Bullet Points: The Intruder (1986)
The odds of Sylvester Stallone traveling to Indonesia to make a low budget action movie back in the mid-80’s were slim and none. Stallone was an A-List Hollywood heavyweight back then thanks to the success of the Rocky and Rambo franchises. Stallone could demand top dollar and be selective about the movies he made.
So if you are a movie producer who really wanted Rambo but can’t afford the genuine article, you do the next best thing… you create Rambu!
- Fight of the Intruder: Our hero Rambu (Peter O’Brian) is an unemployed police academy drop out mooching off his wife Jenny. Instead of sitting at home and watching movies on his couch all day and pretending to look for jobs like a normal person would, Rambu roams around town looking to right wrongs. The movie begins with a speeding car filled with some local goons careening down the road. The almost out of control car nails a lady crossing the road sending her flying! The head goon named Charlie (Adang Mansyur) gets out of the car and he starts screaming at the woman like it was her fault that they hit her. It was a damn miracle the woman survived the high speed collision and was able to get back up on her feet, but the groceries she was carrying to feed her family were not as lucky. That is when Rambu shows up and demands that Charlie pay the woman for the groceries… Charlie doesn’t comply at first but when Rambu takes a lead pipe to Charlie’s goon car, Charlie quickly changes his tune and gives the woman some money. Charlie is not going to let Rambu get the last laugh so him and his buddies try to use their numbers advantage on Rambu… but what they did not expect was that Rambu was packing a racquetball! Rambu bounces that ball off of his foes with such precision that the ball always bounces back right into his hand like it was a boomerang… it is an extraordinary skill the likes I have never seen in all my years of action movie viewing. Rambu and Charlie would have another run in at a bizarre strip club where Charlie was trying to force a woman named Ella that was being held hostage at the club, to perform on stage. Fortunately for Ella, Rambu shows up to save the day and Charlie is once again all kinds of pissed.
- The White Shadow: In the grand scheme of things Charlie is small potatoes. He is one of the many hired goons working for drug kingpin John White (Craig Gavin). Mr. White is ruthless. If you screw up too many times, he straight up shoots you. White wants Rambu out of the picture. Mr. White hates that Rambu is intruding on his business and refers to him on several occasions as “The Intruder” (DING!) and he wants Rambu to be taught a lesson. So White’s minions hatch a plan where Charlie and two other goons will kidnap Rambu’s wife, rape her and then kill her. I know I’m doing some armchair evil scheming right now, but if you wanted to scare Rambu off is it really wise to give him even more of a reason to come after you?
- Hit the Rewind Button: If there is one thing that Mr. White loves more than his dirty drug money, it would be the fairer sex. White’s weakness for women sets up a scene that I don’t think I will ever forget. White has a guy named Anton who comes to his home with a line up of women. Anton proudly displays his collection of women touting that there is one in every shape and size and every one of them is eager to please Mr. White. We then get to see Anton’s sales pitch on each of the women… First up is the lovely Doreen star of X rated films and a real little party doll. Caroline, the voluptuous lady in red, who is a red hot lover and ready to make all of Mr. White’s fantasies in flesh come true… BUT WAIT, Mr. White stops the proceedings by saying Caroline is too fat. Next up is Tracy, she is a trim little racing model with a fuel injection system that can’t be beat. Finally there is an untouched blossom named Cynthia. Cynthia is only 16 years old and comes with Anton’s virgin guarantee. When Cynthia does not take kindly to Mr. White groping her and spits in his face, Mr. White responds by shooting her in the back. The fact that some one thought up this scenario, then some one hired actors and actresses and a movie crew to bring the scenario to life and then this scenario was released for the world to consume is absolutely fascinating to me.
With his red Rambo headband (a good luck charm from Ella), Rambu is ready to become a one man army and take on all the bad guys to give The Intruder a finale fitting of a movie that was off the rails from the word go. Rambu holds nothing back as he guns down bad guy after bad guy and blows up barrel after barrel of gasoline all in the name of sweet revenge!
Trying to capture all the nuances of The Intruder with words on page is almost a fool’s errand. Some movies need to be seen to be believed. The Intruder is one of those movies.
Some reviews are better enjoyed when reading the Bonus Bullet Points, this review of The Intruder is one of those reviews…
- My Good Friend Rick Shaw: About midway through the movie, Ella finds herself kidnapped by Charlie (again!). Charlie has her tied up out in the middle of nowhere with goons on dirt bikes guarding the area. It is all bait for Rambu to show up, and Rambu does show up popping wheelies in an auto rickshaw! If that was not bizarre enough, Rambu then summons a whole fleet of auto rickshaws to aid him in his battle against the dirt bikes, almost like he was Aquaman and the rickshaws were fish.
- Don’t Trust Anyone: The Intruder features one double cross I saw coming and another that I didn’t.
- Jan Brady’s Favorite Quote: “Rambu! Rambu! Rambu! I’m sick and tired of hearing that name!” – Mr. White
- Where Are They Now?: Peter O’Brian’s film career did not last long but he was huge in Indonesia during his six year run. His final film was 1992’s Angel of Fury with Cynthia Rothrock. Today Peter is back in his native New Zealand where he spends his time at the Faith Bible College and mentoring.