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The Returning (1983)

| Horror, Mystery
Two different men are possessed by spirits of Native Americans after they separately wander into a sacred burial ground. When John and Sybil come home with their son after a trip to the ... See full summary »


Joel Bender


Patrick Nash (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Strasberg ... Sybil Ophir
Gabriel Walsh Gabriel Walsh ... John Ophir
Victor Arnold ... Al Lyons
Ruth Warrick ... Grace
Brian Poelman Brian Poelman ... Jason Ophir
John Hansen ... Kevin
H.E.D. Redford H.E.D. Redford ... Mr. Rizer
Mostea Oshley Mostea Oshley ... Medicine Man
Babetta Dick Babetta Dick ... Co-worker
Terrell Dougan Terrell Dougan ... Neighbor #1
Beverly Rowland Beverly Rowland ... Neighbor #2 (as Beverly Booth Rowland)
Rick Barker ... Spikee (as Richard W. Barker)
Logan Field Logan Field ... Jimmy the Bartender
Victoria Lopez Victoria Lopez ... Al's Girlfriend
Ben Jones Ben Jones ... Indian in Trading Post


Two different men are possessed by spirits of Native Americans after they separately wander into a sacred burial ground. When John and Sybil come home with their son after a trip to the Mojave Desert, they bring an unusual stone back as a memento of the trip. The stone seems to cause strange noises and other horrible inexplicable phenomena. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...coming for revenge! [Video Australia] See more »


Horror | Mystery


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Also Known As:

Witch Doctor See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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Did You Know?


References The Exorcist (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

One word. Peculiar.
27 June 2008 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Where did this one come from?! The ingredients are there for something special, but what only occurs is an interestingly baffling curio. Mainly the bugs come from its big intentions, for such an ultra-limited production the execution comes off being creaky. Despite building mystic atmospherics and getting an eerie vibe, the ambitiously original concept (Native American spirituality) is not as well told or developed as it could have been. To tell the truth it's messy, but so unusual that it had me compelled. For long stretches not much would happen with it focusing either on trippy visuals (oh look at the pretty glowing colours) and moody performances that were led by a largely worded script. It could wallow on at times, but the low-temperament styling lent well to the melancholy and scarred nature of the story. How to explain without spoiling. Quite tough. A family is struck with grief when their young son is killed in a car accident. It hits the father hard, and something about some rocks that he son had collected on a camping trip begins to have an influence over him mentally. His wife is worried, as his state of mind baffles everyone around him. That'll do. Although the ending was a bit of a let down. The structure of the story was rather second-rate with lazy stabs of fading cutaways and hacked-up editing. However location photography was fluidly formatted with the breathtaking Utah backdrop and there were some creative tilt angle framing and light filtering. So there was an adventurous side and also add Harry Manfredini's oddly, uncanny smörgåsbord of a music score too. The effects are the low-rent side, but resourcefully used. Susan Strasberg, Gabriel Walsh, and Victor Arnold give fine performances. Strasberg especially so, and Ruth Warrick gives able support. It might not eventuate to much, but it has some appeal.

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