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The Intruder (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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The Intruder (1975) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersIn one key scene of The Intruder, where the art of murder comes into full effect, Mickey Rooney is being led by a shadowy figure up the steep and winding steps of a lighthouse.  The lantern room is shimmering with light.  The sun pierces the glass of the storm panes and Rooney pauses.  He seems to recognize the man.  And then, before he can utter anything else, the camera slips behind the Fresnel glass and the chaos of the moment is crystallized as a strong arm pierces the brilliance of the morning and squeezes out his last breath.

Oh, how I do love regional horror films.  Especially, when they are as well done as director Chris Robinson’s The Intruder.  Assumed lost for over forty years due to a bickering production company at war with itself, this example of well-done slasher theatrics is definitely one for the history books.  We just need to start mentioning it now that it has been painstakingly remastered from the only surviving 35mm print thanks to Garagehouse Pictures.  

Discovered in a storage facility in the Mojave Desert, The Intruder is the story of how eleven strangers – actors George De Vries, Buddy Desaro, Robinson himself, Phyllis Robinson, and Warren Siciliano – are summoned to a Florida estate concerning the location of an alarming amount of gold.  With Ted Cassidy (Lurch from The Addams Family) and The Munsters’ Yvonne De Carlo involved, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to want to check this title out. 

The bodies start piling up rather quickly as various members of the group are taken out one by one by a mysterious killer.  The remaining members of the group are unsure of everything.  They remain calm, even if they begin to wonder about the sanity of their host – who hasn’t made an appearance yet.  Once a storm settles in across the location, all hell breaks loose.  A body is propped up outside of dining room patios.  And a strange man walks the house.  This is supposed to be an island paradise?  Count me out.

If the suspense established by Jack McGowan’s camera styling – which gets pretty trippy in the murder sequences – doesn’t creep you out, there are always the squawking electronic and echoing effects of the soundtrack to keep you on your toes.  It’s only a matter of time before the remaining members of the will reading turn on each other.  While it does pattern itself after Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, Robinson – who is best remembered for his performances in 1972’s snake thriller Stanley and General Hospital as Dr. Rick Webber – pulls everything together to create a nice low-budget Giallo type slasher.

As I stated, the 35mm print, left to decompose without a second thought, was found in a warehouse on the outskirts of the desert and, only due to the investigation prowess of Garagehouse Pictures’ Harry Guerro upon the sighting of the film’s title as vinegary fumes of spoiled film wafted up from the canister, was the film even given a chance to be rescued.  And even then – with no further data on the film (as even Rooney’s biographers considered its existence a rumor from Rooney’s addiction-riddled years) – the research on the film proved to be quite an endeavor.  Not to mention the remastering of the damaged print.  Even if this thriller dips in energy from time to time, The Intruder is a very special release that Horror Hounds will absolutely want in their collection.

Look out behind you!  The Intruder has arrived.

The Intruder (1975) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
87 mins
Director
: Chris Robinson
Writer:
Chris Robinson
Cast:
Ted Cassidy, Yvonne De Carlo, George De Vries
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
It Will Kill Them All
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
Notheatrical release
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 1, 2017
Synopsis: Mickey (THE MANIPULATOR) Rooney, Yvonne (THE MUNSTERS) De Carlo, Ted (THE ADDAMS FAMILY) Cassidy and Chris (STANLEY) Robinson (who also wrote, produced and directed) star in a story of greed, murder and irrational madness. The lust for gold brings eleven visitors to a remote island retreat, but an unseen, seemingly unstoppable evil follows to stalk them one by one. The bodies don’t stop dropping until the final shattering conclusion. Who – or what – is the intruder? One thing is for certain: it will not stop until it kills them all.

The Intruder (1975) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Garagehouse Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- August 1, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Garagehouse Pictures presents The Intruder on 1080p thanks to an intensive remastering of the original (and only) surviving 35mm elements.  It looks better than ever thought possible, considering its location and storage handling.  Even the film’s director didn’t know a print still remained.  Black levels are a bit uneven and the color, while never the sharpest, retains a natural quality to its expressions.  This is all thanks to the 4k scan to create this MPEG-4 AVC encode and, as it took years to clean up, the patience at hand for the task.  It is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and sports a digitally restored LPCM 2.0 sound mix.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  Writer, director, actor, and producer Chris Robinson provides a strong audio commentary for his movie.  Something he probably never thought he would be doing.  It’s, at times, more interesting than the movie.

Special Features:

  • From the new original artwork by Stephen Romano to the archival interview with Chris Robinson, this is indeed a great release.  A trailer collection of other films offered by Garagehouse Pictures rounds out the supplemental material.
  • Archival Chris Robinson Interview (24 min)

The Intruder (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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