In November 1999, Liquid Sky‘s first major VHS release hit the stores. Shortly thereafter it hit DVD—very briefly—in February of 2000. Those who were lucky enough to nab a copy of the all-too-small batch put on market have had access to ‘s NYC New Wave cult hit for some time now. For official consideration for the List of the 366 Weirdest Movies, we’ve been waiting for a re-release. That release would comes almost 17 years after Liquid Sky first got digitized. Worth the wait? The movie’s own merits aside, the folks down at Vinegar Syndrome have taken every step to ensure that their limited edition release will be the copy to own for any fan of Liquid Sky.
Small text on the right-hand third of the box goes more than half-way down the exterior case of the “Limited Edition” copy (there is a promise of a substantially less Limited edition a-coming). The film’s as beautiful as it could ever be, with the only “artifacts” to speak of being those integral to the early ’80s feel of the picture. (Tsukerman took no liberties in sprucing up the special effects, unlike some of his more famous sci-fi film counterparts). The disc is crammed with everything we have come to expect in the age of Blu-ray: documentaries, interviews, rare footage, reversible cover artwork, and so on.
The movie can be watched as it was released, or with the director’s commentary. For those wishing to spruce up their next New Wave get-together with dissonant sound and strange images, there’s an isolated soundtrack option.
The “Liquid Sky Revisited” documentary featurette does most of the heavy lifting for the extras. Tsukerman and company walk us through the background, production history, and other tidbits of information with input from leading lady Anne Carlisle, some peripheral characters, the co-producer (Tsukerman’s wife), the cinematographer, the costume designer, and the lead make-up guy. We learn how comprehensively Liquid Sky shows us the late ’70s/early ’80s New York City punk/art/New Wave scene; no coincidence, as many of the key players from that time and place were involved in it. (I found it sweet how all these counterculture types banded together under the direction of a sweet, older Russian/Jewish immigré documentarian).
At the core of the project was a fellow by the name of Bob Brady, who apparently was the guy to know at the time, traveling in the circles of the likes of, as well as being a prestigious film acting teacher in New York City. And who was this guy who knew everyone and had his fingers on the pulse of all that was hot, new, and cool? An affable, mustachioed professor, who shows up in Liquid Sky as… an affable, mustachioed professor. It turns out that the authenticity of the movie comes across so completely because it was written for the people who starred in it, particularly Anne Carlisle (who wrote the screenplay along with Tsukerman and his wife Nina Kerova).
But I’m getting ahead of the (likely) upcoming re-review of Liquid Sky. Once it’s released in quantity, rumor has it we’ll be looking at it again to see if Liquid Sky has what it takes to nab a place in one of our ever dwindling slots. If patience is your virtue, hang tight for the Vinegar Syndrome people to release the standard Blu Ray edition in April or May this year; if patience isn’t your virtue, brace your bank account for at least a $100 hit.