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Intruder Within, The - Trans World Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Intruder Within VHS Cover Art from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.
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AKA: The Lucifer Rig, El intruso, Le monstre des profondeurs, Tromos apo ta vathi tou okeanou, Inkraktaren, Targoor – reise ins Grauen.

Directed by: Peter Carter
Written by: Ed Waters
Produced by: Neil T.Maffeo
Cinematography by: James Pergola
Editing by: Richard Rabjohn
Special Effects by: James Cummins, Don Powers, Henry Golas
Music by: Jerry Cohen
Cast: Chad Everett, Jennifer Warren, Rockne Tarkington, Michael Hogan, Joseph Bottoms, Mary Ann Macdonald.
Year: 1981
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 31min

Distributor: Trans World Entertainment
 

This is a TV movie made a few years before John Carpenter's remake of "The Thing From Another World" and has set itself on a remote and claustrophobic oil rig (although city lights can be seen in some shots).  It's an obvious cash-in on "Alien," so that should be good then, yeah?  The trouble is that this film has quite a large crew, so apart from the handful of main characters in the script, "The Intruder Within" has loads of other people who are just around to sit at a table, or whatever and not speak.  One feels the movie is rather crowded at times since it's meant to be one creature verses humans.

One day, a young lad, Phil, wakes up screaming after a nightmare warning him of death.  Naturally, his colleagues ignore this omen and go about their business.  Soon the drilling screws up and men with big moustaches and TV haircuts argue for a while.  Apparently the rig shouldn't even be there, etcetera.  However, company boy Scotty debates how the region is, until then, untouched and should be rich in oil.  There's two women on board, Robyn (Lynda Mason Green of the "War of the Worlds" TV series) who is the obvious pretty main character, and Dr Wilma, unattractive name, unattractive person, she'll die sooner or later.

More folks arrive via chopper, including Harry, and a tough man-like blonde woman, Colette.  As the crew salvages and repairs their drill, they bring up various rock samples.  All of a sudden a freaky eel chestburster thing bites into Phil's hand.  The eel is shot and Phil dies.  Picking up Phil's helmet, Mark (Black Samson his very self, Rockne Tarkington) recalls the dream.

By sheer coincidence they cannot contact anybody off the rig, it's as if an invisible shield is around the rig and supplies aren't due for another week.  One geeza, Sam, pricks his finger on one of the rocks.  After Phil's sea burial, Sam begins to act strange, shaking and manic looking.  Uh-oh!  Turns out the rocks are eggs and Sam's blood pops one open.

Totally losing it, he runs around the rig at night and has a climb about, then falls into the ocean.  Our main man Jake leaps in after him, but cannot find him.  “You damn fool!” Mark scolds Jake afterwards.  Well of course he tried, Sam was in fact Blaster out of "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome," though you could have fooled me.

Scotty records all his studies on the rocks/eggs, including how blood contact can cause the victim to commit suicide.  He then decides to preserve the eggs away from the heat and observe the organisms, you know  how this goes.

Paranoia sets in with some members of the crew.  Fears of being cut off from the rest of the world causes tension.  “This rig is doomed, it's gonna kill us all!” warns Chili.  There's time for some character development between young Harry and Robyn, then Jake and Colette.  It doesn't get very far for Harry though, since he's suddenly attacked whilst mopping.  (I need to note that the DVD-R we watched was a dreadful transfer so it was hard to really figure out much of anything on dark scenes.  Looked like a lil' alien creature was sat on his chest before Jake blasts it with a fire extinguisher.)

“The thing's inside me.” Harry insists as Wilma treats him.  Scotty suggests that Jake and Colette keep things to themselves so as not to cause any panic.  It seems Scotty has a theory: whatever life forms wiped out the earliest apes on earth approximately 14-million-years ago might have vanished in floods.  Perhaps the life forms have been laying dormant under the sea bed waiting.  Jake isn't happy with the fact that Scotty kept this theory to himself and endangered the crew.

Next, Harry is up and about with wild Paul Nashy eyeballs and making crazy hand shadows on the walls.  He goes to Robyn who kisses him, and is rewarded by rape.  Then he goes after Wilma, who manages a bit of a fight before being thrown into the icy waters (like I predicted.)  An all out scrap between Jake, Mark and a ripped t-shirt wearing Harry, who basically kicks their asses.  Of course, towards the end we get to see the creature itself who goes, “Ell...” quite a lot.  It could be trying to say, “'ello” but can't master our language.  The monster is courtesy of James Cummins who went on to work on "Deepstar Six," "House," "The Beast Within," and "Enemy Mine," among others.

"The Intruder Within" has a truly plodding script.  A direct spawn of "Alien," possibly the first of its kind, but isn't very memorable.  The central problem rests with what I stated at the beginning, there's just too many faces and background characters so you don't get that urgent feel of threat, or time running out on one or two survivors.

Who's going to be next?  Who needs to work it out when the movie telegraphs the answer every time!  Let's face it, since most of the infected hosts commit suicide before hurting anybody, what's the point?

The man in a rubber suit monster looks like something out of "Xtro," but I suppose it's fairly cool and skeletal with loads of teeth.  I don't want to spoil things too much but why does it die so easily?  How does it appear by the way?  Well, I was wrong about Robyn.  She does die, giving birth to a man sized monster (where have I seen that before?  Oh yeah, "Xtro" again from 1982.  So which movie started production first then?  Or is it just a horror science fiction coincidence?)

“Don't you ever make me sit through something like that again.” stated my Horror Soulmate as the credits rolled.  That summed up my feelings too.  It's okay for an Alien rip-off, made for TV so soon after its mother movie stunned audiences worldwide, but due to so many factors it's now a footnote and a time filler.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

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The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

The Intruder Within VHS Screenshot from Trans World Entertainment on Severed Cinema.

 RATING:
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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 January 2014 )
 
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