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Endangered Species (1982)

About a retired New York cop on Vacation in America's West who is drawn into a female sheriff's investigation of a mysterious series of cattle killings.



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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruben Castle
Harriet Purdue
Joe Hiatt
Ben Morgan
Marin Kanter ...
Mackenzie Castle
Dr. Emmer
Margery Bond ...
Judy Hiatt
Joseph G. Medalis ...
Alvin Crow ...
Deputy Wayne
Ned Dowd ...
Deputy Bobby


Thriller about a New York ex-cop and an attractive female sheriff who fall in love while investigating a string of mysterious cattle mutilations in a small Colorado town. Urich is great as Reuben Castle, the retired alcoholic police lieutenant out visiting the town with his tomboy daughter. At first he tries to stay out of the case but finds himself involved after the mysterious death of his friend Joe Hiatt, the editor of the local paper whose theories about black helicopters have aroused the ire of cattle baron Ben Morgan. Trying miserably to stay sober, Castle finds himself back in danger and in love, as he and the sheriff work together to get to the bottom of the mystery, encountering incredible danger and resistance from the frightened locals. Written by Unknown

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What you don't know can kill you.


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 September 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Morte Vem do Céu  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character Susan is played by Heather Menzies-Urich, co-star Robert Urich's off-screen wife. Menzies is best known as Louisa, one of the children in The Sound of Music (1965). See more »


Joe Hiatt: You know in almost every case, bright lights in the sky, no tracks, strange noises...
Ruben Castle: UFOs, huh?
Joe Hiatt: Look pal, if it's UFOs, it's bigger than all of us. That's like saying God did it. But if it's not UFOs...
See more »


Referenced in Hangin' with Hoyt on the Set of 'Gremlins' (2014) See more »


Composed and Performed by Hoyt Axton
Courtesy of Jeremiah Records
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User Reviews

excellent and unorthodox film about conspiracy theory-type stuff
16 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

this is a fascinating film. I remember it vividly as my father took me to see it when I was about 12. Come to think of it, my parents took me to see some really odd films when I was growing up in the early 80s. Before I was even thirteen my parents took me to see such films as "Heavy Metal", "Eating Raoul", and "Blow Out". What the hell were they thinking? lol.

Anyways, this film is about cattle mutilation and delves into the world of conspiracy theories involving black helicopters, satanic underground networks, and all that other stuff people were starting to get worked up about in the early 80s.

Robert Urich plays an investigator from the big city who comes to the rural town where the mutilations are happening. With him is his delinquent teenage daughter (who is quite good. whatever happened to that young actress??). Urich also becomes romantically entangled with the local female sheriff played by JoBeth Williams.

I have to give special mention to a couple of things. This film (in my opinion) is easily the best that Alan Rudolph has ever done. He's always been somewhat of a cult director but I never found his films very impressive. But "Endangered Species" is just superb. If you're going to create a film about conspiracy theories, this is the way to do it, folks. By NOT spelling everything out for the audience. But suggesting a great deal. By NOT treating the audience as though they are idiots. The cinematography is also very impressive, as is the droning, disturbing score. A definite winner! I used to have a copy of this on VHS and I gave it away a few years back. I'm still kicking myself for doing that!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any news on a future DVD release? scribejack
Movie good, movie soundtrack very bad! asche1959
VHS tapes available tapowers
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