the psycho escapes from a mental institution and returns home
to kill his wife. One month later, a disheveled drifter (Tony
Crupi) follows Jessie (Molly Cheek) to her secluded farm house.
While Jessie prepares for an evening dinner party with friends,
the drifter peeks in windows and a slasher thins out the guest
After a mildly interesting set up The Deadly Intruder
switches from a slasher to the little used "lonely woman terrorized
by dirty homeless guy" sub-genre. The little snippets of suspense
generated in the first ten minutes are murdered by a sluggish
pace, bad dialogue, and dumb characters. Most of the blame can
be placed on screenwriter/actor Tony Crupi, who seems to move
at a snail's pace because he knows it guarantees him more screen
time. Simply pulling his ass off the floor, depositing it in
a rocking chair, and putting his feet up takes two minutes.
Most insulting of all, the viewer is supposed to see Crupi's
kidnapping, woman hating character as a hero at the end of the
Despite the "so dull it will put you to sleep" middle, The
Deadly Intruder does have a few interesting points. Watching
former child star Danny Bonaduce getting dwarf tossed into a
television set by the killer is pretty damn hilarious. Bonaduce
must have had a serious case of the munchies during filming
because he's constantly shoving food in his mouth while on screen.
he kills, although never gory, do show some imagination. A fat
guy having his eye plucked out with a screwdriver is the most
extreme death shown. Synth fans will enjoy the score even if
it sounds a bit like the theme from Halloween.
Director John McCauly makes several critical mistakes in trying
to pull off the twist ending. It's really obvious the drift
can't be murdering people in town if he's skulking around the
house in the woods. Slasher fans should be able to spot the
killer after only a few minutes. Giving Crupi so much screen
time is also a fatal error. Watching stock footage of birds
and squirrels would have been better than seeing more of
that little weasel's face.
If you've ever thought "I'd like to watch a slasher but I have
to wash the dishes", then The Deadly Intruder is the
film for you. Watch the opening ten minutes then find something
to do for next thirty or forty. You won't miss anything interesting.
Somehow Molly Cheek's career survived this film and she later
became Jim's mom in the American Pie trilogy. One can't
say the same for Stuart Whitman, slumming as a small town sheriff.
Bonaduce has seen a resurgence in his career after beating drug
addiction. Sadly, we'll never see Danny thrown through another