Theme Song: Director John McCauley must have thought that since his name was John and he was a movie director, he should buy a synth and record the soundtrack himself.
Be honest with yourself, they could throw this on the soundtrack to a new horror movie and you’d praise it as “authentic” and a “throwback”. You’d wait for some small label to press it on colored vinyl that you’d gladly pay $45 dollars for. Admit it, you would do this because you are shallow, you exalt nostalgia over all else, and you’re terrible with your finances.
Either way, this soundtrack is derivative and doesn’t quite stand out.
Interesting Dated References: Police stations that are carpeted; A farting dog used as a humorous plot device; Danny Bonaduce as actor instead of reality television personality; Bonaduce with his hair dyed dark brown.
Best Line: “Mmmm … fabulous dip, Jess!,” said by an extremely cheerful Bonaduce in reference to Jess’ fabulous dip. I like to think Bonaduce ad-libbed and was genuinely surprised by the deliciousness of the dip. He sounds so fucking sincere it makes me want to try the dip even though it is cream-based and clearly has MSG in it.
Social Context: The focus of this movie is a wandering drifter who is dressed exactly like and talks exactly like John Rambo. This drifter is played by Toni Crupi, who also wrote and produced Deadly Intruder. Sometime back in the early 80s, in a quaalude-induced haze, Crupi must have done his Rambo impression at a party. Some other guy at this party, in a congratulatory cocaine-induced haze, must have convinced Crupi to write an entire script based on the Rambo impression. They must have taken this idea to some guy with at least $15,000 and convinced him to use that money to finance their movie.
Summary: The first 20 minutes of this movie transpire in almost total darkness. From what I can gather, some guy escapes a lunatic asylum, arrives at a construction site where he kills some guards, then goes to some lady’s house wherein he drowns her in the sink so fast her breasts pop out of her robe. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you, but it’s totally embarrassing, even when you’re being strangled and drowned in a kitchen sink.
The focus of the movie then shifts to drifter John Rambo, who wanders into the town of Middle and finds a woman named Jess (Molly Cheek) who is home alone. He stalks her, asks her for food, chops some wood for her, and acts despondent. Then all her friends show up for dinner. This includes Bonaduce (trying really hard to earn the $300 he was paid), his wife, as well as his handsome new employee, Bob, whom they are trying to set up with Jess.
Bob is the guy who escaped from the lunatic asylum and killed all those people, but we’re not supposed to know that yet because he’s handsome and showered and nice and white. This entire time Jess seems unconcerned about the drifter still lurking outside. She’s also unconcerned that Bob keeps excusing himself to go murder people who randomly stop by (a utility worker, another couple with car trouble). Later, Jess and Bob hang out on the couch for a bit in order to French-style kiss, but she does not let him stay the night.
Once she’s alone, the drifter takes Jess hostage and through the rest of the night and right into the following day, he uses her as a sociopolitical sounding board. This includes a full-on daytime picnic.
That same next day, Bob incessantly calls Jess because he is suddenly maniacally obsessed with her even though he’s only ever seen her wearing a large frumpy sweater. Bob eventually boils over and goes to Bonaduce’s house to ask about Jess. Frustrated with his progress, he throws Danny through a TV and heads for her home. Once there, Bob sees the drifter with Jess, reads the situation as romantic, and goes ballistic. A fight ensues, Bob reveals he’s a crazed maniac, some random traveler shows up and is killed, Bob escapes, and the cops show up to non-fatally shoot the drifter because he looks and acts like John Rambo.
Then there’s a flash forward to a construction site where Jess’ dad tells a worker about how his daughter is coming to visit and will be bringing “the drifter that saved her life.” The movie closes with the reveal/sequel lead-in that one of the construction workers is Bob, now with black hair and ready to finish the job (READ: strangle and/or drown Jess so her boobs fly out of whatever garment she’s wearing).
– Stuart Whitman shows up as a fairly hungover local sheriff.
– As near as I can tell, the pitch for this movie was: What if Rambo never ran into Sheriff Teasle and instead pervy-creeped around the exterior of a girl’s house while incidentally preventing her from getting murdered by an escaped lunatic.
– There’s a really obvious body-double bath scene involving shots of Jess’ head acting like she’s bathing, then shots of a female body from the shoulders down washing herself. I don’t even think they filmed Jess’ head scenes in the same room as the bathing body.
– Tommy Ramone of Ramones (and Dust) is, allegedly, in the final construction scene as the foreman, but I seriously didn’t spot him.
These are the only two guys that appear in the foreground during that scene, and I don’t think either one of them is Tommy.
Poster and Box Art: The box art for Deadly Intruder is totally accurate in that it, too, is dimly lit and poorly rendered. You can barely even tell there is a silhouette of a woman lying in bed.
The Germans must have noticed this and decided to accentuate the fact that the guy in the window is looking at a chick and not a dude. Oddly enough, they also opted to change the posture of the perp looking in the window and make him more, I don’t know, theatrical?
Availability: Used VHS on eBay.