Written by: deadhorse13
From the deliriously warped minds of those who brought you Evil Dead 2, I bring to the chopping block a nifty little slice of 80’s hackenslash – Intruder. If not for some of the names involved in this project it might well have been delegated to the closeout bin years ago. Released to little fanfare in 1989 and subsequently cut on its initial video release, it was nice to revisit this film in all of its (wait for it) “grossery”.
Scott Spiegel, writer of Evil Dead 2, directs Sam Raimi and his brother Ted and a host of other relatively unknowns in this amusing splatter platter. The premise is as such: employees of a struggling supermarket find themselves at the mercy of an unknown assailant who terrorizes them. Can someone say cleanup in aisle 3?
We are introduced to Craig, recently released from the hoosgaw for manslaughter and still holding quite the torch for our female lead Jennifer. Craig attempts to take Jennifer back, but when she refuses Craig gets abusive and eventually locked out of the store - or is he? Likeable manager Bill (“the store’s my whole life”) then informs the loyal crew that they have a month till unemployment, then lightens the mood and chews the scenery with his ‘headless man eating a hamburger’ routine. Then as everybody gets back to business, someone starts taking the ½ off rebates way too fucking seriously.
KNB Effects handle the inventive gore including death by hydraulic press, jigsaw and paper-spike (talk about cashing out…and watch for the Evil Dead nod), eye in an olive jar, and enough slicing and dicing to please the Iron Chef. The camerawork you’ll either love or hate, obviously Spiegel here takes cues from Raimi and we get wonderfully bizarre POV shots and frenetic movement as the film unfolds from one scene to the next. Throw in some intentional sight gags and unintentionally funny dialogue and Intruder actually holds up better than many of its peers.
Look for a gratuitous Sting, some keystone cops, and even our beloved Ash cameos at the end as an additional badge. I must also give certain kudos to Burr Steers as Craig’s old stoner friend Bub who ends the movie’s backstory with "and if my brother hadn’t hit him in the head repeatedly with a blender, he would have killed me." Fun stuff.
8.5 on a 10 scale but I’ll round to 9 because I’m nostalgic like that.