Some titles spend decades wait­ing for jus­tice in the home video for­mat.  A text­book exam­ple of this tru­ism is Intruder: when it debut­ed on video at the end of 1980’s, orig­i­nal dis­trib­u­tor Paramount sheared off all its gory high­lights to get a quick R-rat­ing and nev­er gave fans the option of an unrat­ed cut.  In the DVD era, it earned a European DVD release in its uncut form and late-but-wel­come 2005 domes­tic disc — unfor­tu­nate­ly, both had weak trans­fers that weren’t much bet­ter than the bootlegs fans had been pass­ing around for years.

As a result, the idea of hav­ing a good-look­ing, com­plete ver­sion of Intruder became a holy grail for fans of 1980’s hor­ror — and that grail has final­ly been unearthed by Synapse Films.  That label has been doing a lot of fine reis­sue work this year — Maniac Cop and The Exterminator, to name just two — and their deluxe blu-ray and DVD edi­tion of Intruder main­tains the stan­dard of qual­i­ty those releas­es have estab­lished.

It all begins with a strong new high-def­i­n­i­tion trans­fer: the col­or palet­te is rich, the detail is crisp and black lev­els are appro­pri­ate­ly thick dur­ing the night pho­tog­ra­phy and shad­owy inte­ri­ors that dom­i­nate the sec­ond half of the film.  Whether you watch it on blu-ray or DVD, it’s the best look­ing ver­sion of this film to date (advice: the blu-ray is the way to go). The mono sound­track is left intact but given a nice upgrade to an uncom­pressed, DTS pre­sen­ta­tion.  All in all, anoth­er excel­lent dig­i­tal upgrade of a vin­tage cult fave from Synapse.

There is also a jum­bo array of sup­ple­ments for fans to dig into.   First on the slate is a com­men­tary track by writer/director Scott Spiegel and pro­duc­er Lawrence Bender.  The tone of this track is enthu­si­as­tic as both men look back on the film with great fond­ness.  They share sto­ries about the dif­fer­ent mem­bers of the cast and crew, the chal­lenges of cap­tur­ing par­tic­u­lar gore effects and even poke fun at the music library mate­ri­al used on the sound­track.  Spiegel is sur­pris­ing­ly clean-cut for a gore­meis­ter, fre­quent­ly accom­pa­ny­ing the on-screen shocks with excla­ma­tions of “Good grief!”  They sur­pris­ing­ly avoid the neg­a­tive cir­cum­stances of the film’s orig­i­nal release but it’s a decent track over­all, with some nice nuggets of triv­ia for the film’s fans.

And that’s just the begin­ning.  On the small scale, you get expect­ed things like two trail­ers (one of them a video spot for the orig­i­nal Night Crew title) and a juicy gallery of stills sup­plied by FX man Greg Nicotero.  The lat­ter con­cen­trates on the shock­ing effects images that fans remem­ber see­ing in the old Gorezone pro­mo­tion­al arti­cle on this film.  There is also ten min­utes worth of audi­tion footage that is inter­est­ing because it fea­tures a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of the first scene with the heroine’s ex-boyfriend.

The most inter­est­ing of the short for­mat inclu­sions is a 6-min­ute pre­sen­ta­tion of out­takes from the orig­i­nal 8mm ver­sion of the film (the fin­ished ver­sion is miss­ing) that Spiegel cut togeth­er for this release.  Fans will be inter­est­ed to see that Spiegel retained sev­er­al shots and bits of busi­ness from the short for his fea­ture ver­sion (how­ev­er, he han­dles the band­saw killing in a dif­fer­ent way here).

However, the best inclu­sion on the set is “Slashed Prices,” a new 38 min­ute fea­turet­te put togeth­er by Michael Felsher.  It’s built around inter­views with Spiegel, Bender and most of the film’s cast (sad­ly, no Sam Raimi but you do get Bruce Campbell).  Everyone looks back at the expe­ri­ence with nos­tal­gic fond­ness and they all muster up a fun anec­dote or two — the best might be from star Elizabeth Cox, who breaks down the five dif­fer­ent types of screams she used in this film.  Even Charles Band, the film’s orig­i­nal co-financier and dis­trib­u­tor pops up to explain why Intruder’s orig­i­nal home video release went awry.  It’s a fast-mov­ing, col­or­ful piece that makes good use of clips from the film.

If that’s not enough, there’s also an inter­est­ing bonus from Felsher and crew in the form of “The Slashing Of Intruder,” a short inter­view with filmmaker/fan Vincent Pereira.  It starts as a tale about how dis­cov­ered Intruder as a young hor­ror buff but incor­po­rates a nice sto­ry about Spiegel into its finale.

In short, Intruder is yet anoth­er strong cat­a­log release from Synapse, deliv­er­ing an excel­lent trans­fer and plen­ty of qual­i­ty extras.  Fans of the film shouldn’t think twice about snap­ping it up.