Saturday, October 13, 2007

THE INTRUDER

One of the most personal films B-movie mogul Roger Corman ever made (and the only one not to turn a profit theatrically), THE INTRUDER (1962), comes to DVD in a new edition courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. An intense, disturbing civil rights drama, with a surprisingly powerful performance by a pre-STAR TREK William Shatner, THE INTRUDER still has the ability to provoke strong emotions, forty years after it was made.

Shatner plays Adam Cramer, a charming, charismatic, racist agitator who comes to a small Southern town to incite the white population to violently oppose court-ordered school integration. Soon though, he finds that his efforts have been too successful, and things begin to get out of hand.

An excellent script by frequent TWILIGHT ZONE scribe Charles Beaumont (based on his novel), naturalistic direction by Corman, and a sly, astonishing performance by Shatner, result in a memorable, uncomfortable look at a turbulent time in our cultural history. THE INTRUDER is a remarkable film.

As usual with Buena Vista’s handling of the Roger Corman titles, the presentation is nothing to write home about. THE INTRUDER is presented in an unmatted, 1.33:1 full-frame transfer, sourced from a hazy, scratchy print. There are even a few jumps here and there from missing frames. The mono soundtrack is a bit fuzzy, but is understandable. Although labeled as a "Special Edition," extras are the absolute minimal, consisting of a single, short featurette, "Remembering THE INTRUDER," featuring interviews with Corman and Shatner, both of whom are obviously very proud of the film.

Despite the mediocre technical presentation, THE INTRUDER is a minor classic of independent filmmaking, and is recommended.

BUY: The Intruder (Special Edition)