HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Sender, The Daddy's little half-alien girl
Year: 1998
Director: Richard Pepin
Stars: Michael Madsen, R. Lee Ermey, Robert Vaughn, Dyan Cannon, Steven Williams, Shelli Lether, Brian Bloom, Josh Clark, Erica Everage, Carlos Lauchu, Arminae Austen, Francis Fallon, Rance Howard, Richard Kuhlman, Ramsay Krull
Genre: Action, Trash, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 1965 an American fighter squadron encounter an enormous spaceship flying over the Bermuda Triangle. During a skirmish Captain Jack Grayson (Brian Bloom) is shot down. On government orders his fellow airmen agree to keep these events a secret. More than thirty years later a covert ops team unearth wreckage both from Grayson's plane and a UFO, attracting the interest of his son Naval Commander Dallas Grayson (Michael Madsen) much to the displeasure of the evil Colonel Rosewater (R. Lee Ermey). Dallas goes on to witness Rosewater and his team murder a group of conspiracy theorists on the orders of Lockwood (Steven Williams), a silver-haired, shades-and-lone earring-sporting mad scientist. Barely escaping with his life, he visits the hospital where his cute little daughter Lisa (Erica Everage) has miraculously recovered from cancer. Lisa claims an angel helped cure her. What Dallas does not know is Angel (Shelli Lether) happens to be an alien woman in a silver jumpsuit and disco wig who visits Lisa at night to help hone the child's paranormal powers. When Rosewater leads a strike team to abduct Lisa, Angel appears to Dallas to reveal that his half-alien daughter is a 'sender': a human transporter beam able to move spaceships across the galaxy.

Back in the Nineties the PM Entertainment Group, co-founded by producer-directors Richard Pepin and Joseph Merhi, were your go-to guys for glossy low-budget direct-to-video trash. The Sender, not to be confused with Roger Christian's cult 1983 psychic-themed horror film of the same name, ranks among their more ambitious films although as cheesy as one might expect from the team behind A Time to Kill (1991) and Bikini Summer (1991). Released at the height of The X-Files-induced vogue for paranoid science fiction thrillers the film draws from a familiar well of UFO lore, government conspiracies, genetic mutations and paranormal powers. Co-writers Nathan Long, who wrote cult favourite Guyver: Dark Hero (1994) and Pepin's television show L.A. Heat, and Richard Preston Jr., the scribe behind Dark Breed (1996) starring PMEG regular Jack Scalia, family friendly romp Little Bigfoot (1997) and the animated series Mystic Knights of Tir Na Bog, touch on some interesting ideas. They also recycle themes from the iconic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) as Angel reveals the alien council fear human beings are a threat to galactic peace although she herself comes to appreciate earthly feelings.

Unfortunately Pepin proves less concerned with developing these ideas than maintaining a constant barrage of car chases, explosions and fight scenes that drag on forever. The Sender is more or less one long series of chase sequences, some better than others (e.g. a well-executed dogfight between helicopters and Angel's CGI spaceship), leavened by Michael Madsen's lame wisecracks. In terms of production design and visual effects the film is more accomplished than many DTV efforts but awkwardly paced. The plot is swamped in soapy, sub-TV movie melodrama while Pepin renders the science fiction elements in the kitschiest manner possible. Madsen squints and staggers through events like a punch-drunk prizefighter, seemingly as bemused as the audience and rather obviously stunt-doubled in his action sequences. Even so The Sender is distinguished by an offbeat sense of humour along with an intriguingly quirky supporting cast. Rance Howard appears as one half of a mismatched hit-men duo while Robert Vaughn and a miscast Dyan Cannon play husband-and-wife secret agents who figure in the film's one interesting, albeit thrown away twist. It is kind of cool to see the paunchy, former Napoleon Solo trade bullets with bad guys again. Shelli Lether is also quite watchable as the comely space babe who strips off in the desert to absorb energy from the sun in front of a bemused Madsen while Gremlins (1984) veteran Steven Williams gives a pleasing comic book turn. Though Madsen's constipated demeanour scuppers the would-be emotional Field of Dreams-style climax the film does end on an amusingly silly gag. It is junk but inoffensive junk.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1854 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: