This marks my first review of a bonafide lost film that was recovered and subsequently put on blu-ray. First, a brief history according to this Rue Morgue article, if you’re old enough to remember that killer rattlesnake movie, Stanley (1972), the star, Chris Robinson, is the man behind the creation of this flick. He also starred in it, but after it was filmed a disagreement with the distributors made sure it would never get released theatrically and somewhere along the way the only 35mm print went missing and other film elements were discovered to be destroyed. Not only did this movie physically “fall off the radar,” but none of the actors listed it on their filmographies, which means IMDB never had any for it either. Eventually someone did create an entry for it though. Well, thank Harry Guerro, the owner/operator of Garagehouse Pictures, for literally stumbling upon the lone surviving print in a storage facility in the desert.
I never heard of Garagehouse Pictures until 2015 when I came across their first release, Ninja Busters (1984), on the net. They’re a relatively new company with only seven releases (counting the one I’m reviewing) under their belt, but until now none of their flicks had piqued my interest. Then came another lost film they unearthed, their first one, The Dismembered (1962). I checked out the eventual trailer, but, again, it didn’t grab me enough to make me want to see it. They’re getting warmer, though. Since they “specialize in releasing rare, previously unseen or obscure oddities on Blu-ray and DVD,” my gut said it would just be a matter of time before they announced something I might possibly be interested in seeing. That day came with The Intruder! For those who know me and/or read my reviews you know the slasher genre ain’t really my bag. That’s not to say I don’t own a few select ones like Halloween (1978), Friday The 13th (1980), a couple of the sequels like Jason Lives (1986), The New Blood (1988), and Jason Goes To Hell (1993), not to mention Basic Instinct (1992)—oh, yeah, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, Basic Instinct is a slasher flick at its core! But the poster for this Intruder is kind of a contradictory one. The obvious figure standing there clearly screams slasher, but the “…Something Came With Them,” and “It Will Kill Them All” kind of suggests something creature-y, and creature features and monster movies are my bread and butter since I was a tyke. Honestly it’s that tagline alone which has got me curious about what exactly this flick is about. Is it a slasher, or a creature feature, or some odd blend of the two? I don’t know, but I really want to know.
Now that I’ve spent some time with it last night I can say for certain this is not any kind of “creature feature,” the culprit is human, though the movie wants to make you think he’s not. Mickey Rooney’s character along with Yvonne De Carlo (The Munsters, Cellar Dweller) and the actor who played Lurch in The Addams Family series (’64-‘66), Ted Cassidy, are all in this movie for a short period of time. Rooney’s character might have the shortest appearance since he’s the guy who brings all eleven characters to this island, then heads back to meet someone at this lighthouse who kills him. These eleven guests are invited by this guy named Peterson, who has a shit load of gold he doesn’t want anyone to get. Most of these guests, some related (i.e. De Carlo) have traced this gold back to this island he owns. For everyone else it’s believed the gold went down in a plane in the ocean, but by the end of this movie we’ll find out that was all bullshit. Aside from the aforementioned actors the only other one I recognized in the cast was Chris Robinson who plays Reardon.
This Peterson never showed up to greet them, but did leave a letter. While they all enjoy dinner they theorize about why he brought them all here. One theory that gains some traction and then proves to be correct is, perhaps, he brought them all here to kill them off. For that to happen someone in the group of has got to be working with Peterson, and/or the killer, which also proves to be correct. De Carlo is the first one to bite the bullet and a couple of others after that meet the same fate—two bloody punctures in the neck! Reardon even shoots at the killer at one point and finds two of his bullets that hit their mark bounced off, giving more credence this might be someone not human. As I said that’s all bullshit. And it’s never explained how or why he was putting holes in people’s necks. He was also wearing a bullet proof vest while he was going around killing.
As the cast is whittled down to Reardon and this one chick, we finally see who’s been doing it, and it’s Lurch from The Addams Family, looking as normal as any other human. It’s never revealed either who he was. Peterson was found dead eventually. Was he just some hired gun, or was he this Axel some of the characters mention in conjuncture with Peterson? I had no idea. Oh, and all that gold was in the basement.
There’s a twist too. That chick left alive with Reardon is insane and she and “Lurch” are lovers. Oh, and “Lurch” has a twin brother. After Reardon manages to kill him on the island, his twin brother shoots him dead on the boat he was about to dock on the mainland. Yeah, everybody’s dead by the end of this flick.
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.85:1 high definition widescreen (4K restoration)—English DTS-HD Master Audio (Mono)—English SDH subs
The video transfer Garagehouse did is excellent, but I can’t say the same about the audio. The original audio seems to have been just badly recorded. I listen to everything on cordless headphones and even that didn’t help. Subtitles are provided and I recommend keeping them on while you watch.
Extras included . . .
- Audio Commentary with Chris Robinson
- Archival interview with Chris Robinson
- Liner Notes