2019 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 15 Option 2: Blue Sunshine (1978)

DAY 15. PICK YOUR POISON: One with some drugs in it. Turn on, tune in…and freak out!

You know why I’ve never done acid? This movie right here. After all, it has an “inspired by true events” square up in the end credits.

After a series of seemingly unconnected murders in Los Angeles, only one link keeps coming up — every single person took the same strain of LSD called Blue Sunshine.

Yep — the sins of the past decade are ready to come back and destroy the “Me” decade.

Zalman King — yes, the same man who got your mom all tingly after you went to bed with Showtime’s Red Show Diaries — plays Jerry Zipkin, a man accused of the murders who — in true giallo-style — must clear his name. That’s because he was at a party where the murders may have started, complete with a screaming Brion James and Billy Crystal’s brother singing Frank Sinatra songs before he starts throwing women into the fireplace.

If turns out that if you took Blue Sunshine, chances are that you’re about to lose all your hair, go crazy and start killing everyone in your path. Of course, no one knew this ten years ago when they were all dosing on it back in college. Chromosomal damage can be a real b, you know?

How can you not love a movie whose title is spoken by a parrot? One that has a climactic disco shootout? Or is so 1970’s that it ends up speaking for pretty much the entire decade?

Between the self-medicating Dr. David Blume, the hard-drinking and hair losing John O’Malley and Ed Flemming (Mark Goddard, Major Don West from Lost In Space) are all caught up in the grip of the bad trip. The effects pretty much sum up Flemming’s political campaign: “In the 1960s, Ed Flemming and his generation shook up the system. Now he’s working within it.” He has become the system. It’s as if the children in Manson’s famous quote — “These children that come at you with knives–they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.” — are even more dangerous when fully grown.

Goddard isn’t the only TV star that shows up, as Alice Ghostly (Esmerelda from Bewitched) makes an appearance.

Writer and director Jeff Lieberman would lend his strange style to other films like SquirmRemote Control, Just Before Dawn and the odd true crime TV show Love You to Death that starred John Waters as a Grim Reaper attending weddings of partners that would soon kill one another.

The director claims that two major TV networks expressed interest in purchasing the film as a “movie of the week.” The opportunity to get double the budget was appealing, but after seeing the edits that the movie would need to be able to play on network TV, Lieberman decided to produce this for theaters.

You can check out Blue Sunshine on Shudder or get the blu ray from Film Centrix.

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