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‘Clean up in aisle DEAD!’ Or maybe, ‘Price check for some DEATH!’ Or how about, ‘Attention shoppers… your local grocery store will be MURDERING you in fifteen minutes. So please bring your final purchases to the front lanes…’ Yeah anyway, let’s talk about Intruder!
So what do you get when you take a good chunk of the cast and crew of Evil Dead 2 and put them in a grocery store? You know where I’m going with this. Originally a short film entitled ‘Night Shift’, Intruder centers on a crew of grocery store employees closing the store as they are picked off one by one by a… well, an Intruder. There is more to it than that though.
We get introduced to the silly cast of characters, when Jennifer’s (Elizabeth Cox… and yes, she was Kathy in Night of the Creeps) deranged ex-boyfriend Craig (David Byrnes), who not only is rocking the world’s toughest mullet with a leather jacket, but also tries to threaten Jennifer into a date. Kinda surprised it didn’t work. Thought women liked men who are straight forward. Snapping into action, Linda, the more talented, yet greatly underappreciated Estevez sister, Renee, flips the poop switch and along side of the whole store beat Craig’s arse until he leaves. Man and you thought rent-a-cops were bad!
Now that this problem is out of the way, the crew is informed by store manager Danny (Eugene Glazer) and co-manager Bill (Danny Hicks! You know, the redneck guy that screams, “BOBBI-JOOOOO!” in Evil Dead 2!) informs them the store is closing forever. Not surprising, with the state of the economy and all.
Like any good stalker, Craig continues to call the store and harass Jennifer, so they call the police. In typical slasher form, they are totally useless… so, oh well. Linda finishes up her work and is immediately murdered. Some copies of the box art advertise it like Renee Estevez is the heroine of the film, so I can see how what I just wrote may be confusing to some people who have never seen the film, but have passed by the video in a store and only picked up the box and said, “Hmm… this could be good, but let’s get Grumpier Old Men instead.”
The crew decides to multi-task and search for Craig while working. Bill investigates outside, but is knocked out by Craig, so surely he is the killer…right? And this is the point where everyone is picked off one by one in some of the most grotesque and brutal manners. Hopefully you see the Director’s Cut (which is pretty much every DVD and the Blu-Ray copies) and not any other edition, because the death scenes are heavily cut. Intruder boasts some really amazing special effects by KNB. The Blu-Ray even includes extended death scenes (work print quality) as a bonus feature! People get their head’s sawn in half, hung up by meat hooks, eyes gouged out and a head even gets crushed by a trash compactor!
Also, this is Scott Speigel’s directorial debut and I have to say… he chooses some very interesting cinematography. A lot of random items get their own POV shots, like a door knob, a bottle of liquor… these are all very stylish and cool looking.
Now I can’t really go too much more into the film without spoiling the ending, although some older box art does spoil who the killer is. Instead, I’ll conclude by saying Intruder is a bloody good time. Everyone does a top notch job and even some of the over the top moments are fun to watch. You can tell everyone was having a good time making this film and it really shows. Danny Hicks has some of the best line deliveries and tells an amusing story about being a fireman. Ted Raimi is funny to watch as always and it’s interesting to see Sam Raimi in front of the camera acting. It’s also interesting to note that Bruce Campbell got top billing (courtesy of Paramount’s ‘great’ marketing), although he is only in the film for a mere moment. Add that to all of the great gore effects with some pretty creepy atmosphere and you have a recipe for a good ol’ fashioned slasher. If you don’t have Intruder or have never seen it, then you are dead to me. We can no longer see each other, but we can still be friends. I want to see other people and I am breaking up with you… until you see Intruder.
Check out the trailer for “The Intruder”