve ever seen the movie
look. Not only that but they really went
all out with the special features too. The
disc includes a commentary track with director Scott Spiegel and producer
Lawrence Bender which is brand new for this release. Also there is a making of featurette titled “Slashed
Prices” that is probably more than anyone would ever expect for this type of
movie. I found it fun and informative
and was honestly more than your typical special feature fluff piece. The extended murder sequences from the
workprint of the movie are included here as a feature, as well as outtakes from
the Scott Spiegel short film “Night Crew” (which is basically a shorter, rough
draft of “Intruder”), cast audition footage, a still gallery, as well as the
Overall I would say that "Intruder" isn't the greatest slasher film ever made, but it's also far from the worst. As far as they types of movies go they just generally have to be a boatload of fun if anything which this one manages to be. The effects are damn good and it's also a pretty interesting flick to see considering it's not widely known as slashers that aren't even remotely as good as it is. Couple that with the fact that Synapse has loaded up this release, I have to say that as far as I’m concered, it’s RECOMMENDED.
Rating - **1/2
Blu-ray Rating - ***1/2