An alien entity visits Earth, taking the form of
a woman's dead husband. After inadvertently scaring the hell out
of her, they get in her Mustang and go on a road trip.
On the road, Starman and his gal pal are pursued by a bad government
guy who wants to dissect him and an alien friendly NASA-type who
just wants to talk. Along the way, our Star guy is beat to a pulp
by a red neck, resurrects a dead deer and experiments with sex.
Starman's alien buddies, arriving in a huge, spherical spaceship,
pick him up at a giant meteor crater in Arizona. The woman, pregnant
with an alien superbaby, is left behind to keep the interstellar
home fires burning.
With STARMAN, Director John Carpenter ("The Thing"), working
from a Script by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon, has created
a classic of the Sci-Fi genre.
An alien comes to Earth in response to a recorded message we attached
to the Voyager spacecraft. Its ship crash lands in Michigan. Soon
a sphere of light floats across the bay, entering Karen Allen's
("Raiders of the Lost Ark") home, who is sleeping. After
watching home movies of Karen fooling around with her husband, Jeff
Bridges ("Fearless"), it begins to transform itself into
him. First it becomes a hologram, then a baby, then quickly grows
to full adult size. The Special Effects during this sequence, by
Dick Smith and Stan Winston and Rick Baker, are superb.
Allen wakes up during this process sees Alien/Bridges, pulls a gun
and faints. The fact that her husband has been dead for a while
has something to do with it. While Allen snoozes, Bridges goes outside
and uses some small, mysterious silver spheres he possesses to phone
home. When Allen wakes up from her catnap, Bridges convinces her
to take him on a road trip to Arizona, where his alien buddies will
pick him up.
In the meantime, Richard Jaeckel ("The Dark"), a hard
nosed military guy who's aware of the UFO landing, dispatches a
NASA guy, Charlie Martin Smith to investigate. Smith ("American
Graffiti", "Cry Wolf", "The Untouchables")
brings a dogged determination to his role similar to Richard Dreyfuss'
in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". And with his
short stature, hound dog mug, and plucky spirit, he's an easy character
to root for.
A great deal of the fun of STARMAN is watching Jeff Bridges impersonation
of an alien in human form. He has a silly, duck-like walk, awkward
gestures, and an unusual speech pattern. His monkey see, monkey
do attitude is also entertaining. After observing Allen drive for
awhile, he takes a turn behind the wheel. When he approaches a yellow
traffic light, at an intersection, he races through, barely avoiding
a collision, Allen yells at him, accusing him of not understanding
traffic lights. Bridges replies, "Red light stop. Green light
go. Yellow light, go very fast!". He sure learns fast for an
STARMAN is a chase movie, a road picture, and a love story, providing
something for everybody. The fact that the love story involves a
woman falling in love (and eventually having sex) with an alien
who has assumed the form of her dead husband provides a unique story
angle that sounds ludicrous, but plays very well on screen, thanks
to strong portrayals by Bridges and Allen, who delivers what may
very well be her best screen performance.
Director of Photography Donald M. Morgan ably serves Director Carpenter.
His use of blue lighting, when Bridges performs his miracles, creates
the feeling of being in the presence of a god. The Musical Score,
composed by Jack Nitzche, starts out spooky, and becomes warm and
reverent as Allen, and we the audience, come to know and love Bridge's
My favorite scene is when Bridges brings a dead deer, strapped to
a car, back to life. Illuminated by the lights in the parking lot,
Bridges uses one of his small, silver spheres. First the dear twitches,
then it comes fully to life, scampering off the hood, across the
parking lot, and into the woods. It is a powerful, wonderful scene
that involves no dialogue. The imagery stays with you for a long
STARMAN is a delightful Sci-Fi film that should be highly watchable
for most Sci-Fi fans. See it with someone you love. This film is
a miracle worth sharing! STARMAN is out of this world.
If you liked STARMAN you will enjoy ET, SUPERMAN, and/or CLOSE ENCOUNTERS.