HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
   
 
Newest Articles
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
   
 

Manor On Movies - Return to Sender

  Everybody admired Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs (1992), ja? I mean, you have to like a guy who can deftly cut a rug and ear. And Double-M was appealing enough in subsequent roles, you didn't laugh when he published a volume of poetry. Well, not in his face, anyway.

His acting resume full of gems, mercurial Mr. Madsen made it past the ranks of hired helpdom in 1997, pulling down an Associate Producer credit for The Sender, easily the tip-top UFO-themed film featuring Robert Vaughn since 1980's remarkable Hangar 18. And if you've seen the latter, you know exactly how high Sender director Richard Pepin had to soar to reach that level of cerebrum-scorching entertainment. Why, in H18, the Middle-Aged-Man From U.N.C.L.E. was called upon to portray a U.S. President attempting to conceal the truth from the American people -- like that would every really happen! These screenwriters sure come up with some kooky premises. Next, they'll be trying to convince us family connections and sexual favors secure job advancement better than continually putting in an honest day's work!!!

Following Elvis' instructions to "return to Sender"... the third "name" celebrity in the billing is the aging-disgracefully Dyan Cannon. The fair-weather NBA fan appears as Gina, wife of retired cloak-and-dagger operative Ron Fairfax (Vaughn), and a Company agent in her own right. True to form, Gina demonstrates her undying loyalty for a lifetime of wedded bliss by selling Ron out at the very first opportunity. Geez, bro, the good-time Charlene seemingly only turns up at pro hoops games -- to pull for the stinkin' L.A. Fakers, no less -- when they're nationally televised; so, you should have known you couldn't trust that two-faced hussy.

(Memo to insulted Lakers fans: I've got a magic johnson for ya, right here, okay?)

A noted second-tier celeb lends able support to the forenamed triad. Here's your chance to catch R. Lee Emery, the gruff, macho-mouthed sergeant from Full Metal Jacket, as you've never seen him before -- playing a gruff, macho-mouthed Colonel. (R., as he's known to his mom, may be typecast, but at least he gets promoted.)

Plotwise, Dallas Grayson (Madsen) is having a pretty ordinary day. A covert military group has dredged up the wreckage of his Naval flier father's plane shot down by a UFO in the Bermuda Triangle twenty-plus years ago. His daughter Lisa's cancer has gone into complete remission in one week thanks to secret hospital visits from her "angel" who is in actuality a spacechick from the planet Pectoral Siliconus, beamed down to Earth -- by the same aliens who "accidentally" zapped the lil gal's Grampa -- to teach the child supercharged telekinesis which Lisa can perform due to a genetic mutation that only occurs in Grayson females. And the special-ops spooks who fished out the plane parts have set their sights on kidnapping the kid and using her "sender" abilities to gleefully massacre innocent civilians in galaxies they can't even see. Yup, just another drab day in the hood.

Okay, maybe The Sender storyline is no great shakes. It's the meat on dem bones what makes the pic officially Certified By Stately. If fashion is your passion, you'll be pleased to note, rather than the boring old high-ranking officer in a starched uniform dripping with medals, Sender's head heavy is an earringed homeboy with a penchant for modified Nehru jackets; and his key honkey aide has the sort of l-o-n-g, pulled-back hair normally seen in Kung Fu Theater dramas set in the 19th century. Good Lawd, the CIA's been taken over by two dance club gigolos! No wonder the stuffy Feds hate them!!

Action, action, you want action? A-C-T I-O-N? Sender gives you not one but three Madsen-as-prey motor vehicle chases -- plus a bonus fourth nailbiter when he's dogged by model copters attacking Angel's ship. We even watch a Winnebago get wiped out! In what is surely a miracle on wheels, not a single one of the myriad cars cracked up is less than a dozen years old. That in and of itself is not such a big deal. But the fact that an obvious attempt to cut cost corners is so glaringly CONSPICUOUS is the sort of detail separating a true junkfilm from the pretenders to the ceramic throne.

You want fries and an equally blatant technical boner to go with that? How about a scene where they alternate betwixt shots of Ms Cannon leading confederates through a fortress and shots of her still bound up in the back of a truck?!?

Extra credit, anyone? The actress portraying Angel had the career foresight to select the pseudonym Shelli Lether, a name sure to warm the heart of your cockles, fellow lechers.

"But, Stately, the movies you recommend are so difficult to find." Not this time, Manormaniacs: to circumvent said sitcheeation, I intentionally selected a flick getting frequent cable play. That means you can see The Sender for virtually nothing. And it's worth every penny of it.

(Author's overdramatic warning: Don't confuse this Sender with the 1982 film of the same name -- or you'll be cursed forever!)

There's a boatload of junkfilm reviews--most illustrated in the crazy new COLOR medium!--at ManorOnMovies.com. You are invited.
Author: Stately Wayne Manor.

 

< Back to Article list

Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: 31 March, 2018