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It's 10 p.m. the night before Walnut Lakes neighborhood supermarket closes its doors forever. The owners and night crew have a long shift ahead of them - longer than they think. Weird things start happening. The phone lines are cut, and the night crew start dying, one by one, in the most gruesome ways imaginable.
For more about Intruder and the Intruder Blu-ray release, see Intruder Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 3, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi
Director: Scott Spiegel
» See full cast & crew
Intruder Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 3, 2012
Scott Spiegel's "Intruder" (1989) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Synapse Films. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original theatrical trailer; making of featurette; extended scenes; outtakes; audition highlights; stills gallery; audio commentary with writer/director Scott Spiegel and producer Lawrence Bender; and more. In English, without optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
The entire film takes place in a small supermarket somewhere in Michigan. At the end of the day, a young and unshaven man wearing a leather jacket (David Byrnes) walks in and attempts to talk to the beautiful cashier Jennifer (Elizabeth Cox, Night of the Creeps). The girl does not look too happy to see him but he does not seem to care much about her feelings. They exchange a few words and then he leaves.
Shortly after, the manager, Danny (Eugene Glazer, TV's Walker, Texas Ranger, New Blood), and his assistant, Bill (Danny Hicks, Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn), gather all of the employees and announce that the store has been sold to the city. The surprising announcement makes everyone extremely sad. Back in his office Danny tells Bill that he does not care about the employees and their feelings and cannot wait for the check from the new owners to clear.
Fastforward. After the employees begin stocking the shelves, the unshaven man reappears – and then disappears again. Later on he begins calling the cashier while she is trying to close her station with another girl who works in the store. She panics and tells the second girl that the unshaven man is actually a former boyfriend, who has just been released from prison. At this point, the supermarket is already closed and all of its doors locked.
The fun starts here. Someone begins stalking and killing the employees, one by one, as they try to finish their last stocking assignments. Initially a few of them incorrectly assume that the killings are actually sick jokes, but then they realize that things really cannot be any more real and panic.
Directed by Scott Spiegel, who also directed From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money but is probably better known for his collaboration with Sam Raimi on Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, Intruder was completed in 1989 and initially released on VHS - though severely cut - by Paramount Home Video. For its Blu-ray release, Synapse Films have done an all-new 2K digital restoration of the original uncensored director's cut, which is what fans of the film have been hoping to get.
Intruder delivers exactly what these types of genre films should - plenty of graphic killings. Though a few go slightly overboard with the red paint, most are well done and a few even looking stylish. The shaky camera movement is also effective, enhancing the spooky atmosphere, not detracting from it.
The plot, however, is quite weak. Once all of the main characters are identified, the narrative veers off in a predictable direction. This isn't to say that it is entirely transparent, but fans of the genre Intruder belongs to will quickly figure out how the film is likely to end.
Practically all of the fun is during the second half of the film, where in addition to the graphic killings there is also some spicy dark humor. The dialog could be rough at times, but some of the awkward scenes have a certain campy charm.
During the first half of the film the acting is far from impressive, but once the killer begins playing with the clueless employees it improves dramatically. Some of the actors look far more relaxed and willing to improvise shortly before their characters are dismembered.
Cult star Bruce Campbell has a cameo appearance in Intruder. He plays a cop who arrives at the supermarket with his partner at end of the film and states the obvious: "It's a bloodbath in there, man".
Intruder Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Scott Spiegel's Intruder arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Synapse Films.
Synapse Films continue to impress with the attention and care they give to various cult films. Last year they produced a marvelous Blu-ray release of Radley Matzger's The Image, which is without a doubt the most competent treatment an erotic film has received since the high-definition format was launched. This time around the studio has tackled a cult slasher film, and once again the final result is surprisingly good.
After an all-new 2K digital restoration, Intruder transitions to Blu-ray with a strong high-definition transfer. From start to finish detail is very pleasing, while clarity and contrast levels remain stable. Color reproduction is also very convincing, particularly in those sequences where light isn't restricted; colors are stable, well saturated and natural. Furthermore, there are no traces of severe denoising or post-production sharpening. Unsurprisingly, light grain is noticeable and detail never looks compromised. There are no serious compression issues to report in this review either. This being said, some extremely light noise has been retained (and from I see, it appears to be a byproduct of the scanning), but none of it is even remotely distracting. There are also a few scattered damage marks (see the tiny line that splits the image in screencapture #8) that could not be addressed during the digital restoration. Still, the overall quality of the presentation is very, very good. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Intruder Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. For the record, Synapse Films have not included optional English subtitles for the main feature.
The audio appears to have been optimized very well. When the killer observes and later on approaches his victims, the sound design (music and supporting effects) has clearly benefited from the loseless treatment. Clarity, in particular, is very good. The dialog is also crisp, clean, stable, and easy to follow. Overall, however, do not expect the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track to test the muscles of your system because more often than not it is easy to tell that the film was made with a small budget.
Intruder Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Intruder Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Scott Spiegel's Intruder is a groovy low-budget slasher flick which has been given the royal treatment by the folks at Synapse Films. This is the fourth Blu-ray release I have seen from them (my favorite is Radley Matzger's The Image) and at this point I have to place them amongst the very best cult labels in the U.S. Clearly, they are very passionate about their work. Let's hope that they will also be able to bring to Blu-ray some of the cult European films in the Impulse Pictures catalog. RECOMMENDED.
Intruder: Other Editions
Intruder Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Intruder Blu-ray - October 5, 2011
Synapse Films will release Intruder on Blu-ray this December. Director Scott Spiegel's 1989 horror film centers on a homicidal maniac hunting the overnight staff at a supermarket. Featuring performances from cult favorites like Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness) ...
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