Halloween Scene: Intruder (1989)

Don’t be fooled by the crappy DVD box art to the right. Spider-Man is spelled with a dash. Oh, also, Bruce Campbell’s in this slasher flick for about five minutes at the end and Sam Raimi did not direct the movie, but plays a worker in the grocery store besieged by a slasher. Intruder is actually directed by Raimi’s friend and Evil Dead Fake Shemp Scott Spiegel. I haven’t done any research on the movie aside from reading the IMDb Trivia page, but I got the feeling that Raimi and Campbell were helping a friend make his first movie.

And it’s a mostly successful, though sometimes goofy, effort, but what more would you expect from a late-80s slasher? The movie is set in a grocery store, so it’s kind of like a longer version of that scene from My Bloody Valentine 3D (and I assume the original, but it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it to remember for sure). The presumed killer is one of the two girls’ ex boyfriend who just got out of prison. The staff is in the store late this night because they’re repricing everything as the store is being sold. I’m not actually sure how those two things go together, but it’s possible I missed one of the finer details.

Anyway, it’s fun seeing Sam Raimi act and his brother playing the clueless stock boy/fruit chopper, but they’re joined by some good fellow actors and a pair of actresses you might recognize from Night Of The Creeps and Sleepaway Camp 2. I’m not great at recognizing actors, but I knew those two ladies looked familiar.

Without getting into spoilers, there’s a twist ending that I didn’t see coming, but possibly because I wasn’t paying that much attention. After that there’s a really interesting end that I’m surprised more horror movies haven’t tried to pull off. All in all, Intruder was a good effort packed with familiar faces, some okay kills and an environment you don’t see a lot in horror flicks. Not a lost classic, but fun enough to watch.

Web-Based Shows On DVD: Dr. Horrible & Angel of Death

dr horrible In an odd twist of fate, I watched two DVDs made up of material that was originally intended for the internet. First up, Em and I watched Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. I remember when it was coming out online, but I wasn’t really high on Whedon at that point because I didn’t love Astonishing X-Men and I hadn’t yet watched Firefly, so I didn’t mind skipping it. But, after watching through Buffy all the way through again and really enjoying the Firefly/Serenity world, I put the DVD on our queue. Of course, after the slew of horror movies I watched in October, it got pushed back. Anyway, we finally watched it and both really liked it.

But really, this thing was designed for us to like it. It’s written by Whedon and stars two guys from shows we both love: Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother and Nathan Fillion from Castle and Firefly. Plus, there’s singing, which Em loves. And superheroes which we’re both fans of. So, yeah, you couldn’t get much more inside our wheelhouse. I’m sure everyone’s already seen it and I’m the last person on the planet to check it out, but I will say that the ending really surprised me. Here you think you’re watching this fun, light goofy movie and then kablammo. I guess I should have expected it from Whedon (this is the guy who now has me looking at every horror scene and trying to figure out what the twist will be – the GIRL is the vampire, not the guy!). But still, wow. I didn’t see that ending coming.

angel of deathThe other web-based movie I watched was Angel of Death and this one was completely random. I added the movie to my queue solely because Zoe Bell is in it and I find her incredibly attractive and she’s an ass-kicker, so I figured it would be a good action movie, even though I wasn’t familiar with it. And yeah, even though I didn’t like Death Proof and I’m still not sure if I like her acting (I can’t tell if her delivery is off just a tad or if it’s just her accent), I was still excited. Then I popped the DVD in and it said “Ed Brubaker’s Angel of Death” and I freaked out a little bit. I can’t believe I haven’t written more about Brubaker on this site, but his Captain America is one of the greatest long-term comic book series’ of all time. You’re doing yourself a disservice by not reading that comic.

So, I did a little searching online and remembered when this thing was coming out. I guess it was webisodes or whatever. But, watching it all together on the DVD, it really did feel like a movie instead of a serial. Plot-wise, you’ve got Bell playing a hitwoman who gets stabbed in the head and starts feeling bad about accidentally killing a little girl, so now she goes on a revenge kick killing the bad guys. I can’t say I was paying 100% attention, but I didn’t really have to. Aside from Bell, Doug Jones and Lucy Lawless were in it. Ted Raimi’s also in it, but I honestly didn’t see him. I really should pay more attention.

Anyway, I’m torn about the movie. It’s nothing spectacular, though it LOOKS fantastic. Like I said, it doesn’t feel like a web-based series (though neither does the Totally Rad Show podcast, so take that for what it’s worth), but it also doesn’t feel like the high caliber of story I’m used to from Brubaker. Maybe that’s because his comics deal in genres that aren’t as popular in comics as they are in movies. The noir thing is pretty common in films, but not comics. So, Bru writing a noir/70s-ish movie doesn’t seem as groundbreaking as his comics. To be fair, though, I probably should give the disc another watch (I’m not going to now though).

I also watched a few of the special features on the DVD (there are a good number) which were kind of interesting. There’s a whole feature about Bru which is cool, though listening to Bell call him a geek is both funny and a little cringeworthy. I also had a much more curmudgeonly view of Bru from my days at Wizard, though he was incredibly nice the time I talked to him for a big Captain American retrospective Wizard did about three years back. I guess you just assume he’s grim and gritty because he does that so well, but in the doc he comes off as a dude whose dream is coming true by being able to jump from comics to movies and I certainly can’t blame him. As a hopeful comic writer myself (I’ve finally getting some outlines together for submissions) he’s absolutely one of my heroes and I can only hope for a career (if it happens) even remotely similar to his. Well done Ed!