Intruder (1989)

Intruder cover.jpg

Intruder is a cheesy 80’s slasher movie made by the guys behind The Evil Dead – Scott Spiegel, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell – , soon to be Tarantino producer Lawrence Bender, and made under the watchful eye of Charles Band and his infamous Full Moon Pictures production company. However, this time, writer Scott Spiegel is in the directing chair whilst Sam and Ted Raimi take starring roles in this film about a murderer who carves up a group of young adults working overtime in a local supermarket. Intruder, unlike The Evil Dead, has only recently had a DVD release after having a very short and forgettable VHS run, but Intruder enjoyed a cult following over in America over the years since it’s original release, and the film is also a personal favourite of director Quentin Tarantino.

Intruder is very different to many other 80’s slashers, although it takes a lot of inspiration from it’s predecessors as there’s references to previous slasher movies such as Halloween, Absurd, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What makes Intruder stand out amongst it peers is that Scott Spiegel does away with the traditional slasher pacing formula and removes the predictable character stereotypes. Instead, the characters in Intruder cannot be defined by just one word, they’re more diverse, more natural than the characters that are typically seen in the traditional slasher film. Intruder also does away with the traditional three act structure and it is able present a story that feels less like a poor excuse for having an ‘iconic’ killer and gory kills, and more like a natural flowing series of events across one night.  As a result, Intruder is a slasher film that is truly unpredictable and, personally, it felt really refreshing to watch a film that deviates from the ‘paint by numbers’ slasher formula that I’ve become accustomed to throughout my years of film watching. Intruder does, however, include a lot of what makes a slasher film enjoyable in the first place as the boys from The Evil Dead show once again that they don’t shy away from the red stuff. Intruder is a splatter film that is packed full of blood and gore. The special effects of Intruder are some of the most brutal, and some of the most impressive that I’ve ever seen in a movie from the 1980’s. The gore effects definitely rival that of ‘Sultan Of Splatter’ Tom Savini in terms of realistic looking models, waterfalls of blood and ‘gung-ho’ style death scenes that are shocking and original. In the end, the death scenes of Intruder are really memorable, really brutal, and really unpredictable, as the death scenes of a good slasher film should be.

However, the greatest aspect of Intruder, in my opinion, isn’t the gore, isn’t the decent acting, nor is it the cheesy writing or memorable dialogue. The best aspect of Intruder is the cinematography. Fernando Arguellies – the cinematographer for Intruder – is a very creative man when it comes to camera angles. The film may be set in a simple supermarket, but the camera angles are so creatively done with memorable shots from inside phones, behind bottles, in mirrors and many more. This visual aspect makes Intruder incredibly visually pleasing to watch, even if the lighting and the sets are quite basic. By being very well shot, Intruder definitely stands out from the hum drum of 80’s slasher movies on looks alone.

All in all, I found Intruder to be a very enjoyable film to watch. It’s definitely refreshing to watch a slasher film that deviates from the predictable slasher formula and actually embraces it’s own particular brand of originality and craziness. Intruder is cheesy, comedic, even gross and gloriously brutal, but it’s an enjoyable horror movie at heart and I’m very happy that I saw it. In conclusion, Intruder is definitely a must see Midnight Movie that needs it’s own cult following with English Gorehounds such as myself.

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