DVD cover of the miniseries showing John C. McGinley as Edgler Vess
|Directed by||Yves Simoneau|
|Produced by||Preston Fischer
Dean R. Koontz
Deborah Edell Underwood
|Written by||Stephen Tolkin|
|Based on||Intensity by Dean Koontz|
John C. McGinley
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Edited by||Michael Ornstein|
|Distributed by||Columbia TriStar Domestic Television
Sony Pictures Television
Intensity is a 1997 made-for-TV psychological thriller mini-series based on the novel of the same name by Dean Koontz, starring John C. McGinley, Molly Parker, Piper Laurie, and Tori Paul. It originally aired in the United States on the Fox Network.
Chyna Shepherd (Parker) accompanies her friend Laura Templeton to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. A serial killer named Edgler Vess (McGinley) invades the house and kills Laura and her parents, as Chyna hides in the killer's vehicle. When Vess stops at a gas station, Chyna escapes and asks the two attendants to call the police.
Before she has time to explain, Vess returns and murders the two workers with a shotgun. Chyna then learns that he is holding a 14-year-old girl named Ariel hostage in his basement. She becomes determined to save Ariel and follows Vess back to his home. On the road she runs into Miriam (Laurie) and asks her to call the police. The woman does not realize that Chyna is serious about the murders until she sees the two dead bodies back at the gas station.
Unfortunately, she is hysterical on the phone with the police, telling them that they 'need to save Chyna and Ariel,' which the police interpret as the ramblings of a lunatic. Upon trying to fall back to sleep, the policeman, Ethan Trevaine, remembers the name Ariel as a missing person's case and starts investigating. Trevaine starts to find clues on what type of vehicle the killer was driving, and what Miriam was talking about earlier.
Meanwhile, the car Chyna is driving runs out of gas so she leaves it in the middle of his road, forcing him to stop and push it out of the way. While he does so, Chyna runs back into his trailer and hides, unknowingly leaving foot prints. Edgler decides to have some fun and pretend he does not know she is there. Vess kills Miriam when she tries to run him off the road and save Chyna, to no avail. While at the home, Chyna witnesses Vess torture his victim, and has flashbacks of her traumatic childhood: as a little girl, she witnessed her disturbed, abusive mother and her boyfriend kill her grandparents.
Ethan arrives at Vess' house, where Vess sics his pet Dobermans on him. Vess disguises himself as a State Trooper to make it appear as if Chyna had murdered her friends and the gas station employees and took Ariel as a hostage. Chyna gets the better of Vess, however: she locks locking him in a room, sets it on fire, and watches as he burns to death. Chyna then adopts Ariel.