DVD Review: Intruder (1989) Unrated Director’s Cut


A night shift for the clerks and shelvers at a suburban supermarket is going to be their last. Not just because it’s soon closing for good, but because someone is using the Deli tools to butcher the crew. “Half Off” indeed. Scott Spiegel’s Intruder is an underrated slasher due to the infamous mangling it received by Paramount for it’s original 1989 release. But now it’s here Uncut, and can be judged in it’s true context. What makes the movie stand out from the pack are inventive camera angles, likable characters and a littering of details that ring true for retail clerks.

As is the norm with many Band releases, the transfer is Full Frame. It appears to not be Pan & Scan, which is a good thing, but Open Matte. The reason I suspect that is because there is too much vertical room above character’s heads. This ruins Spiegel’s deliciously framed shots, but at least you’re getting all of the horizontal. It’s a double edged sword. Black levels are too light, but instead of whining about that I fiddled with my contrast bright levels on the ol’ TV until I found a happy medium. The source of the print is unknown, but the quality places it firmly under a film remastering, but firmly above VHS. The sound is crisp and clear enough to satisfy. No background hiss at all, thankfully.

None, which would usually preclude covering it (we are special edition focused where our DVD reviews are concerned) but it is an important DVD release nonetheless. It took over fifteen years to get the film released uncut in an official, readily purchasable form, so I’m keeping that in mind to keep my thoughts grounded here. Sure, I think the movie needs another release down the line with a widescreen transfer and extras featuring the co-operation of Spiegel and the Raimis (those Evil Dead S.E.’s are gold) but for now, it does the job of getting the film out there in a way it was meant to be seen – uncut. It should be noted that there is a trailer included, but it’s a modern-cut and gives away the identity of the killer. Steer clear or you’ll be struck like a deer.

The green artwork and slanted logo implemented for the menu screens is more in tune with the Evil Dead films if anything – and seeing as how this movie shares many principle cast and crew from those flicks I can see why it was chosen. The cover art is nice and stark, sure to reach out to eyes on the store shelves. The only thing that bugs me is the crudely photoshopped Bruce Campbell from Army of Darkness into an Intruder shot on the back cover. Campbell is in the film all of one minute at the end (he doesn’t even get a close-up) and I’m fine with his name being on the front of the DVD to attract sales, because this is a movie the diehard Evil Dead fanboys will want for their collections anyway, but that fake image crosses the marketing line.

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6 Responses to “ DVD Review: Intruder (1989) Unrated Director’s Cut ”

  1. This film has long been a favorite, and gets one of the key ingredients of a good slasher right, a great location.

  2. I borrowed this from a friend in October as I had never seen it. I have to say that it really surprised mehow good the effects were. The Red Herring was so blatantly obvious, but still lots of fun to watch!

  3. I saw this for the first time a few months ago and I was thoroughly entertained, though as a “veteran” of the supermarket business I found it had quite a few unintentionally laughable moments – but many intentional ones too. A fun film.

    But I disagree with your opinion that it’s fine to put Bruce’s name on the front cover like that. Sure, he’s in the movie, but it’s a “blink and you’ll miss him” kind of part. Including his name in big, bold letters above the title implies he has a starring role, which he clearly does not. That kind of advertising really irks me.

    Another thing that bothers me (a little) is under Sam’s name: It’s “Spider-Man” not “Spiderman”.

  4. It’s amazing how bad the censors shredded this of ALL the gore on my old Paramount VHS. Possibly the most censored horror movie of the 80’s.

    So I was glad to get this DVD a couple of years ago with all the gore back in place. I find it kind of cheesy putting Sam and Bruce’s names on the cover since they only have cameo roles. And speaking of cameo’s Eb and Mr. Kimble from “Green Acher’s” was quite a surprise.Intruder is a damn fun and gory slasher that should appease any slasher fan.

  5. This is a great slasher, despite all of it’s shortcomings. It has some of the best camera work in any slasher film ever, plus the gore is top-notch. I remember back in the 80’s this film was like an urban legend. All of us gorehounds read about it in Fango, and saw the outrageous stills, and then it was shelved for years. When it was finally released, I rushed out and bought it(this was when a new VHS would set ya back $79.99), and was crushed that all the gore had been removed. It was amazing to finally see the whole vision intact, and Hambone is right, the location is one of the best in slasher history.

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