THE SENDER (1982) Reviews and overview

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‘Your dreams will never be the same.’
The Sender is a 1982 British paranormal horror feature film directed by Roger Christian (Battlefield Earth; 13 Eerie producer) from a screenplay written by Simon Baum (Night Visions; The Haunting of Sarah Hardy; Deadly Nightmares TV series). The movie stars Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight and Paul Freeman.

After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, an amnesiac young man (Zeljko Ivanek) is labelled John Doe #83 and admitted to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

Doctor Gail Farmer (Kathryn Harrold)  tries to establish a connection with him, but soon begins to experience frightening hallucinations.

She quickly realises that the cause of these waking nightmares is none other than the mysterious John Doe, and the strange woman (Shirley Knight) who visits the hospital claiming to be his mother…

Latest release:

The Sender will be released in the UK by Arrow Video on June 17, 2019.

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Original uncompressed stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary by director Roger Christian
  • Newly-filmed interview with screenwriter Tom Baum
  • Newly-filmed appreciation by critic Kim Newman
  • Deleted scenes from the screenplay, including the original ending
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Luke Insect
  • Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Alan Jones and an excerpt from the novelisation by Tom Baum

” …Slovenian-born Zeljko Ivanek (now a popular TV actor) is certainly creepy enough as John Doe #83, though at times it can be difficult for the viewer to fully invest in his journey. Such is also the case with Doctor Farmer.” Jason McElreath, DVD Drive-In

“A wonderfully entertaining telepathic horror film with excellent performances, The Sender is one to pick up asap, it’s definitely a film that needs to be in ever horror lover’s collection. The rewatch value is high with this one…” Jerry Smith, Icons of Fright

“If the character development doesn’t pull you in, however, wait until the last half hour of the picture where everything starts to come to a violent boil. Once the psychic episodes begin to increase in frequency and intensity, the picture really picks up and becomes quite tense and fairly disturbing.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

” …the fact that what John Doe dreams doesn’t actually happen to his targets — they just see or hallucinate what he’s dreaming — means that there’s only limited scope for dangerous situations to be created. No danger means no suspense, and no suspense is too much of an obstacle for an already restrained horror movie to overcome.” 20/20 Movie Reviews

The Sender is a superbly-crafted modern horror picture, credibly using telepathic communication as its premise for creating nightmarish situations […] Cast is good within script limitations, as Harrold represents an attractive, sympathetic heroine and Ivanek a mesmerizing, troubled youngster.” Variety

” …well enough directed and performed that this works very well, still providing scares and carving its own niche to make it stand tall. There are “all timer” scenes in this movie that should have any horror fan going nutso over.” Brandon Peters, Why So Blu?

Cast and characters:

  • Kathryn Harrold … Gail Farmer
  • Zeljko Ivanek … The Sender
  • Shirley Knight … Jerolyn
  • Paul Freeman … Doctor Denman
  • Sean Hewitt … The Messiah
  • Harry Ditson … Doctor Hirsch
  • Olivier Pierre … Doctor Erskine
  • Tracy Harper … Young Girl
  • Al Matthews … Viet Nam Veteran
  • Marsha A. Hunt … Nurse Jo (as Marsha Hunt)
  • Angus MacInnes … Sheriff Prouty
  • Jana Shelden … Nurse Reimbold
  • Manning Redwood … Policeman
  • John Stephen Hill … Policeman
  • Monica Buford … Dr Warren

Filming locations:

Georgia, USA
Shepperton Studios, Studios Road, Middlesex, England

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