Levels look spot on with white highlights and solid blacks, while flesh tones and the crimson Karo syrup all appear as gaudy and natural as I'd expect from the last great American slasher film. Grain is thick, but well enough resolved and looks quite natural in motion. The speckling of minor black and white specs point to Synapse's 2K restoration being based on a high quality positive print rather than the original negative - Don May Jr. has only ever said they made a new scan of the "original materials" when discussing Intruder, and never actually used the word "negative" - but with the stories I've been lucky enough to hear in private, it's possible that this is the best 35mm elements left anywhere.
The 16:9 framing - I think a first after years of 4:3 "fullscreen" presentations - looks very natural and doesn't seem to go out of its way to clip off the tops of heads or any especially relevant details. I can only assume that this was shot with the intent to be released theatrically at 1.85:1 and all prior releases were simply released open-matte, with this 1.78:1 being close to how the film COULD have looked theatrically, had Paramount not decided they didn't give a half a shit about it and then promptly kicked it out into the fledgling direct-to-video market. Rest easy on the aspect ratio, friends: There's absolutely no need to hang on to those crumby old DVDs sourced from nasty looking VHS period masters.
For those of you who preordered from Synapse's website, you'll get your disc in a resealable plastic bag (rather than shrinkwrap) with a hand-numbered DVD-R featuring a copy of director Scott Spiegel's own VHS workprint, which includes a number of alternate takes (some included on the BD as a ten minute "deleted scenes" reel) and the original on-set audio. It's not an essential lost Director's Cut or anything like that, but it is pretty damn cool to have as a bonus, and as differences literally appear within the first 30 seconds of the film there's bound to be all sorts of previously undiscovered nuggets for even old-school fans who saw all the gore on the Dragon import DVD.
The Director's Cut Blu-ray runs 1:27:35, while the Workprint runs 1:29:15. Keep in mind is that the workprint doesn't have any credits at all, while 6 minutes of the DC is Opening and Ending titles - so the workprint actually has about 8 minutes of alternate footage!
Synapse "Intruder" Blu-ray
Synapse "Night Crew" DVD-R
Obviously the workprint bonus disc isn't going to win any audio/video awards, but it's a unique look at the original cut of Scott Spiegel's gore opus that fans with fond memories of the bootleg VHS days of yore should get a kick out of. Remember friends, the workprint is only available at the SYNAPSE FILMS WEBSITE to the first 500 people who order it direct from the source. So go on, support your local independant film distributor for a job well done, and get a sweet little limited edition bonus out of it.
As far as extras go, the release doesn't compare to Zombie, but it feels substantially packed none the less: There's an all new commentary with writer/director Scott Spiegel and producer Lawrence Bender, 10 minutes of workprint sourced deleted scenes, a 39 minute long "Slashed Prices: The Making Of INTRUDER" retrospective created by the busy folks over at Red Shirt Productions, two vintage video trailers, about 11 minutes of screen tests, and most unexpectedly a 7 minute approximation of The Night Crew, Scott Spiegel's early 1980s short that would later become Intruder. There's some cool stuff, but it'll take me a while to really dig my teeth into all of it.
Fans of gross-out B-movies of a bygone age need to order this thing, like, yesterday. I'll update the site with anything else of note should I find it, but consider the above screenshots a fair and accurate rendition of what to expect. The film looks fine and there's plenty of extras to gnaw on, and the fact that Synapse sent the lovely thing out four weeks early has just tickled me pink. My poor, abused Mastercard might be off in the corner considering suicide right now, but personally I couldn't be happier.