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Intruder, The (1988)

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Scott Spiegel
Lawrence Bender
Sam Raimi
Bruce Campbell
Renee Estevez
Elizabeth Cox
Bottom Line: 

 Director Scott Spiegel met Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell at high school and they started to make 8mm shorts together. They were later joined by Josh Becker who also became a director in his sole right. Spiegel is the guy that was the fan of horror and the guy who piqued Raimi's interest in the genre. Both Spiegel and Raimi were huge fans of the Three Stooges, and they would often appear as actors in each other's directed shorts, so it seems only natural that Sam and Ted Raimi together with Bruce Campbell, would do the same for Josh Becker's Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except and for Spiegel's Intruder.
Intruder is a slasher with a keen sense of humour that was shot for $100,000. It's set in a supermarket during the night shift where a killer is wiping out the staff in grisly fashion. We have the entertaining Danny Hicks from Evil Dead II and Darkman, starring with Elizabeth Cox as Jennifer (both as supermarket staff) and David Byrnes gives a great performance as Craig, Jennifer's bitter former boyfriend. Ted Raimi plays Produce Joe, Sam plays Randy, and Bruce Campbell turns up in a bit part at the end as Officer Howard. We've also got cameos from Spiegel and Greg Nicotero. KNB provided the effects and the film was shot full-frame for a straight to video release.
Spiegel remarks on the Evil Dead II commentary track that he loves EDII but he wishes that it was more of a straight horror film like the first. I assume that he was talking about the violence levels because his own movie here is extremely violent but it's also VERY funny as well. For example, as soon as you see an unsuspecting Sam Raimi get hit and thrown into a pile of soft drink cans, you can't help laughing. Raimi's fame, his slapstick behaviour and line delivery afterwards are the significant factors. It's the same with Ted's performance as Produce Joe! As well as the novelty of watching both those guys, the three leads (Hicks, Cox and Byrnes) all perform well. As do the rest of the cast actually. Oh yeah, keep a keen ear out for the song that Sam sings briefly.
There's a lot of fascinating pov shots in this film. "Raimi shots" some might call 'em, but "Raimi/Spiegel/Becker shots" would be more appropriate. As well as the photography, the score is pretty good although it was a lot better in the first two thirds of the flick. If you like violent comedic slashers, you'll enjoy this film a lot. If you like either the Evil Dead films or Sam Raimi, you'll LOVE this film, and this is an essential must have for your collection.
The "remastered" print is rather poor but presumably better than VHS would be, and it comes with a choice of either English or German dialogues in Dolby 2.0 sound. The packaging's pretty cool which is unusual for a cardboard and plastic case (normally hate 'em) but this one's rather nifty. However, it's a bit of a gaff to confirm who the killer is in a photo on the back of the box. Doh! You have been warned.
The extras:
-10 page booklet (in German)
-2 trailers
-2 deleted scenes. (longer more violent versions of two deaths)
-Siegel and Bruce Campbell filmographies
-Pointless gallery (we have pause buttons ya know!)
-2 8mm shorts from the Spiegel/Raimi/Becker archives!!
All the wording on this DVD's packaging is in German. Having no idea what "Hurzfilme von Scott Spiegel" meant, I was astonished to discover that two 8mm movies had been included as an amazing extra, hence the high extras mark. This also makes this particular disc an absolutely essential purchase for fans of Raimi, Spiegel or Becker.
We have 1979's "Attack Of The Helping Hand" and 1981's "Torro, Torro, Torro!" Here's some info on each of those:
Attack Of The Helping Hand ('79) - Written, produced and directed by Spiegel, photographed by Sam and Bruce, and starring Linda Quiroz and Sam Raimi as the milkman. This lasts six minutes including the credits and it's a very early version of the Evil Dead II sequence where Ash fights with his own hand. A woman struggles with a disembodied gloved hand. The hand goes in the sink, ends up under a bucket, stabs someone in the back and also gives the finger at one point. Sound familiar?
Torro, Torro, Torro! ('81) - Written and directed by Josh Becker and Scott Spiegel, produced by Bruce Campbell, starring Scott Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, with appearances by Rob Tapert and Ted Raimi amongst many others. This one is great!! This more ambitious 7 minute short kicks off at the Franklin Cemetery where we see Scott Spiegel's lawn mower set off on its own causing lots of mayhem and damage. Campbell turns up in a variety of roles, the one where he's watering the flowers was the funniest for me!
I also loved watching Rob Tapert getting struck by the mower which was followed by a hilarious "Good heavens, that boy's fallen over on his back," voiceover for one of the extras. This short is absolute slapstick and it's VERY funny indeed. There's quite a few "Why You!"s here, the use of music and numerous daft gigs and setups, all surrounding the possessed lawnmower. This short has to be seen and heard to be believed. It made me laugh lots!!
Those two shorts are a pretty amazing extra from "Dragon." and they turn this DVD of Intruder into an absolute must have. Three films in essence, the six minute Helping Hand, the seven minute Torro! and then an 83 minute $100,000 project. Those two deleted scenes are also an impressive extra. They feature all of the footage shot for two of the deaths. If they had been included in the main feature, then Intruder would have attained a full gore rating from me. Nice to see them here though.

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