THE INTRUDER WITHIN (1981) Reviews and overview of ‘Alien’ rip-off

 

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The Intruder Within is a 1981 American made-for-TV science fiction horror film about a monster that attacks the crew of an offshore oil rig.

Directed by British-born Peter Carter (Rituals, 1977) from a teleplay written by Ed Waters (Kung Fu series). Produced by (uncredited) line producer Don Carmody (Skinwalkers; Silent Hill; Resident Evil franchise; Terror Train), executive producer John Furia and Neil T. Maffeo.

The soundtrack score was composed by the hugely prolific Gil Mellé (Blood Beach; Starship Invasions; The Sentinel; Killdozer).

The movie stars Chad Everett (Mulholland Dr.; Psycho, 1998; The Jigsaw Murders), Joseph Bottoms (Open House; Blind Date), Jennifer Warren, Rockne Tarkington, Lynda Mason Green, Paul Larsson, James Hayden and Michael Hogan.

Reviews:

“For all the exposition, set-up and character development, this movie ends just when it seems like it’s picking up steam […] The Intruder Within got to the party early, but it’s not the best of movies — filled with blocked off TV movie direction, too dark camerawork and a short running time. That said — it still has some charm…” B&S About Movies

” …it’s interesting to see the ways someone tried to creatively reimagine Alien into a TV movie. The body count is also surprisingly high, although none of the deaths are terrifying or spectacular. Despite being broadcast in 1981, the spirit of the 70s still hangs over it. I recommend it to anybody who’s a geek for Alien, or just plain sketchy sci-fi/horror flicks.” Groovy Doom

” …certain individual scenes work quite well. However, the script is very weak, almost wretched at times; any movie that tries to build suspense by having a character dream that they’re all going to die is suffering from lazy writing […]The aliens are, of course, modeled off of the ones in Alien, with the final incarnation looking as close as it can to the final creature in Alien while still being clearly a man in a rubber suit.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“Given the generally unbelievable circumstances, the actors are limited to two basic postures: puzzlement and growing concern. There is an occasional swipe at character development. Jake gets to cook one of his omelettes for Collette (Jennifer Warren) while she tells about being battered by her first boyfriend. So much for depth. When the monster finally does appear, it looks like a reject from the rock group KISS.” The New York Times, February 20, 1981

“The final reel has a little bit of pep in its step, but it’s kind of a slog to get to that point. At least it was made before the likes of the similarly themed Leviathan and DeepStar Six. The monster is pretty cool though. It kind of looks like a variation on one of the monsters from Humanoids from the Deep, but with a big sh*t-eating grin.” The Video Vacuum

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Cast and characters:

Chad Everett … Jake Nevins
Joseph Bottoms … Scott
Jennifer Warren … Colette Beaudroux
Rockne Tarkington … Mark
Lynda Mason Green … Robyn
Paul Larsson … Sam (as Paul Larson)
James Hayden … Harry Colman
Michael Hogan … Chili
Mary Ann McDonald … Wilma
Matt Craven … Phil
Ed LaPlante … Ed
Mickey Gilbert … Mickey
Joe Finnegan … The Intruder

Filming locations:

Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada
San Diego, California, USA

Technical details:

91 minutes
Movielab colour
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1

Trailer:

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