Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Starcrossed (1985)

Directed by Jeff Boom 
Starring James Spader, Belinda Bauer

"She fled to our world but they came to take her back...dead or alive!"

James Spader is...well, his usual preppy douchebag 80's self (although he's inexplicably supposed to be car mechanic here. A car mechanic who wears powder blue gloves?)  who runs into a girl in a red leather jacket with a Superman curl (Belinda Bauer) who's getting chased down by a couple creeps. He scares them off with tough talk (!) and then takes off with her in his pink convertible (!).

They head back to his place - it's stuffed with retrojunk, like one of those space-age 8 track players and a TV from 1955 - and they get to know each other a little. He's Joey, she's Mary. She tells him the thugs have orders to capture her and take her back to wherever she's from. He assumes she's from Russia. She does not confirm or deny this.

Joey goes to sleep. She turns off all the lights...with her mind! In the morning, he suits up for work (he's got a peach-colored jumpsuit!), but on his way out, he runs into the dudes again. They chase him upstairs and he and Mary vamoose down the fire escape in a shower of lasers and explosions. Yikes, what kind of madness is afoot?

They hide out in a pool hall and she gives him the news: she's an alien from an enslaved planet. She's come to Earth seeking asylum. Joey is, naturally, skeptical. So to prove she's really an alien, she sinks all the pool balls...with her mind! He wants to know where she's from, so they sneak into the planetarium so she can point out her home planet. While there, they run into the lady scientist who runs the joint (?) and they spill the beans. After more psychic tricks (Mary's wicked good at card tricks) she agrees to help our goofy duo evade the bad guys. Or does she?

At any rate, she takes them to see her spaceship, which she left at the town dump. But as soon as they get there, the bad guys show up and blow-up the lady scientist. They try to blast Joey too, but Mary moves a car...with her mind! And so, they escape. For now.

Later on, Joey teaches Mary how to take a bath. While she's soaking in the tub, his doofus buddy from the garage shows up and tells him they ought to sell her off to the media and make a bundle. Joey throws him out the door where he's immediately scooped up by the Feds. They're on the case, too.

Meanwhile, Mary wants Joey to teach her about this Earthling "love" she's heard so much about. So he totally does, man, with slo-mo make-outs and soft-jazz.

The next morning, Joey goes out for breakfast and the FBI snatches Mary. When Joey comes back, he is at first confused, but then he gets a message ( his mind!) from Mary, who tells him where she is. Joey rushes over to the Federal building where they tell him they've been observing them for days and that they have big plans for our beret-wearing space vixen. Things look bleak, but then Mary mind-explodes the wall and they make a break for it. 17 guys with machine guns chase after them, but no one shoots. They make it out of the building, but now the space thugs are chasing them, too!

Mary decides it's time to get back to her ship and go home. This whole experience has soured her on the whole Earth thing. But she needs Joey's help to get there. I know you love her, Joey, but she's not from here, man. There's a climactic battle (handled, literally, by a smoke machine) and then Mary gets in her ship (literally, a few florescent tubes taped together) and off she goes. The end.

For whatever reason, this tepid TV movie time-waster is fondly remembered by many, but honestly, your breakfast was more eventful then this movie. Stick with Tuff Turf for early Spader thrills.

- Ken McIntyre 

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