Liquid Sky (1982)

An alien is hovering in the sky above New York City, extracting the endorphins produced by the brain when an orgasm occurs. With each happy ending, someone is murdered, all so the alien can use that energy for…well, I’m not really sure. There’s also plenty of drugs, punk rock, synthesizers, fashion shows and face paint. It’s pretty much perfect.

It all starts at a fashion show in a nightclub where we meet two models, Margaret and Jimmy, who are both bisexual and addicted to fame and cocaine. They’re both played by Anne Carlisle, who was also Victoria in Desperately Seeking Susan. Neither of them has any money to pay for those drugs and they’re constantly at one another’s throats.

Jimmy’s mother, Sylvia, is a TV producer who somehow comes into the orbit of German scientist Johann Hoffman, who is the only person on Earth who understands how the aliens work. And how they work is by killing each person who has had an orgasm with Margaret and making a crystal come out of their heads. Where once she doesn’t believe that these deaths are her fault, by the end, she’s yelling things like “I kill with my cunt!” and taking out men who have wronged her. 

Shot in the U.S. by a small Russian production team, Liquid Sky may as well have been beamed down from space. It feels like it came out of the New York club scene with places like Danceteria and groups like Michael Alig’s clubkids. Even its title is slang for heroin.

You can take this as a memento of New York in the 80’s or a science fiction infused comedy. Or both.

Vinegar Syndrome has recently re-released this film along with a 50-minute documentary about the film. You can also watch it on Amazon Prime and Shudder.

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