Sunday, November 4, 2007

Jeff Lieberman - Blue Sunshine (1976)

I've been meaning to watch this film for a long time, because it's referenced both in the title of the album by Robert Smith and Steve Severin's criminally under-known project The Glove, and also in lyrics by The Meteors. However, despite some nice moments, it didn't altogether live up to the expectations I'd had raised...

The narrative follows Jerry Zipkin (Zalman King), who's at a groovy party when his friend rips his hair off, and begins butchering his fellow party goers. Zipkin, under police suspicion, begins to do his own investigation; and, as other bald murderers surface, he becomes convinced that the deaths are related to a batch of bad LSD from their (common) wild student days.

The initial murders, in particular, are done nicely, and the wild-eyed, bald killers are a nice theme (though I did wonder why the men retain strands of hair while the women become egg-bald, and their behaviour starts to become less scary and more farcical by the film's end). However, there were none of the psychedelic touches I was hoping for - genre-wise, this is more or less a straight-up multiple psycho killer story, if such a thing is conceivable, complete with red herrings and a heavy-handed 'Drugs: Just Say No' message.

Zipkin's actions seem more necessary to further the plot, than realistic for someone in his situation (if, for example, you were trying to warn someone that they might turn into a psychotic killer because of some bad LSD they'd once taken, wouldn't you, well, warn them that they might turn into a psychotic killer because of some bad LSD they'd once taken?). The plot itself meanders, and seems to lose its narrative sense as the film progresses, and a psycho-on-the-disco-dancefloor scene, which could've been well played, disappoints. So, although there are some original touches, overall I found the film a let-down.

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