RECOMMENDED AS WEIRD: LIQUID SKY (1982)

DIRECTED BY: Slava Tsukerman

FEATURING: Anne Carlisle, Paula E. Sheppard, Susan Doukas, Otto von Wernherr, Bob Brady

PLOT: Tiny aliens land their flying saucer on the roof of a New York City penthouse and

Still from Liquid Sky (1982)

begin sucking the brains out of sex-addicted New Wave beatniks.

WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST:  Tsukerman’s filming style is free-form and unconventional.  Liquid Sky‘s visual footprint is every bit as avant-garde as its story about drug addicted extraterrestrials is bizarre.

COMMENTS:  Aliens come to Earth in search of a heroin rush.  It seems the little green, er, ah, terrestrially challenged ones don’t have the requisite opposing thumbs needed for handling a set of works, so they enjoy their smack the next best way: by telekinetically extracting the gray-matter of heroin addicts whose brains are flooded with opiates.  Wonderful though it may be, heroin turns out to be only a gateway drug for the saucer-jockeys.  While some human poppy-heads may find death to be the ultimate narcotic, the aliens soon discover that the endorphin rush in a juicy human brain during orgasm is the ultimate high, and they reset their priorities accordingly.

Now the gnarly little starmen seek out fornicators and harvest their orgasms for the best buzz.  Still guided by the scent of smack, the space-meisters dock their star-buggy on the roof of a penthouse shared by a drug dealer and her lesbian fashion model lover.  Their apartment contains a large amount of heroin, but better yet, is the locus of a lot of degenerate sex.

When the two gal pals aren’t waxing philosophic during their performance art exhibitions and dance routines at a local New Wave club, they are attracting a steady stream of addicted customers, androgynous jet trash, and depraved sex fiends back to their pad.  The astral hop heads make the most of the situation and suck hapless guests dry when they sexually relieve themselves.  Of course this kills each guest, but no matter.  A few dead bodies are an almost normalizing factor at these two girls’ crazy, drug-addled, day-glo, non-stop New Wave penthouse party.

A Berlin scientist who has been studying the aliens makes the scene and tries to rescue the girls before the little neuron nibblers absorb their whacked-out noggins as well.  The situation becomes a bit sticky when he discovers that the fashion model has plans of her own for the moonmen junkies.

Liquid Sky is a terribly dated, low budget film that is imaginatively colorful and oh so avant-garde.  While it looks pretty campy now, 1980’s hipsters affirm that at the time of its release, Liquid Sky was considered to be the coolest thing by New Wave standards since “smart drinks” and those wraparound mirrored “spectrums” Devo used to wear.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“…one of the weirdest films you’ll ever see… The film redefines weirdness and randomness as it jumps back and forth between seemingly unimportant scenes in clubs where our characters, like deer stuck in headlights, dance away and fight off the advances of others.”–Ed Gonzalez, Apollo Movie Guide (DVD)

5 thoughts on “RECOMMENDED AS WEIRD: LIQUID SKY (1982)”

  1. I will need to re-watch this one. I saw it in my teens, before I developed an acute interest in weird cinema. Although it was probably one of the formative pieces that pushed me in this direction, I really don’t remember much from it except a general impression of weirdness. I was probably about 16 at the time and pretty contemptuous of the punk and New Wave scenes (which I saw as fashionable nonconformity), so I don’t think I was quite open to it at that time. I was just hoping there would be nudity…

    1. I saw this movie at about the same age as you did – and for comparably wholesome reasons. I’ve got the copy of the first (only?) DVD release. I’ve seen it a couple of times since my first brush with oddball cinema back in late high school (that was also when I somehow managed to stumble across the un-cut [and widescreen!] VHS of “the Cook, the Thief, his Wife, & her Lover” at the local video rental store), and looks like I’ve now got an impetus to check it out again.

      Tell me – is 366 planning on releasing their own “Red Box” kiosks any time soon?

    2. Not exactly, but I think there may be a market for renting movies by mail that are not available on Netflix. Don’t have time right now to execute a business plan, but anyone who wants to run with the idea can just send us 1/2 the profits.

  2. I think it would be neat if we had our own mailing distribution for rentals via clandestine dumpsters and trash receptacles that are perplexingly plotted through a scavenging hunt map.

    But that’s just my own bureaucratic ambitions.

  3. Omg this looks amazing. Might have been influential to Ryan Trecartin’s “A Family Finds Entertainment”. I need this on VHS!

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