Starman (1984) - CoverUps.com

The Conspirators

Starman: Jeff Bridges
Jenny Hayden: Karen Allen
NSA Chief Fox: Richard Jaeckel
SETI Scientist Shermin: Charles Martin Smith

The Mastermind

Directed By: John Carpenter.
Written By: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon, and Dean Riesner (un-credited).

Running Time: 115 Minutes.
Rated PG

Memorable

Is it possible to replicate, clone, a human being from a cells of a single human hair.”

“Not in today’s technology, but it is possible – perhaps a hundred thousand years from now.  We are just getting started.” - Paraphrase of conversation between NSA advisor and SETI scientist.

Why is that conversation cool? Starman was shot in 1984. Nearly 30 years later, we are on the threshold of just doing that – a whopping 9,970 years ahead of schedule! 

CoverUps.com Rating: 2 UFOs

Matt DeReno
CoverUps.com Staff Writer

(April 18, 2007) - John Carpenter's Starman is a 1984 science fiction film that tells the story of a creature from outer space that has come to Earth.  His trip is in response to an invitation put on a gold disk in the famous Voyager space probe. 

Upon arriving in Earth's atmosphere, the Starman's ship is attacked by U.S. military aircraft, forcing it to go up in a ball of flame and crash in the woods. The Starman, at this point, is a ball of light.  He goes searching the countryside and finds the log cabin (a nice one mind you) of an attractive young woman belonging to Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen) who was busy pounding wine, dressed only in her underwear, when she passed out in sad longing of her dead husband (Jeff Bridges) a local painter. 

The “being” finds a lock of her husband's hair in a photo album.  He scans the DNA from the hair and “poof” becomes a fully grown cloned body of her dead husband within minutes. The Starman then demands Hayden drive him from Wisconsin to Meteor Crater, Arizona.  There, presumably, his Mother Ship will be picking him up. Hayden is both terrified and fascinated by a being who has assumed the form of her dead husband.  Still, she reluctantly complies to help the Starman get to Arizona.

As they head on down the road, the couple is pursued by the U.S. Army, who detected the crash and is nonplussed that an alien choose to return the Earth’s very own invitation.  Led by gung-ho NSA Chief Fox and nerdy SETI scientist Shermin, it is a race to the clock to capture Starman.

Over the course of the journey, the Starman learns about humanity through direct experience as well as from some poignant insights by Hayden, who in turn finds that Starman is a tender, sincere, loving alien from outer space. By the end of the journey, when Starman is retrieved by his fellow extraterrestrials, he has saved Hayden's life.  Additionally, they have fallen in love and Starman knocks her up.  Needless to say, the sex must have been out of this world. 

Bridges was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and deservedly so – he is pretty darn convincing.  He takes a role that could easily have been a set up for alien road-trip gag humor and makes it believable. 

By today’s standards, the movie might seem a bit corny and dated.  After all, you have to use your imagination to believe Bridges is the Starman, an alien in human form.  When is the last time you were asked to use your imagination at a movie?  It would seem CGI technology has made every attempt to get rid of the imagination since.  But, in Starman it is required and reminds us why it is fun to imagine in the first place.       

All in all, Starman is a decent cinematic effort, dated by today’s standards, but still holds up well.  Put it up on your CoverUps shelf.  Just don’t tape any locks of hair to the DVD.  After all, you don’t want a Starman to assume your life form one day and make you drive half way across the country – especially with the prices of gas today!

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