Thursday, June 5, 2014

Intruder, Severed Limbs in Aisle Four...

Not the conventional venue for a horror film, but a supermarket is a choice setting for scares.  Sharp devices in the deli or butcher shop, endless aisles to get lost in, psycho moms with toddlers, and ever increasing prices are real concerns that can keep us up at night.  Unlike the freelance writer who lives in a NYC loft, the Tarot card reader, or the paranormal investigator, supermarket employees are real.  They work hard, struggle to make ends meet, often are taking university classes at night, and have to deal with an ungrateful public.  As protagonists, we can identify and sympathize with them. Thus 1989's "Intruder" gives us gory horror in an all too familiar setting.  Also, with product placement, "Intruder" serves as a scary commercial for Meister Brau beer.
Jennifer, played by Elizabeth Cox and pictured above ("Night of the Creeps") is a cashier at the Walnut Lake Market.  She needs her job and has an ex-boyfriend who just got released from prison for a killing.  Craig, the ex-con comes into the market at closing and accosts our fair cashier and slaps her around a bit.  He is thrown out by the staff, but vows to return.  At closing, the store manager and owner advises that they have sold the business and all the employees would need to find another job next month.  Craig meanwhile returns and attempts to break into the market, and eventually does gain access.  Craig is a known commodity as one employee recounts a story of when Craig attempted to kill him using a blender as a weapon.  As the employees shut the market down for the night, the gruesome murders begin.
Linda (Renee Estevez), Jennifer's friend and fellow cashier, is the first to get it.  On her way to her car, a huge knife penetrates her sternum.  The general manager is pushed face first into a spike which penetrates his brain through his eye.  Then Randy the butcher (Sam Raimi) gets a machete in the back of his cranium (see above picture).  If these aren't gory enough, that is not even half of them, and they do get gorier.  The corpses are not found, and Jennifer has no clue that a murderer is stalking her until the final third of the film.  In true 1980s style, our beautiful damsel in peril is then chased through the back corridors of the market, and through huge refrigerators, finding severed body parts along the way (many of them hanging on meat hooks).  Deli saws, trash compactors, hooks, and severed heads are all utilized as weapons by our psycho.
Is Craig the killer (you slasher movie fans know that would be too easy)?  The surprise ending will not disappoint as the dark reason for the carnage is revealed.  Watch closely for a cameo from Bruce Campbell as a cop.  Those of us who have worked in supermarkets will recognize the murder weapons as familiar tools of the grocery industry.  Those of you who have never worked in a supermarket will never view them the same way again after watching "Intruder."  


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