Hello again, people of the internet. The next movie I'm going to be watching is 'The Intruder' starring William Shatner. I know absolutely nothing about this one. I've never heard of it and didn't want to be told much about it before watching it. From reading the back of the case, it seems that good old Capt. Kirk (caveat; I've never seen Star Trek or any of the movies. I can't recall seeing anything else that Shatner has been in, so this may very well be my very first Shatner experience. Let's hope I don't get Shat upon.) is a white supremacist that comes to a southern town on the eve of integration, and chaos ensues. Let's have at it...
Adam Cramer (Shatner), arrives in some small southern town the night before the integration of black children into the white schools. Shatner immediately begins campaigning against the integration and holds a rally the night after the first day of black children going to the white school. This first rally is a Ku Klux Klan-esque style rally. After the first rally a black family traveling in a car on their way home is stopped by a mob of white people. Tom McDaniel (Frank Maxwell) steps in and stops the violence before it starts.
Later that night there is a full on Klan rally with hoods and a cross burning. The Klan guys throw dynamite into the black church and the preacher stumbles out and dies in one of the black children's arms. While this is happening Shatner is banging the wife of the guy in the room next door.
The next day Tom McDaniel walks the black children to school. When he returns to his car, there is a group of white people from the town that want an explanation why he is a N-lover. Tom, in so many words, tells the people to fuck off. They beat the shit out of him and put him in the hospital.
Shatner goes back to his room and finds Sam Griffin (Leo Gordon) waiting for him. Sam is the guy in the room next door whose wife Shatner banged. Sam tells Shatner that his wife has skipped out on him. Sam eventually lets Shatner know that he knows the truth by pulling a gun on him. blah blah blah, long story short he doesn't shoot him.
Shatner puts the moves on Tom's daughter, Ella McDaniel (Beverly Lunsford), and hatches a plot to say Joey Greene (Charles Barnes), the kid that held the black preacher when he died, tried to rape her. The next day at school, Ella asks Joey to help her with some boxes in a storage room, when he is taking the boxes off a shelf she starts screaming.
The mob gathers outside the school once they hear of the "rape" and demand that Joey come out to them. Joey walks outside and is eventually grabbed and tied to a swing outside the school. Shit is about to get real when Sam Griffin shows up with Ella McDaniel and gets her to confess that she made the rape story up, and that Shatner told her to do it.
In the end Shatner ends up disgraced.
I don't know how to feel about this one. The message was clear: White people are terrible. I enjoyed the movie, but this seems to be the seed that Hollywood planted which eventually flourished into the "shit on white people" movies of the more recent past. 'Crash' comes to mind. I fucking hated that movie. I don't know much about movies and movie history, but I contend that 'Crash' is the single worst movie to ever win an Oscar for Best Picture. If there was any possibility that if 'The Intruder' was never made, then I would not have had to sit through 112 minutes of pure, unadulterated, six-miles-over-the-top, shit that was 'Crash' then I'm fine with that trade-off.
Shatner's acting was superb. His character, Adam Cramer, is easily one of the most diabolical, sinister, manipulative antagonists I've ever come across. The movie is worth seeing, even if just for Shatner's portrayal of his character.
The real thing I took away from this movie is that when it comes to making white people look bad, Spike Lee ain't got shit on Roger Corman.
'The Intruder' is available on DVD from New Horizons Pictures.
Overall Rating: 7 / 10