Latest posts by James McCormick (see all)
- Up From The Depths Of VHS: The Intruder Within (1981) - 13th February 2018
- Rutger Hauer on Steroids – An Interview With Matthias Hues - 11th February 2018
- Up From the Depths of VHS: Edge Of The Axe (1988) - 31st January 2018
Drillers on an oil rig near Antarctica discover that they have accidentally brought up several prehistoric eggs.
It’s funny, when I started having this idea for this series of articles, I never in a million years thought the first two films I would be covering on here would be Made For TV films. Usually I would choose those to cover on my podcast Small Screen Cinema, but it actually shows that more Made For TV films should come out on DVD and Blu-ray. But that’s a separate article for another day.
The film I checked out recently was one that people voted on (well, one other film won, but that’s another Made For TV film that I will be covering on here at another time). The Intruder Within was a Made For TV film from 1981 and was directed by Peter Carter. After watching the film, I wondered why I recognized that name and realized he made one of my favorite films of the ’70s, Rituals. And this film is similar in the sense that he gets a great cast of character actors together, characters you actually relate with or like and you become upset when they die in the film.
Take one part The Thing, take another part Alien and throw it all on an oil rig, and you basically get The Intruder Within. It’s definitely not on the level of those two films in any way, but it’s a great little horror film with some great acting in it and some creepy stuff building up to a shadowy monster reveal. The monster himself has always been shown on box art for the film, kind of a long lost brother of the xenomorph and Rawhead Rex, and I love his face and the way he just lumbers along, even if it’s sometimes hard to see what he looks like.
What’s even more insane is Ed Waters, who wrote the film, did a ton of TV series like Police Story, The Equalizer and TJ Hooker, but he also wrote one of my favorite films of all time (and one that I will feature in this series down the line) Darker Than Amber. So this great pairing of director and writer take what could have been a run of the mill TV movie and elevate it to something much more interesting and memorable.
As I said earlier, this film has a hell of a cast, with the star of the film Chad Everett being the leader of the crew on the oil rig, his rugged good looks and everyman appeal making for a great hero. Joseph Bottoms is the scientist on the expedition who has more power due to the company who has gotten this job together and might know more that is going on. Rockne Tarkington is the kind yet badass of the crew who is always ready with a fist. Jennifer Warren is the surprising love interest who comes late into the expedition. Michael Hogan of Battlestar Galactica fame has a small role in it. And James Hayden, who died tragically at the age of 29 from a heroin overdose) is creepy good in his small role, who was just going to be a powerhouse in Hollywood if he didn’t let his demons take over.
I just dig this movie a whole lot, and I wish it would be released on some sort of DVD or Blu-ray, possibly in a two pack, especially if they couldn’t get any extras for the release. To be honest, in a perfect world, I would have this film and another Alien knock off film, Creature, on my shelf where I can enjoy them any time. Also, please give me the film’s amazing score by the one and only Gil Melle on vinyl. I’ll be happy enough on CD, but a record of this score would be an amazing thing to behold.
Funny enough, you can watch the film on YouTube right now if you just search for it. So if you can’t find the VHS, please watch the film and let me know what you think about it when you finish it. Warning, there is a scene in the film that is a bit iffy on how they put it out there. I don’t want to say what it is, but I know you’ll be able to pinpoint it the moment you see it.
Enjoy the film and until next time, let’s keep saving these films from the depths of VHS.