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Intruder: aka "Night Crew: The Final Checkout"

Genre - Genre Classics

Director(s) - Scott Spiegel

Writer(s) - Lawrence Bender and Scott Spiegel

Blue Rider's Role - Bridge financier

Distributor(s) - Empire Pictures, Paramount Home Video (US video and laserdisc), Dragon Film Entertainment, Screen Entertainment (UK DVD), Wizard Entertainment (unabridged Director's cut DVD)

Release Date - 1988

Synopsis - A convenience supermarket's night shift crew spends its last evening of employment marking down the store goods in anticipation of the impending closure of the store. As the shift begins, an intruder comes calling: the ex-boyfriend of one of the young workers, fresh out of jail, looking to rekindle his old relationship but doomed to frustration. Irate with the cold response, the ex-jailbird gets angry and several members of the night crew eject him from the store.

As the night progresses, one by one the hapless staffers get brutally murdered. Who is to blame for the violent murders? Is it the peeved rebuffed boyfriend or is their an insane killer on the loose?

Critics' Kudos:
Alan Simpson, Sex Gore Mutants: "At long last (and long overdue) the DVD world is being treated to perhaps Scot Speigel's most underrated and finest work: Intruder, a gorgeous low-budget shocker that has long been one of the best-kept secrets of the genre scene.

"Intruder is one of the finest teen horror movies that has been unleashed in many years, and it is bewildering to try comprehend why it has taken so long to make its rightful way onto the DVD format. The plot and murder scenarios are done so convincingly well that any budget limitations are completely irrelevant.

"First off, Spiegel's direction is solid throughout and at times shows real class--little touches like the internal phone-cam shot (and others like it) show real quality in a low-key, Hitchcockian fashion.

"The small ensemble cast delivers a straight (and at times fun) performance with notable kudos going to the excellent demented psycho lead during the film's finale. Another key pleasure jolt for genre fans will undoubtedly be the excellent bloody death scenes, with some showstopping stunning gory moments that will please even the most die hard of grue fans. And lest I forget to mention the other key factor for fans of the Renaissance gang, the cameo acting appearances by fan faves Sam and Ted Raimi as well as a blink or you'll miss it from SGM's fave ham Bruce Campbell. Perhaps Sam and Ted's performances are most noticeable for the goofball lack of acting skills (sorry guys), but they are obviously having a bundle of fun appearing in this production (as well as enjoying being knocked off in a bloody manner by their old friend).

"Intruder is a great, simple slice of genre fun that I have long believed to be one of the slasher sleepers that has too long been ignored. Hopefully now this excellent DVD release will start to help get this film back in the spotlight where it truly belongs.

"This special edition DVD from Dragon Films does this great movie no shame either, with a lovely presentation. The main feature has been remastered from the original release and looks very good indeed, with a nice, strong image and good clear audio. The extras, though, are what make this release just that bit more special. First off there's the movie trailer with a bonus rough of the TV promo for the movie under its working title Night Crew. Next up is a wondrous treat for fans of the Renaissance team's work: it's the inclusion of two of the Spiegel's early super 8 shorts Attack of the Helping Hand and Tora! Tora! Tora! These are old home movies filmed on Super 8 that were never expected to see the light of day on a format like DVD, but I'm absolutely thrilled that they have at last appeared (and I'm sure the Renaissance gang's fans will agree with me!) Laughs aplenty are the order of the day with these two fun shorts, and you'll find plenty to chuckle about also. Next up on the extras we are get two deleted scenes: snippets of extended gore from the original workprint of the movie. The first has Raimi being impaled on a hook and the second is the oft-discussed head-on-the-butcher-saw scene, which in the main print is shocking enough--but this out-take takes it beyond that with more crazy carnage! Finally there are the obligatory filmography pages; this time around we get Spiegel's and Campbell's.

"Intruder is pure unadulterated fun: you get teens in peril, some great gore and some laughs in an all-around tasty package from the great Scott Spiegel. What more could you ask for? A cool, fun movie and a great package from Dragon Films, whose output gets better by the day (did I forget to mention the cool digipack that the disc comes in too, whoops!) Highly recommended - check it out!"

Mike Bracken, Toxic Universe: "By the time Scott Spiegel (From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money) released his debut film, the 1988 slasher flick Intruder, the subgenre was essentially on its last legs—partially because they never featured anything resembling an original story, and partially because the MPAA really began to crack down on onscreen violence in the mid 1980s; what once earned you an R rating in a genre film was now worthy of an X.

"So Scott Spiegel meets up with Lawrence Bender [future producer of Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill 1 and 2, From Dusk Till Dawn 1-3 and The Chumscrubber] and the two hash out an idea for a slasher film. Spiegel writes the script and handles the directing duties, and turns in his debut film, Intruder to the folks at Paramount (the same studio responsible for the Friday the 13th films until Jason Goes to Hell). Spiegel’s Intruder is a throwback to the slasher films of the early 1980s: short on plot, but just filled to the brim with stylish and over-the-top gore. Paramount submits it to the MPAA, who has a stroke over the violence. Paramount cuts five minutes of gore to get an R rating and releases the film to a public that’s made it abundantly clear they’re tired of PG-13-style slasher flicks, and the film disappears without a trace—nearly taking Spiegel’s career with it.

However, soon enough, an uncut print of Intruder turns up and slasher fans can rejoice because now they can see Spiegel’s film in all its uncut glory—with the full five minutes of gore restored. Sure, it’s a bootleg and of less-than-perfect video quality, but we all have to make concessions from time to time. The uncut version of Intruder is the only way to actually see this film.

"As far as slasher films go, this is one of the finer examples of the subgenre. There’s a menacing (but human) killer, violent death, an isolated location and plenty of potential victims. Factor all that in with Scott Spiegel’s inventive direction, and it becomes readily apparent why this film stands head and shoulders above many of its slasher-flick brethren.

"Spiegel (who worked with Sam Raimi) has an ultra-kinetic style. If you think Sam Raimi’s films are hyper-kinetic in terms of weird shots, camera movements and odd angles, then Spiegel can only be described as hyper-Raimi. There’s simply no shot that Scott Spiegel won’t try—-shopping cart cam (with the camera in the cart, looking out through the grate at the end), doorknob cam, distorted shots through jars--you name it. This technique adds an extra dimension to the film because we’re always anticipating what Spiegel’s next weird shot will be. The majority of the shots work—-and Intruder is a better film because of Spiegel’s inventiveness behind the camera.

"The film features a large ensemble cast, comprised mainly of people who worked on the Evil Dead films. Cox is certainly the star of the movie, with the rest of the cast being filled with guys like Sam Raimi (who plays Randy the butcher) and Ted Raimi (Produce Joe), with cameo appearances from Bruce Campbell, Lawrence Bender and even director Spiegel (the bread man). The inclusion of guys like the Raimi brothers in the cast is another wise choice; they’re not great actors, but the film becomes cooler simply because they’re in it. Ditto for the Bruce Campbell cameo; having Bruce in a scene just makes this movie better than it has any right to be.

"Still, what really makes Intruder stand out is the range of gore FX provided by the boys at KNB (before actually becoming KNB FX). Intruder is a classic slasher in just about every way—-which means that the deaths are violent and gory. The blood flows fast and furious here, with guys taking machetes to the head, a man getting his eye impaled on a spike, a guy being ripped in half, another being put on a meat hook (the hook goes through his face), a guy who has his head crushed by the box bailer, and the coup de grace: a guy who has his head cut in half with a band saw. (This scene rivals the ‘John Morghen takes a drill bit to the head’ scene in Fulci’s The Gates of Hell--which is high praise, indeed.

"Simply put, if you have a taste for the gorier things in life, you need to track down the uncut version of this film; the gore FX alone make it worth seeing.

Basically, they just don’t make movies like this anymore. Intruder is a pleasant reminder of a bygone era. Scott Spiegel pulls out all the stops here—-both in terms of stylish camera work and gore—to make a film that looks just like every other slasher flick out there, but manages to be more entertaining than almost any of them. For that reason, Intruder gets 4 stars from me. Intruder is well worth checking out."

Jackass Critics review (by "The Grim Ringler): "There was a filmmaking collective that included Sam Raimi, the Coen Brothers, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel and Josh Becker. Becker made a fun little killer hippie romp called Thou Shalt Not Kill and Speigel went on to direct Intruder, the film I present to you now.

"Intruder is a wonderfully silly gorefest that is cheesy as hell, but intentionally so. This ain’t art, kids; it’s a grindhouse ghoulie. Lots of bad acting, lots of gore–-and I mean LOTS. Holy crap, is this a gory movie! And hell, you can’t beat a movie which has Sam Raimi as a dopey clerk who gets killed and good. It’s a bit of a cult classic in the bootleg rings. You can live without seeing it, but it’s a damn fun movie."

Daulton Dickey, Film Threat: "Following the success of Evil Dead 2, co-writer Scott Spiegel parlayed his role in the film’s creation to a gig writing and directing a film for Paramount Pictures. Along with his producing partner Lawrence Bender, who would go on to produce Quentin Tarantino’s seminal films, Spiegel hatched a plan to create an old-school slasher film.

"This is a visceral film filled with eye candy and clever kills—-and nothing more. Spiegel, who obviously studied Raimi on the set of his previous films, often employs clever and bizarre compositions, filling his frames in such peculiar ways, such as filming a complete conversation between two characters via a mirror above a shelf—-with Oreos and Wonder bread in the foreground. In a strange way, its excesses become its virtues. For movies like Intruder, its budget, and the large ambitions achieved on such a small scale, become charming, and add to its appeal.

"Sadly, Intruder was released at a time when the MPAA, due to pressure from outside influences, began to crack down on on-screen violence, and as a result Paramount cut out nearly five minutes of the film’s bloodiest sequences—which proved death for a film relying on its gore as its key selling point.

"But good obscure movies have a way of finding an audience—-with or without studio backing. Intruder is a fun movie that found its audiences via uncut bootlegs and import laserdiscs and videos. And now, thanks to Wizard Entertainment, Intruder has made its way stateside in all its uncut glory. And if clever kills don’t sell the movie, maybe a young Sam Raimi hamming it up will."

BQueen, HorrorWatch: "There’s nothing I like more than finding an 80’s slasher flick that I haven’t seen, especially one that’s as much cheesy good gory fun as this one. How could I not search this film out after I found out it was directed by Scott Spiegel (Evil Dead II) and stars Sam and Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell?

"What made this film especially fun for me was Spiegel’s camera placement. You’ve got the phone cam, the bucket cam, the light cam, the killer cam, the floor cam, the doorknob cam--well you get the idea. Spiegel also uses objects to film through for distorted effects. Part of the fun is waiting to see where he’s going to put the next camera. His style really lifts the film up from the typical low-budget late 80’s slasher.

"In this un-rated directors cut version, two infamous gore scenes are added back in that were removed in its initial release: the trash compactor and the band saw kills. Both are well worth the price of purchase, thanks to the guys at KNB. That’s not even counting all the other death scenes which, I believe, are also lingered on longer in the uncut version.

"While the story isn’t original, the script is well written and the body count is high. If you’re a fan of slashers, 80’s movies, or just love the Evil Dead crew, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this little-known gem."

Viewers' Ratings:
As of March 9, 2007, 68.7% of 504 people who evaluated Intruder at the Internet Movie Database gave it positive ratins (median: 7 out of 10). The demographic groups that liked it most were males 17 and younger (who rated it 7.7 out of 10), males 18-29 (6.1) and males 30-44 (5.8).

Major Cast and Crew Credits and Awards:
Directed by Scott Spiegel (From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure, The Nutt House, Attack of the Helping Hand).

Written by Scott Spiegel (Evil Dead II, Stryker's War, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money) and Lawrence Bender (debut, but went on to produce many of Quentin Tarrantino's films).

Stars Renée Estevez (Lethal Weapon, Heathers, Single White Female, The West Wing, Addams Family Reunion; won Young Artist Award for Babies Having Babies); Sam Raimi (acted in Army of Darkness, Evil Dead II, Miller's Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Flintstones and Shemp Eats the Moon; won nine awards and six nominations for directing The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, Darkman, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Army of Darkness and A Simple Plan); Elizabeth Cox (Sixteen Candles, The Wraith, Night of the Creeps); Dan Hicks (Spider-Man 2, Evil Dead 2, Darkman, Wishmaster, 2001 Maniacs, Maniac Cop) and David Byrnes (Witchcraft 7: Judgment Hour).

Cast includes Eugene R. Glazer (No Way Out, Harlem Nights, Stand and Deliver, It's My Party, The Five Heartbeats); Billy Marti (Broken, Hollywood Confidential, Tracey Takes On); Burr Steers (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, The Last Days of Disco; won two major awards and four nominations for writing and directing Igby Goes Down); Craig Stark (Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, 2001 Maniacs, Border Radio); Ted Raimi (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Grudge, The Evil Dead, Clear and Present Danger); Alvy Moore (War of the Worlds, The Wild One, The Perfect Furlough, The Brotherhood of Satan); Tom Lester (Benji, Green Acres); Emil Sitka (Crimewave, Watermelon Man, The Nutt House; did 35 movies with the Three Stooges; claims to have been in 450 films, including comic shorts); Bruce Campbell (Fargo, Spider-Man, Intolerable Cruelty, Congo, Escape from L.A.; won a U.S. Comedy Arts acting award and another nomination for Bubba Ho-Tep;47 other films and TV projects ) and Lawrence Bender (Fresh, Lionheart, Pulp Fiction).

Executive producer (uncredited): Charles Band (From Beyond, Troll, Ghoulies, Puppet Master, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama; won the 1986 George Pal Memorial Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films; was nominated for Fansporto's Best International Fantasy Film Awards for Meridian and Crash and Burn; 172 other films and TV projects).

Producer: Lawrence Bender (Kill Bill Vols. I and II, Jackie Brown, An Inconvenient Truth, Fresh, Anna and the King, Four Rooms; Oscar and BAFTA Best Picture nominations and Indpendent Spirit Award winner for Pulp Fiction; Oscar nom, Golden Satellite nom and PGA Producer of the Year nom for Good Will Hunting; and Independent Spirit Award nom for Reservoir Dogs).

Cinematography by Fernando Argüelles (Christmas Child, Warm Summer Rain, The Shooter).

Film Editing by King Wilder (Night Game, Deadly Weapon, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death).

Production Design by Wendy Guidery (The Hiding Place, Red Sun Rising, Night of the Demons, Dead Dogs).

Art Direction by Mara Massey (was a set dresser on Man in the Moon, Starship Troopers and Dr. Dolittle 2).

Costume Design by Rena Eliashiv (Guns, Blink of an Eye, McCinsey's Island, Inner Sanctum II).

Career Launch:
This was the first feature for horrormeister writer-director-producer Scott Speigel (Evil Dead II, From Dusk Till Dawn II, Stryker's War, The Nutt House).


Release Data:
Video premieres in Japan, West Germany and U.S. in 1989; in UK in 1991 and in Canada in 1993.

Memorable quote:
"I swear to God, if my brother hadn't hit him repeatedly on the head with a blender he would have killed me!"











Links:
Internet Movie Database entry for Intruder

Rave review at SexGoreMutants.com

Rave review at Toxic Uni verse.com

Another Rave, this one at Film Threat

Glowing review at HorrorWatch.com

Intruder Fan Site

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