Blu-ray Review: Intruder: Director’s Cut

Scott Spiegel grew up making movies with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell and was a co-writer on Evil Dead 2. In 1989 Spiegel finally got the opportunity to direct his own low budget horror film and he turned to a short film he’d made as a kid. The result was the gore-fest known as Intruder.

The story is about as simple as it comes. A group of employees working overnight at a convenience store start their night out rough when a psycho ex-boyfriend shows up and picks a fight. Next, the crew find out they’re losing their jobs in less then a month. And if that wasn’t enough, the crew starts getting brutally murdered one-by-one.

The cast does a good job for a low budget horror film; almost all the characters are enjoyable. You even have Sam Raimi and Ted Raimi playing two of them. Evil Dead 2 fans will also recognize Dan Hicks. Then there’s Renee Estevez whose brother has been making some news lately (ahem, “winning!”). Bruce Campbell even shows up for a cameo at the end of the film as a policeman.

But what really makes Intruder work is two things. First is the quality of the special effects that make all the bloody deaths happen. I squirmed quite a few times while watching this. Second is the cinematography, which is the most fantastic, over the top camera work I’ve seen in a long time. There are crazy shots like from the point of view of the rotary phone or the shopping cart. Almost all the shots are very specific and executed on a very technical level. Sometimes they can be a little too much and they take you out of the film so you can appreciate the shot. But then something gory happens and you get sucked right back in.

The plot, what little there is, certainly has some serious holes. Characters appear and disappear exactly when the story needs them too. If you think about it too much you wonder how all these loud gruesome murders can be happening without anyone else noticing. But if you’re thinking too hard about this film then you’re missing the point. However, despite it’s plot holes, it’s got a pretty good twist at the end.

What’s really great about the gory deaths is not only are the some of the most grisly one’s you’ve ever seen, but they’re very clever as well. So on one hand you’re viscerally grossed out by what your seeing, but on an intellectual level you stop and think “damn, that was impressive. I really like the way they showed that.” And that’s why this film is unique and worth watching.

This film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and DTS-HD MA English 2.0 Mono. This is an all-new 2k HG transfer comes from the original uncut, uncensored film. Apparently the film was highly cut and edited upon it’s release, so now you can see it here are Spiegel and crew meant it to be scene in all it’s bone crunching gory goodness. And on blu-ray it looks great, the blood really shines on the screen.

Audio Commentary: with Scott Spiegel and Producer Lawrence Bender. It’s fun to here how excited these guys are to revisit this film. They provide some fun and interesting tidbits. A pretty good commentary all-in-all. Slashed Prices: The Making of…: (38 min.) This is a really great making of that talks about all aspects of how the film was made with some wonderful interviews with the cast and crew. Extended “Murder” Sequences from the Original Workprint (10 min.) Interesting for hardcore fans, but kind of boring. Outtakes from the now lost short film, Night Crew (7 min.) Sadly, the full 20 min. film has been lost forever, but these seven minutes show us where Intruder came from. Apparently Bruce Campbell was the cameraman on this film. The Slashing of Intruder (3 min.) Director Vincent Pereira tells a great story about how he wrote a letter to Fangoria magazine about the editing of the film and how Scott Spiegel sent him an uncut copy of the film personally. This one is cute. Original cast audition footage: (11min.) This stuff is kind of fun. Lastly you get a Behind the Scenes Still Gallery:, Original Theatrical Trailer as well as a DVD Copy of the film.

As a fan of horror films I wonder how some films slip by my radar and this was one of them. I’d never heard of it when I got it to review and got instantly excited as I read about who was in it and who had made it. When you see the co-writer of Evil Dead 2 on the box you instantly have a very high expectations. Intruder fully live up to those expectations and is essential viewing for any horror and gore fan.

Synapse Films present Intruder: Director’s Cut. Directed by: Scott Spiegel. Written by Scot Spiegel and Lawrence Bender. Starring: Elizabeth Cox, Renee Estevez, Danny Hicks, Sam Raimi and Ted Raimi. Running time: 88 min. Rating: Not Rated. But contains adult language and extreme violence and gore. Released on DVD: December 13, 2011. Available at

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