Director: Arthur Nouveau
Vinegar Syndrome

A "vulnerable woman is forced to commit an unthinkable act" in the grueling INTRUSION, on DVD from Vinegar Syndrome.

When her husband (Levi Richards, THE ABDUCTION OF AN AMERICAN PLAYGIRL) leaves on a weekend business trip, Ellen Anderson (Kim Pope, THE LOVE OBJECT) is looking forward to the arrival of gregarious friend Gail (Lynn Bishop, BANG BANG YOU GOT IT!) to keep her company. Masquerading as a traveling insurance salesman, the "intruder" (CORRUPTION's Michael Gaunt in his porn debut billed under his real name Michael Dattore) forces himself into Ellen's house and into Ellen's body. Tying her to the bed and penetrating her with the handle of his switchblade to frighten her into compliance, the intruder has his way with her with the rifling of her valuables seemingly secondary to this more personal violation. When Gail arrives, he rapes her too before making her an unwilling participant in Ellen's further assault, pushing both women to the physical and emotional brink where the only outlet is the death of one of the trio.

INTRUSION is credited to the pseudonymous Arthur Nouveau whom IMDb lists it as an alias for Zebedy Colt, the director of a number of "roughie" hardcore films including TERRI'S REVENGE and UNWILLING LOVERS. In the disc's interview, actor Dattore recalls the makers as being a pair of film school graduates trying to pay off their student loans, and INTRUSION is very unlike Colt's films; indeed, it is very much unlike many treatments of similar scenarios, being so narrowly focused on the terror of its victims almost seemingly oblivious to whether or not it arouses its viewing audience. Studied actor Dattore is as intense as the intruder as Pope is as the agonized victim, with only Bishop as the weak link in her flat delivery that seems prematurely numb. The film is so single-minded that the audience may even be desperately searching for something deeper like the idea of some sort of set-up from the intercutting of the intruder's car seemingly intent on the Anderson household with shots of the domestic bliss of the couple in the opening sequences. The film offers no such explanations or even any of the expected porn film diversions. In any other film, Ellen would be looking forward to Gail's visit for some extramarital lesbian dalliances everything seems so "straightforward" and we would either discover that the husband set up the rape for his bored housewife or she might even come to enjoy the violation in a twist not out of turn for the non-PC seventies. INTRUSION, however, is an assault on the audience as much as the female characters within the film, and one wonders about the audience's reaction in the abrupt aftermath.

Transferred from archival 35mm vault elements, Vinegar Syndrome's progressive, fullscreen transfer looks grainy enough to have been originally lensed in 16mm (very likely), but the print itself is free of distracting damage. The Dolby Digital 1.0 track has a faint layer of hiss but the dialogue is always intelligible and the electronic score comes through in an effectively grating manner. The disc includes an entertaining interview with actor Dattore (18:31) who discusses his theatrical training and how his wise guy tendencies often burned bridges with the companies that hired him. When an audition for INTRUSION appeared in the trade papers, a friend dared him to audition for it and he was determined to audition and get the part. Offered either the role of the intruder or the husband, he of course picked the meatier part even though he had no experience in the genre. Of the shoot, he describes the professional Pope as a "steadying influence" and Bishop possibly being made uncomfortable by his intensity (Pope even doubled for one of his sex scenes with Bishop as a result). The interview does not extend to his subsequent work – making one hope that more interview material turns up with him on subsequent Vinegar Syndrome releases – but he does go into when and how he came up with his moniker "Michael Gaunt". A trailer (2:56) for the film rounds out the disc. (Eric Cotenas)