Today’s flick is 1989’s Intruder, a slasher film known for briefly featuring Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi.
Intruder was written and directed by Scott Spiegel, who also directed From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money and Hostel Part III. He is also a longtime fried and collaborator of Sam Raimi, and has appeared in the background of such movies as Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, Spider-Man, The Quick and The Dead, and Drag Me To Hell.
The cinematographer for Intruder was Fernando Argüelles, who has worked extensively shooting the television shows Prison Break, Grimm, and Hemlock Grove.
The editor for Intruder was King Wilder, who was a post-production editor on Men At Work and Dark Angel (aka I Come In Peace), and cut Cannibal Women In The Avocado Jungle of Death.
Intruder was the first producing role for Lawrence Bender, who has since become a frequent collaborator with Quentin Tarantino, producing his films Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill. Charles Band, who is best known for helming Full Moon Pictures and Empire Pictures, also served as an uncredited producer for distributing the film through Empire.
The effects team for Intruder included Howard Berger (The People Under The Stairs, Evil Dead II, Maniac Cop 3, In The Mouth of Madness, The Faculty), Robert Kurtzman (It Follows, Tusk, The Faculty, Maniac Cop 3), Greg Nicotero (Day of the Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City), and Sean Rodgers (Glory, Child’s Play 2, Deepstar Six).
The cast of Intruder included Elizabeth Cox (Night of the Creeps), Renee Estevez (The West Wing, Heathers), Dan Hicks (Maniac Cop, Evil Dead II), Sam Raimi (Maniac Cop, Maniac Cop 2, Miller’s Crossing), Ted Raimi (The Midnight Meat Train), Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness), and Eugene Robert Glazer (La Femme Nikita).
Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, who were childhood friends and frequent collaborators with director Scott Spiegel, both appear in the film. In spite of their small roles, both men were marketed as leads due to how recognizable they were from the Evil Dead franchise.
Reportedly, Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist, The Mangler) was at one point approached to direct Intruder early in the project’s lifetime, but decided to work on something else instead.
The original title of the movie was intended to be The Night Crew, but was changed in the hopes that a more generic slasher title would help the movie’s marketability.
The original VHS cover for Intruder hilariously spoils the identity of the mysterious killer, effectively ruining the suspense built throughout the film.
One of the first things I noticed when I first saw Intruder was how solid the effects looked. Honestly, the gore effects are fantastic for the movie being as low budget as it is, even if they are way over the top. It is kind of astounding to see how far the effects workers on this movie have come: all of them are now in demand makeup artists, with Nicotero and Berger leading the lauded effects team for The Walking Dead.
Likewise, the cinematography in the movie is way better than it has any right to be. The shots are generally creative and well constructed, and tense when they need to be. There are a few that are a bit too distracting, but the fact that there was effort and thought put into the shots at all puts this flick above most of its low-budget horror peers.
The acting in Intruder is almost certainly its weakest element. Most of the line-reads are painful to listen to, outside of one or two decent performances in the cast. However, you can’t argue that it isn’t honest to the genre.
For all of the flaws with the plot and acting in Intruder, the movie does have a good, well set-up red herring. The truth of the actual killer is very well concealed, and far overshadowed by the allusions to the more obvious, explicitly creepy antagonist.
Overall, Intruder is about as entertaining of a low-budget slasher movie as you are likely to find. It has a bit of a cracked sense of humor, great effects, and the sort of awful acting you would expect from this kind of movie. If you are looking for a horror film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is one that is worth checking out.