Pardon the Intrusion

WORLD EXCLUSIVE from Shadowplay. This is INTRUSION, the first film by ’60s UK horror-film enfant terrible Michael Reeves.

Unfortunately, in the years since its production, the soundtrack has gone astray. Also unfortunately, since Reeves made the mistake of making his film exactly 34 seconds too long for YouTube, I’ve had to omit the opening title that reads, “This film is dedicated to Jean-Luc Godard.” It’s a dedication that makes me smile. Godard dedicated A BOUT DE SOUFFLE to Monogram Films, makers of low-grade quickies. Reeves dedicates his low grade quickie to Godard, without a trace of detectable irony.

dedicated to the one I love

The film isn’t exactly good or anything, but it’s historically very important and it’s been unavailable for years because the people who have their hands on the only print charge a fortune for video copies. Even Reeves’ biographer, Benjamin Halligan, got stung.

So now here it is for free, so you can all enjoy the first film performance of future Reeves star Ian Ogilvy as the Obsequious Butler (?) the fact that the bad guy wears Jean-Luc Godard shades, the novelty of a would-be hard-edged thriller being performed by public schoolboys in the leafy English countryside, and the complete lack of irony or plot twists.

Neon Ogilvy

It’s an early work, owing more to Reeves’ hero and mentor Don Siegel than to Godard, and probably of interest only to Reeves completists. We get the sex (sort of) and violence (sort of) and the rural and distinctly English setting, which connects it to other Reeves movies, even if it is basically a home movie by precocious teenagers. We’re certainly not talking TWO MEN AND A WARDROBE here. The rest of you should check out psychedelic psycho-thriller THE SORCERERS and vicious allegory WITCHFINDER GENERAL to see Reeves at his height, and mourn the loss to British cinema — Reeves died of an accidental overdose at age 25.

(I love the fact that for some reason INTRUSION is “A Leith Production,” since that’s where I live in Edinburgh. The name has fulfilled itself.)

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8 Responses to “Pardon the Intrusion”

  1. Thanks for posting the Reeves film.

    Any chance of posting a jpeg of the missing opening Godard dedication?

  2. dcairns Says:

    Good idea! I’ll get to it in an hour or so.

  3. An amazing excavation, and a real treat for this stateside Reeves fan. If only Bill Kelley (who wrote the Cinefantastique article on Reeves) had lived long enough to see this… Thanks for posting the film!

  4. Credit belongs rightly to Ben Halligan, but I’ll make sure he knows how popular this post has been.
    And may I say, it’s a pleasure to have you here, sir. My comic book artist friend Simon Fraser may finally be impressed with me! Hope you’ll have a browse why’ll you’re around.

  5. Ingrid Cranfield Says:

    Fascinating! Anyone who’s interested in Mike Reeves might like to know that I have recently published a memoir about him and myself – I was his last girlfriend. Entitled At Last Michael Reeves: An Investigative Memoir of the Acclaimed Filmmaker, it charts Michael’s last few months and his (and my) treatment at the hands of medical and psychiatric practitioners. The book is available on http://www.lulu.com/1232402, amazon and other retail sites. Readers have called it ‘superbly written’, ‘stunning’, ‘extraordinary’.

  6. Welcome!

    This is knd of spooky as I was just reading the intro to The Devil in Me, by Christopher Fowler, an author I got started on when he commented on this blog last week, and he praises Witchfinder General in it. I literally put the book down, come to check the blog, and you’ve commented.

    Best of luck with the book. It might be worth mentioning it to Tim Lucas of Video Watchblog, who was very excited about Intrusion being available. I’m sure he’ll want to mention it to his (many) readers.

  7. Two things:

    Firstly, thanks for posting the film.

    Secondly, I have just read Ingrid Cranfield’s book. It’s very good indeed; well worth a read for those interested. It can perhaps be taken as an accompanying whisper to Witchfinder’s scream.

  8. My partner also read it, and was impressed. It’s the story of psychiatric failure, as much as anything.

    Have replaced the film (above).

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