|ENDANGERED SPECIES (director/writer: Alan Rudolph; screenwriter: Joel Binder/story by Judson Klinger & Richard Clayton Woods; cinematographer: Paul Lohmann ; editor: Tom Walls ; music: Gary Wright ; cast: Robert Urich (Ruben Castle), JoBeth Williams (Harriet Purdue), Marin Kanter (MacKenzie Castle), Paul Dooley (Joe Hiatt), Hoyt Axton (Ben Morgan), Peter Coyote (Steele), Dan Hedaya (Peck), Harry Carey Jr. (Dr. Emmer), John Considine (Burnside), Heather Menzies (Susan); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Carolyn Pfeiffer; Warner Home Video (MGM/UA); 1982)|
warning for the public to be alert to the
dangers of chemical warfare."
by Dennis Schwartz
based on the true story by Judson Klinger and Richard
Clayton Woods, but is fictionalized for the film.
Alan Rudolph ("The Secret Lives of
Dentists"/"Trixie"/"Roadie") directs it as a
well-constructed strange conspiracy thriller, that
offers a warning for the public to be alert to the
dangers of chemical warfare. I liked the film and
would have liked it better if the ending wasn't so
confusing. The film, unfortunately, was not seen by
many. The uneven screenplay is by Rudolph and Joel
Binder. It takes on questions over cattle
mutilations, which in the 1970s some thought
could be due to either UFOs or Satanists. In this film
the culprits are the CIA, who conduct secret germ
warfare experiments. Though in reality the mutations
are still a mystery.
alcoholic Ruben Castle (Robert Urich)
quits his city police detective job to move with his
daughter (Marin Kanter) to the peaceful rural
community of Buffalo, Colorado, where he has a
political activist friend there in the newspaper
business (Paul Dooley). Surprisingly Ruben learns that
the local cattle are regularly being disfigured and
the usual predators like wolves are ruled out. The new
sheriff, Harriet Purdue (JoBeth Williams),
reluctantly seeks help from the seasoned city
detective, and they investigate together the rash of
cattle organ removals. In the process they calm the
fears of the local ranchers who suspect this is the
work of aliens.
a romance blossoms between the truth searchers after a
rocky beginning. As for the investigation, it
eventually leads them to a seemingly unused but
secured by surveillance cameras NORAD base, where they
bust into the locked facility and uncover that nerve
gas experiments are illegally being conducted.
REVIEWED ON 3/6/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ