August 20th, 2011: Starman (1984)

Cast and Crew:  Larry J. Franco (Producer);  Jack Nitzsche (Score); M.C. Gainey, George ‘Buck’ Flower, Mickey Jones

What It’s About: A “Starman” (Jeff Bridges) comes to investigate Earth after his race finds Voyager II. When NORAD shoots down his starship, The Starman crash lands near the home of of Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen).  The Starman finds a lock of Jenny’s deceased husband Scott (Jeff Bridges) and takes his form. Starman and Hayden travel cross-country to Winslow, Arizona where Starman’s people are coming to pick him up. Can they avoid SETI investigator Mark Shermin (Charles Martin Smith), sent by his boss George Fox (Richard Jaeckel) to capture the Starman for an autopsy?

Why Watch it Today?: Voyager II, the deep space probe that inspired many late 70s and 80s sci-fi films, was launched today in 1977.  Starman uses the plot hook of an alien sent to Earth in response to Voyager II to set up a more adult version of E.T.  Instead of a lonely kid with divorced parents meeting an alien friend, we have a recently widowed woman who meets an alien who takes the form of her dead husband.  Starman is by no means a great film, but it’s a solidly entertaining Sci-Fi/Romance/Road Trip flick, and one of director John Carpenter’s few chances to break out of the horror/thriller ghetto he usually found himself in.

Where to Get It:  Watch online at Amazon, iTunes, or Netflix

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