Convinced that her father's death was not accidental, a beautiful girl decides to investigate to find out the truth, aided by her boyfriend. Her sleuthing draws her to a local mortuary, where many secrets will be revealed.
Mary Beth McDonough,
In a place called...Midvale, a sanitarium becomes minus one patient, when one of those interred breaks out of said loony bin after dispatching security specialists there and heads off to looking for the love of his life. Our disturbed individual is obsessively jealous, slaying anyone whom he fears may be endangering his relationship with his current girlfriend. Can the police catch him before he catches up to her? Written by
Remember the 80's? Stop pretending you don't. Back when having a VCR was still such a novelty that you'd practically rent anything to watch on it? Back when you still had time to watch movies? Back when you were on a first name basis with the staff at the corner video store as you went for your daily fill of six tapes a day? Back when you made more money on unemployment insurance while sitting home on your duff with a pack of cigarettes and bottle of Jack Daniels than any minimum wage "customer service representative" job that Manpower offered you? Remember? Yeah, me neither.
Anyhow, DEADLY INTRUDER is a passable horror-thriller that still strangely lingers in the memory, even though I haven't seen it in well over fifteen years. Yes, this was another of the countless films I watched in that dark winter of 1987 when I was living on pogey and a six-film-a-day habit after being laid off from my warehouse job. I find it funny in that reflecting on that miasmic year of obsessive movie watching, that the ones which I remember with most clarity were mediocre or just plain terrible. I wonder what Freud would have said about that?
At the time of this film's making, the slasher genre was thankfully drawing to a close (even though the movie-going public knew that about four years prior to when film producers wised up)-- so much so, that I doubt this even got a theatrical release, yet went straight to the video stores. This is not a bad fate, really, and for a 99 cent rental, you really can't go wrong with this antiseptic, nearly bloodless, cardboard, yet somehow engaging, and rather tasteful genre effort.
Remember in the 1980's when veteran stars were still alive and able to find work? Remember in the 1980's when stars of any stripe could probably find a couple of days on a B movie in exchange for some ersatz marquee value? Hence, for the former, Stuart Whitman once again phones in his performance as his usual sheriff, whose role in films of this ilk acts as a needless venue because they always show up too late to blow the killer's brains out. For the latter, we have former child star and (then) current Betty Ford denizen Danny Bonaduce in a supporting role, who hangs around long enough to get his head smashed through a TV screen in a scene which is pretty darn satisfying.
All right, so this generic film has something going for it after all. Otherwise, this by-the-numbers production features a rather bland, obsessively jealous psycho who kills anyone whom he fears may be endangering his relationship with his current girlfriend, who lives in a typically rural pad, antiseptic to a fault, replete with wood paneling and shag rugs. Hmmm... wonder what Freud would've said about THAT? In the opening scene, we've already discovered what the film's criminal of passion did to his last paramour.
With the commercial world's mindset to do countless retreads of the same formula, I guess one cannot fault DEADLY INTRUDER for being much more than that, as that's all it was created for, and that's all we should expect to pay for, I guess. Thinking of this film out of the time for which it was created, it almost seems quaint to think about its "HALLOWEEN-on-the-brain", right down to the blue slick cinematography and the pretty cool electronic score that is not a little reminiscent of John Carpenter's tenure as a musician (so cool in fact that I held my little Radio Shack tape deck up to the TV's speaker to make myself a copy of it). And where would an 80's slasher flick be without leaving the door open for a sequel? For such a throwaway yet genial flick, this seems preposterous I'm sure, but hey, it worked for SLEEPAWAY CAMP, didn't it? Roger.
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