A long time ago in a suburban backwater far far away, a gaggle of teen wannabe shemps spent their time messing about with their super 8 cameras making fun wee comedy shorts. Their destiny was inevitable as the motley movie fans were to become world famous for infamous delights such as the Evil Dead series and more recently blockbusters like the Spiderman movie. We all know about the ups and downs of high profile folk like Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell but what of the guy called Scot Spiegel.
Well, at long last (and long overdue) UK horror fans are being treated to perhaps 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 and is now officially released in the UK fully uncut.
The simple plot premise sees the night shift staff of a convenience supermarket as they spend their last evening of employment marking down the store goods in anticipation of the impending closure of the store. The management has decided to call it a day and are selling up. Now where is the story there you may ask but read on...As the shift begins an intruder comes calling, it's the ex-boyfriend of one of the young workers fresh out of jail looking to rekindle his old relationship but understandably the interest is one way only. Irate with the cold response the ex-jailbird gets somewhat tetchy and it takes several members of the night crew to hold back the disgruntled lad and eject him from the store. But this won't be the last they here from him - well this is one determined guy! The team go back to their business but as the night progresses things start to go horribly wrong as one by one the hapless staffers get brutally murdered in a lovingly gory fashion. Who is to blame for the violent murders? Is it the peeved rebuffed boyfriend or is there an insane killer on the loose?
'Intruder' is perhaps one of the most simplistic but 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 truly are of the paint by numbers stylee but it is that fact that they 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 deliver a straight (and at times fun) performance with notable kudos going to the excellent demented psycho lead during the films finale (we won't mention names for the sake of spoiling the viewing pleasure for first time viewers!) Another key pleasure jolt for genre fans will undoubtedly be the excellent bloody death scenes with some show stopping 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). Ted thankfully went on to enjoy some success in front of the camera but perhaps thankfully Sam utilised his skills where they belong behind the directors chair.
'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 and hopefully now this solid DVD release will start to help get this film back in the spotlight where it truly belongs.
This very welcome uncut DVD release from the lovely folk at Hard Gore does this great movie no shame either with a solid presentation. First off the main feature looks to have been mastered from a decent enough video master (in fact most likely the same one that Dragon used for their previous German release) and looks very good indeed with a nice strong image (more so considering the print source) and good clear audio, so no complaints there.
The extras whilst not the singing and dancing extras presented on the aforementioned Dragon release (Spiegel's early super 8 shorts and some ropey workprint cuts are missing here but that's probably more to do with legal issues than anything else) this is still a solid rounded package. First off there's the (always welcome) movie trailer with a bonus rough of the TV promo for the movie under its working title 'Night Crew' which ok is indeed rough looking (well its source looks like it came straight from a tape of a Box Office US TV segment) but welcome nonetheless. Next up are some production notes by the Wilson Brothers that makes for nice teaser reading for newcomers to the movie and rounding things off is a very lengthy interview with Scott Spiegel that is both relaxed and informative along with extensive filmographies for the films key players and the usual (but welcome) Hard Gore trailer selection.
A cool, fun movie and a solid package from Hard Gore whose output gets better by the day. Hard Gore continually impress me with their licensing decisions and persistence in seeking to deliver contentious horror product, they took the gamble and have struck lucky getting 'Intruder' passed uncut onto the UK market at long last!'Intruder' is pure unadulterated fun - you get teens in peril, some great gore, some laughs in an all round tasty package from the great Scott Spiegel. What more could you ask for? Highly recommended - check it out!
Review by Alan Simpson
|Released by Hard Gore|
|Region All Pal|
|see main review|