Monday, April 1, 2019

Intrusion, The (1975)

... aka: Intrusion
... aka: Intrusions

Directed by:
Arthur Nouveau

A businessman (Levi Richards) is about to leave town for work, leaving his reserved and emotionally fragile wife Ellen (Kim Pope) alone for a number of days. Ellen arranges for her more outgoing friend Gail (Lynn Bishop) to come over and keep her company while he's away. What she doesn't realize is that a psycho sex predator (Michael Gaunt, using his real name Michael Dattorre) is prowling around her upper class suburban neighborhood and he's there just in time to see her husband driving away. He goes around to the back of the house to snip the phone wire before ringing the doorbell. Well-dressed and carrying a briefcase, he announces himself as an insurance agent. After she tells him she's not interested and refuses to let him come inside, he barges in and pushes her to the floor. I've heard of high pressure sales techniques before, but this is ridiculous!

The intruder promises Ellen that as long as she doesn't move a muscle or scream he won't hurt her. He opens up his briefcase and pulls out some rope, ties her hands behind her back, takes her upstairs to her bedroom, strips off all over her clothes, gags her and sticks her in the bathroom. With her finally secured, he raids her drawers, cabinets and purse, sticking cash, jewelry, watches and her fine silver in his briefcase. But if Ellen thinks the worst is already over, she's in for an unpleasant surprise.

As compensation for what he's put her through, the nutjob tells Ellen he's "gonna make you feel good" and proceeds to tie her up to the bed, force oral sex on her and violate her with a switchblade handle while she sobs. When Gail finally shows up, she's lured upstairs into the bedroom where she's forced to watch Ellen being raped before being raped herself. The psycho then forces the ladies to have lesbian sex, joins in and lets down his guard just long enough to, well, I'm sure you can figure it out. And that's all she wrote plot-wise in this hardcore roughie that barely clocks in at over an hour.

Clearly filmed in a couple of days, this fantasy for rape fetishists has very basic and unimaginative direction and photography, very few setting changes (75% of it takes place in a bedroom), a tiny cast, minimal dialogue and four long sex scenes (three of which involve rape and / or torture) that take up most of the 67-minute run time. While I didn't find it anywhere near as disturbing as advertised, it does manage to be pretty unpleasant and is made all the more so by how banal and "everyday" the whole thing feels. This is a case where being a cheap, flat, no frills production actually benefits the realism. Pope also deserves some credit for making the assault scenes more harrowing than they otherwise would have been with a weaker actress in the role. Once her female co-star shows up, you'll see just what I mean.

While I appreciate the whole 70s feel and how the actors look like actual people (if this were made today, they'd probably cast a blonde Franken-Barbie with 20 piercings, a tattoo sleeve and silicone duck lips as the meek, shy housewife), I ended up feeling the same way about this as I do most R-rated "torture porn." Films that do little more than string together prolonged torture scenes have a tendency to bore me and this was no exception. I mostly just sat in my seat wondering how appalled the yuppies living in the affluent suburb where this was shot would be if they knew something like this was being filmed right next door.

Alpha Blue Archives first offered this title as part of their "Sexual Assault Box Set" in 2005. In 2013, they included it as part of the three-film set called "The Intrusion and the Lost Films of Kim Pope," which also includes the Pope films Summer of Laura (1976) and Schoolgirl's Reunion (1977). In 2017, Vinegar Syndrome released a better-quality version, which comes with an interview with star Gaunt. IMDb and other sites claim the pseudonymous director is Zebedy Colt but that doesn't appear to be the case (something Gaunt pretty much verifies in his interview).

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