November 12th, 2008 by Anna McKibben

Intruder   intruder frontdvd 83x120 reviews horror Director: Scott Spiegel
Writer: Scott Spiegel, from a story by Lawrence Bender
Release Year: 1989

Say it ain’t so, Produce Joe!”

Intruder   mr horror minilogo reviews horror The night crew at a small grocery store is getting picked off like so much fresh produce, but who is doing the harvesting?

(Spoilers follow...)

Intruder   intruder titledvd 300x225 reviews horror

The 1980s gave us some of the best and worst bits of pop culture: side ponytails, ninja turtles, old women inquiring about the location of “the beef,” and slasher movies. Out of this last entry, there have been some classics, some crap, and some hidden gems. One of these gems is Intruder, one of the last of the 80s slashers and actually one of the best. Featuring some inventive kills, no less than two members of the Raimi family, and a horribly mis-marketed cameo by Bruce Campbell, Intruder is primarily about Jennifer (Elizabeth Ross) who is apparently being stalked by her ex-con ex-boyfriend Craig (David Byrnes). I say apparently, because anyone who’s seen the trailer for this movie would know that he isn’t the killer, nor is he even the bad guy. In fact, the trailer makes it pretty obvious that store manager Bill (Dan Hicks) is the perpetrator.

Intruder   intruder dan 300x231 reviews horror

“Betcha’ can’t guess I’m the killer!”

Saying that doesn’t really spoil the film at all; the fun here really lies in two things: the gore and the acting. We can gratuitously thank KNB EFX (helmed by Robert Kurtzman, Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero) for providing the rather amazing and quite unique death scenes here: a band saw slices through a man’s head, someone else has their head smashed in a trash compactor (which always makes me want to shout out “garbage day!,” except that’s from the craptactular Silent Night Deadly Night 2), and Sam Raimi – in a scene that should thrill anyone who hated Spider-Man 3 – ends up on a meathook.

Intruder   intruder sam 300x228 reviews horror

“I got the perfect role for you in Spider-Man 4.”

As fun as the kills are in Intruder, the acting is the real treat. Admittedly, I am biased in favor of anyone named “Ted Raimi,” but aside from his amusing turn as Produce Joe (why he gets the goofball nickname and no one else is a mystery), Intruder also features Ted’s lesser-known brother Sam, Renee Estevez (Emilio and Charlie’s little sister), Dan Hicks (whom we all know and love as Jake from Evil Dead II), and cameos from Bruce Campbell, Lawrence Bender, and Emil Sitka, who is best known as a stock performer from the classic Three Stooges shorts. The cast is proof that Spiegel is trying to make an amusing film. There is no way anyone could take this film completely seriously.

Another aspect of the film that provides even more fun is the setting. To my knowledge, this is the first horror film set primarily in a grocery store, and it’s a much better comedic experience than The Mist, which was a Debbie-Downer film if ever there was one; feel-good comedy of the year, my ass! But the setting for Intruder also provides one of the bigger plot-holes: How did no one hear anyone else being killed? In particular, how come no one reacts when one character is pulled through the beer cooler while dozens of cans of beer fall to the floor? More importantly, why did no one rush to save the beer? Won’t someone think of the beer?

Intruder   intruder ted 300x229 reviews horror

“Meat cleaver in my head, you say?”

This brings me to the film’s ending, which is admittedly clever, but also a forehead-slapper. Jennifer and Craig discover that Bill is the bad guy. The police have already been contacted regarding the late-night shenanigans at the grocery store, but what no one expects is that the cops will bust Jennifer and her greasy ex for the murders! That’s right, when officers arrive on the scene, they see the former lovebirds beating the holy living crap out of Bill, which leads Bill to claim that they are the ones responsible for any deaths. And the cops believe him, because Craig is an ex-con! I believe this is the part of the review where you imagine the “you lose” horns from The Price in Right playing in the background.

Something else to consider, which really has no bearing on the film itself, but is a major bone of contention with people who actually have purchased the DVD for Intruder, is the DVD packaging. By all accounts, this DVD is sold as a “Bruce Campbell/Sam Raimi” starring feature. The back of the DVD states that the film is about an ex-cop trying to solve the murders, and also features a still of Campbell from Army of Darkness, to give the impression that he is in the film for more than about two minutes. Do not be fooled, unless you already were. In that case, all I can say is, do your research, sucker.

Intruder   intruder bruce 300x227 reviews horror

“You mean, I’m not the star?”

The real star of the picture is Hicks, who overplays his role to pitch-perfect degree. He gets that it’s a B-movie; hell, it’s really a bit closer to B-minus, but he knows that and he uses it. He also gets the best lines in the film, one of which features prominently in the trailer: “I’m just crazy about this store!” That line is the real giveaway to the killer’s identity, because no one would just say that about a grocery store in Detroit, unless you’ve never been to Detroit. Anyone who has would know better.

All this aside, Intruder really is one of the unsung slashers of the 1980s. I can’t call myself a big fan of slasher movies, but this one even tops Halloween for me. Intruder, along with Joseph Zito’s The Prowler are my favorite of that sub-genre. So sue me, I like to have fun while watching movies. Whaddya’ gonna’ do about it, knock my block off?

Rating: Intruder   star reviews horror Intruder   star reviews horror Intruder   star reviews horror Intruder   star reviews horror Intruder   blankstar reviews horror


DVD Specifics

Intruder   intruder backdvd 85x119 reviews horror Intruder   19 square reviews horror Running time: 85 mins (uncut)
Region: 2
Audio: English, Mono 1.0
Subtitles: Dutch & French
Aspect ratio: 4/3 (1.33)
“Trailer” (Intruder)
“Trailers Mr. Horror Presents” (White Skin, Next Door & Pin)
Booklet (4 pages) with liner notes, pictures & terror trivia



Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Bookmark / Share:
  • Intruder   facebook reviews horror
  • Intruder   stumbleupon reviews horror
  • Intruder   digg reviews horror
  • Intruder   reddit reviews horror
  • Intruder   twitter reviews horror
  • Intruder   myspace reviews horror
  • Intruder   delicious reviews horror
  • Intruder   linkedin reviews horror
  • Intruder   mixx reviews horror
  • Intruder   netvibes reviews horror
  • Intruder   tumblr reviews horror
  • Intruder   printfriendly reviews horror