Intruder (1989 film)

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Intruder cover.jpg
DVD released by Wizard Entertainment
Directed by Scott Spiegel
Produced by Lawrence Bender
Sam Raimi
Screenplay by Scott Spiegel
Story by Scott Spiegel
Lawrence Bender
Based on Night Crew
by Scott Spiegel
Starring Dan Hicks
David Byrnes
Elizabeth Cox
Renée Estevez
Music by Basil Poledouris
Cinematography Fernando Argüelles
Edited by King Wilder
Beyond Infinity
Phantom Productions
Distributed by Empire Pictures
Release date
  • 1989 (1989) (United States)
Running time
83 minutes (R-rated version)
88 minutes (Unrated Director's Cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $130,000[citation needed]

Intruder is a 1989 slasher film written and directed by Scott Spiegel, co-written by Lawrence Bender, and produced by Sam Raimi.


A supermarket closes and the workers begin restocking the shelves for the next day. Craig, the former boyfriend of cashier Jennifer, appears and the two have an argument. Worried for her friend, Linda presses her panic button. Co-owner Bill appears and a fight ensues. Craig escapes onto the shop floor, and the night crew set out to track him down while Jennifer calls the police. When Craig is found there is another scuffle; he is ejected from the building and disappears into the night.

The owners gather the night crew to announce they are selling the store and the staff will soon be out of a job. The employees are assigned the task of marking down all the stock in preparation for the close. Craig makes telephone calls to the store, unnerving Jennifer. The police arrive but do little to help, and just tell the group to be careful.

Finishing her shift, Linda is stabbed by an unseen assailant. Bill spots someone trying to enter through the back door and goes out to investigate. He finds Craig watching Jennifer through the bathroom window and is rendered unconscious. Back in the store, the murderer begins to stalk and brutally murder the employees, and leaves their severed body parts around in the store. Realizing that everyone seems to have vanished, Jennifer investigates and discovers the several bodies and body parts in the storerooms. Terrified, she is attacked by the murderer but manages to escape back to the shop floor. Hearing someone at the door, she tries to attract their attention, but the person has left by the time she gets there. Craig grabs her, but she incapacitates him with a meat hook.

Bill staggers in and says Craig attacked him outside the store, and proceeds to call the police. Jennifer notices Bill's hands are covered in blood and realizes he was the killer; Bill tells her he could not let his partner sell the store, so he killed him and got carried away killing the others. Bill attacks Jennifer and chases her around the locked building. A delivery man appears outside and is killed by Bill before Jennifer can get his attention. Bill re-enters the building and stalks Jennifer again. Craig tells Jennifer he saw Bill killing Linda, and that he climbed into the building through the bathroom window to save her. Bill appears and bludgeons Craig while Jennifer flees. Crawling out the bathroom window, she tries to escape in her car but she finds Linda's body in it. Bill grabs her legs and pulls Jennifer under the car; she stabs him with a chef knife. She heads to a phone booth to call the police but Bill reappears and starts to smash the booth to get at her. He topples the phone booth over and traps her, but Craig appears and brutally damages him with his own meat cleaver.

When the police arrive, one of the policemen finds the carnage in the store. Jennifer and Craig are then implicated by the injured Bill who claims they are responsible for the attack. The policemen do not listen to their protests that this is untrue. They are arrested. Jennifer screams at her fate and Bill's eyes snap open as the film ends.



Intruder marked the feature directorial debut of Scott Spiegel. The film was partially based around Scott Spiegel's experiences working at the real Walnut Lake Market in Michigan. It was also something of a remake of an earlier Super-8 short film by Spiegel. The short was a slasher story called Night Crew, and featured a more Halloween-inspired killer.[citation needed]

Intruder was filmed at an empty grocery store which was rented to the crew of the film. The shelves were empty and bare and the crew had a company that specialized in damaged goods deliver over two tons of defective merchandise to stock the store.


The film was originally entitled The Night Crew, but distributors felt that the film would be more marketable if it was given a more generic slasher film title; thus it was released as Intruder.[citation needed]

The Paramount VHS video cover (along with various other video and DVD releases) and the film's trailers all reveal the identity of the killer, thus spoiling the film's dramatic tension.

Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Ted Raimi were all heavily promoted by Paramount as the stars of the film, and their names feature prominently on video and DVD artwork. None of them are actually the stars of the picture. Sam Raimi plays a supporting character. Ted Raimi has a small supporting role, barely more than a bit part. Bruce Campbell appears in the final scene in a brief cameo. The back cover of the DVD release makes it appear that Renée Estevez is the heroine, whereas in the film she is the first character to die.

The original VHS release from Paramount Home Video contained the R-rated version, which was missing five minutes of gore footage. Nearly all of KNB's effects footage was removed. The 2005 US DVD release by Wizard Entertainment presents the director's cut.[1] Synapse Films released an uncensored version of Intruder on combo DVD/Blu-ray on 13 December 2011.[2]


Reception towards Intruder was positive. Adam Tyner of DVD Talk awarded four and a half out of five stars and wrote that Intruder "easily ranks up there as one of the best slashers I've ever seen".[3] DVD Verdict referred to it as "a very cool film" and said, "While it includes all the genre tropes, it presents them in a way that feels fresher and more creative than many of the countless other maniac-on-the-loose films that the decade produced".[4] Intruder was deemed one of the "greatest entries" in the slasher film boom of the 1980s by Horror[5] Bloody Disgusting rated the film three out of five stars and wrote, "It's certainly no horror classic, but for stalwart gorehounds, Intruder is sweet, sweet manna."[1]


  1. ^ a b "Intruder". Bloody Disgusting. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Miska, Brad (5 October 2011). "Synapse Brings 'Intruder' UNCUT to Blu-ray". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Tyner, Adam (27 November 2011). "Intruder (Director's Cut) (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Becker, Tom (2 December 2011). "Intruder (Blu-ray)". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Killion (11 December 2011). "Film Review: Intruder (1989)". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 

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