The Intruder Within (1981)

intruder within poster tv ad 1981
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Kind of fun monster, potential

Alien rip-off, not enough monster

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Intruder Within

Studio:  Furia/Oringer Productions

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  February 20, 1981

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

intruder within lamprey mosnter

Lesson learned…don’t stick your hand in a deep sea oil rig

A giant oil rig has been given a new area to explore by their bosses at Zorton.  When a strange, unseen creature is brought up from the depth, tragedy immediately strikes.  With the eggs of the creature in the possession of the rig’s scientist Scott (Joseph Bottoms), the captain of the rig Jake Nevins (Chad Everett) and a newly assigned Colette Beaudroux (Jennifer Warren) realize that the danger they thought was dead is just festering and growing.

Directed by Peter Carter, The Intruder Within is a made-for-TV horror movie.  The film premiered on ABC on February 20, 1981.

I don’t know if I saw The Intruder Within on the first run or soon after, but I know I saw it when I was young…and it terrified me.  The first attack of the monster was one of the first jump scares I experienced, and it freaked me out.  While the movie (in general) is kind of a stinker, it has fond memories for me.

intruder within monster lamprey

I wish this had been the main critter…and I also wish that Venom and The Maxx’s Izs were actually based off of it

The movie is essentially Alien on an oil rig.  The leech/lamprey looking monster (which even resembles the alien baby) leads to an infection and a monster being birthed from a woman.  It has the TV movie aspect instead of the big-budget look and feel of Alien and is largely forgettable through the middle part of the movie.

The cast is unremarkable.  Chad Everett plays the rather ineffective head of the oil rig while Joseph Bottoms is the scientist hiding the secrets of what he knows from the rest of the crew.  Jennifer Warren is the romantic lead for Everett.  When I first saw the movie again in the early 1990s, I realized Ramona Quimby’s mother and the star of the TV series of War of the Worlds Lynda Mason Green played the unfortunate mother of the creature.

intruder within creature monster

Someone said there were tacos up here!

The monster itself is kind of creepy both in its larval form and its humanoid form.  Both versions of the creatures aren’t seen enough, and it could be highlighted slight more (but of course that runs the risk of seeing that the special effects aren’t that great).  Much of the events of the movie happen in the dark and the quality of most transfers are quite low…I’d love to see a better transfer of the film.

The Intruder Within isn’t worth seeking out unless you remember it and want to see it again.  There are better versions of the same story.  While it is Alien at its core, I could see a better, reworked version of the story being done again (possibly combined with The Thing).  Until then, The Intruder Within will continue its fall into obscurity.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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