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1982 Movie Reviews – Endangered Species and Starstruck

By on September 10, 2022 0

by Sean P. Aune | September 10, 2022September 10, 2022 10:30 a.m. EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1982 was an exciting year for movies, giving us plenty of films that would become beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start of a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of these still reverberate to this day.

We’ll choose which movies we’ll see, but right now the list has grown to almost four dozen.

Yes, we’re crazy, but 1982 was a great year for movies.

The items will be released – in most cases – on the same day as the films released in theaters in 1982, making this their true 40th anniversary. All films are also reviewed for the purposes of these reviews and are not made from memory. In some cases, it will really be the first time we see them.

This time it’s September 10, 1982 and we’re going to see The threatened species and Starstruck.

Quick note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that vintage video podcast makes the exact same project with two differences: first, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they make all the great movies. We’ve listened to many episodes and it’s fun to check their thoughts against mine. Check them out on Vintage Video Podcast.

The threatened species

For some reason in the early 1980s the cattle kept being mutilated and no one knew why. This movie tried to answer that… kinda?

Ex-cop Ruben Castle (Robert Ulrich) goes on a trip with his daughter and, following a breakdown in a small town, finds himself embroiled in a mystery involving cattle mutilations. As the story progresses, we discover that the response is very human and involves completely silent helicopters that make no sense.

In this project or traveling through the movies of the 80s, I try to watch about one movie a day. The threatened species took me four days to watch. It’s just a miserable, absurd, boring movie that I just couldn’t care less about. After day two I thought about skipping it, but ultimately decided to fight it and I’m glad to say I never need to see it again.

It’s sad when that happens because there were actually quite a few talented actors in the mix, but no one could save that movie stench.


Luckily this weekend hasn’t been a total washout as I’ve discovered the odd little joy that is Starstruck.

Jackie Mullens (Jo Kennedy) is a Sydney teenager who wants nothing more than to be a singing star. Together with his cousin Angus (Ross O’Donovan), they hatch many plots and plans to achieve their goals.

After a gimmick involving Jackie crossing a street on a tightrope, all of her dreams begin to come true, but with a lot of conditions attached that she doesn’t like. She rejects him and ends up winning on her own terms at the end of the film.

What I didn’t know going into this movie was that it was a musical, and I certainly didn’t know it was a New Wave musical. This movie is so bright, happy, poppy, and unapologetically 80s that it’s hard not to find something to love. And it’s most definitely Australian. This movie almost bleeds Vegemite.

There’s no doubt that it’s overkill and not for everyone, but I enjoyed every moment of this movie. Add to that that Kennedy and O’Donovan really had no acting experience and it’s just an amazing little gem of a movie. It gets one of my highest recommendations from 1982 so far. It seems like every year I find a hidden gem of a movie I didn’t know about, and this might be this year’s winner.

1982 Movie Reviews will return on September 17 with Hammet!

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