Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 23rd, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1989
Director: Scott Spiegel
Writers: Scott Spiegel, Lawrence Bender
Cast: Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Elizabeth Cox, Danny Hicks, Renée Estevez
BluRay released: December 13th, 2011
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A psychopath stalks and kills the night crew at a grocery store.
Intruder was co-written and directed by Scott Spiegel, who is most known for co-writing the screenplay for Evil Dead 2 (a film that was directed by Sam Raimi and starred Bruce Campbell, two of his longtime friends that he has known since high school). The screenplay for Intruder was co-written by producer Lawrence Bender, who a few years later Scott Spiegel would introduce to filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. This introduction would prove to fruitful, since he has served as producer on all but one of Quentin Tarantino’s films (that being Death Proof). Other alternate titles that Intruder include, Night Crew: The Final Checkout and Night of the Intruder.
Considering the talent involved in Intruder, it is surprising that this film has languished in relativity obscurity, with its fans base primarily being hard core Slasher film Fans. And while some of the reasons can be attributed two reasons, the first being how the film was severely censored upon its initial release and the other one being how it was originally planned for a theatrical release, only to get dumped on VHS.
Without a doubt this films most enduring asset is its location, the supermarket. Though the overall plot is fairly routine, ‘stalk and kill’ and not much more. To this films credit it does throw in a few interesting detours along the way, that things never drag or get to stale.
Of course all Slasher films are measured by their kill scenes and thankfully the kill scenes all well executed and sufficiently gory. A few of this films standout kill scenes include, a scene where one employee gets their head cut on a band saw and the other scene sees a employee getting their skull cracked open by a meat clever, while they are obliviously listening to music on their head phones.
Another area in which this film holds up well are its characters, especially the quirkier ones. And this is reinforced by the entire cast, who all give enthusiastic performances. With the films standout performance coming from the actor that portrays the killer. Ultimately Intruder is a criminally underrated Slasher film that does not miss a best.
Intruder comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This transfer is a brand new 2k transfer that is easily the best the film has ever looked on home video. If one wants to see how this new transfer is leaps and bounds ahead all that transfers that came before it, look no further then the darker scenes which have never looked crisper. Black levels look consistently great and colors and flesh tones look accurate. Grain looks natural, there are no problems with compression or edge enhancement.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. The audio is in very good shape as dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Though the range does at times come off as rather limited, at least the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
Extras for this release include the film’s original trailer (1 minute 19 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a second trailer under the ‘Night Crew’ title (1 minute 19 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a ‘Behind the Scenes’ stills gallery, original cast audition footage (11 minutes 4 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a segment titled ‘The Slasher of the Intruder with Filmmaker Vincent Pereira’ (3 minutes 27 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), outtakes from the now lost short film, Night Crew (6 minutes 50 seconds – 4:3 full frame), extended murder sequences from the original work print (10 minutes 26 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a featurette titled ‘Slashed Prices: The Making of the Intruder’ (38 minutes 24 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a audio commentary with Scott Spiegel and Lawrence Bender.
The brief segment with filmmaker Vincent Pereira is nothing more than how he discovered the film and how Scott Spiegel actual sent him a copy of the work print version of the film. Topics discussed in the audio commentary include the short film that served as the inspiration for this film, Scott Spiegel’s various collaborations with Sam Raimi and Campbell, this film’s main location, the special effects that appear in this film, how Lawrence Bender became involved in this project and various other production related topics. Topics discussed in ‘Slashed Prices: The Making of the Intruder’ cover some of the same ground that the audio commentary does, with the main addition being how other key cast and crew became involved in this production, most notably how Charles Band became involved in this project. Overall Intruder gets a first rate release from Synapse Films.
Note: Also included with this combo release is a DVD copy that has all the contents that are included on the BluRay counterpart.