In 1982, the Australian motion picture ‘Starstruck’ was released in cinemas across the country early that year. Australian cinema was in a healthier state in the early 80s, well healthier than it is in the 20teens. Directed by Gillian Armstrong, it was a quirky musical, with more comic than dramatic moments. Essentially the plot of the film centres around a search for fame and fortune as a singer, as pursued by the character Jackie Mullens, and her cousin Angus, both of who frequent the pub owned by her family. Angus enters Jackie in a talent competition called the ‘Wow! Show’, and if she wins not only will it be her big break into showbiz via a showcase performance at the Sydney Opera House, but she can rescue the family pub from closure with the $25,000 prize money. Needless to say she wows the judges and audience, and her dreams of being discovered come true, with a detour or two along the way. Jo Kennedy played the role of Jackie Mullens, who breaks into song frequently throughout the film’s numerous musical numbers - she’s not the shy retiring type. The two standout musical numbers are a performance of ’Body And Soul’ all the regulars at the family pub, and ’Monkey In Me’ during the New Year’s eve concert/talent show. Most of the movie’s charms lay in the musical numbers, though there are sufficient laughs from the many and varied eccentric characters along the way. Along with the Angels’ Graham ’Buzz’ Bidstrup as band director, and producer Matk Moffatt overseeing Jo Kennedy’s performances, the music coordinator on the film was one Phil Judd, ex of New Zealand music legends Split Enz. Judd’s band at the time, The Swingers (see future post), also appear in several of the film’s music sequences, including performing the title song during the end concert sequence.
As featured in the film, enjoy the video clip for ‘Body And Soul’ by Jo Kennedy.