The Intruder – Special Edition (1962/Roger Corman/Disney)
C Sound: C Extras: C+ Film: B-
became an icon of pop culture for both his “unique” acting and work in Star Trek, William Shatner was working
with some very talented people to go down serious avenues of acting and work
that was explicitly about something instead of shallow entertainment. During a run of a few appearances on the
original Rod Serling Twilight Zone,
he teamed up with Roger Corman and the great TZ writer Charles Beaumont to make a film about racism called The Intruder in 1962.
himself helmed the film about a hatemonger (Shatner, in a performance that is
more disturbing than expected) who comes to a town to spread more hate against
African Americans, with Beaumont writing the screenplay from his novel. As a result, lie, accusations and violence
break out, but can a few cool heads and people who know better stop the tide of
hate? Though it has some problems, even
Corman cannot undermine Beaumont’s script and the cast (including Beaumont,
fellow TZ writer George Clayton Johnson and Jeannie Cooper) is very good.
No, it is
not In The Heat Of The Night, but
that Corman and company had the guts to make it at the time they did speaks
volumes about the character of all and though it may not make the big
statement, it exposes enough of the hate and deals with what was to explode in
the 1960s that even Corman knows it is one of his finest hours. Same for Shatner.
X 1 black and white image is from an old transfer, which is a shame, because
Taylor Byars’ cinematography looks pretty good.
Aliasing errors, detail issues, lack of depth and even some Video Black
limits sabotage the good shoot. The
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound also is dated and a few generations down. Extras include a making of featurette with
Shatner and Corman. Very interesting,
this is worth seeing for al kinds of reasons, but judge for yourself.
- Nicholas Sheffo