Usually when someone uses the phrase avant-garde, I instantly think of an artist who is utterly talentless surrounded by his/her sycophant friends telling each other how delicious their poop smells while tricking the art community into believing they are worth investing in while the rest of society just doesn’t get it.
Liquid Sky on the surface seems like one of those POS avant-garde monkey flinging poop fests that have become so prevalent in the art world. However, when you dig deeper you realize that Producer/Director/Writer Slava Tsukerman was tackling a bigger issue in 1982 that was never mentioned by then President Ronald Reagan until his dear friend Rock Hudson came out and that was AIDS.
Originally called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), became an an issue in New York City among gay men who either had unprotected sex or shared dirty heroin needles. Liquid Sky was code for heroin in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the Lower East Side of Manhattan where Tsukerman’s story takes place.
Liquid Sky follows Margaret (Anne Carlisle) a bi-sexual fashion model and her gay, androgynous nemesis Jimmy (also played by Carlisle) as they screw their way through the New Wave and high fashion club scene.
While all this is going on, tiny space aliens are in search of heroin figure out that the endorphins released in the brain at the point of climax are even more addicting than the drug they seek. The unseen aliens follow around Margaret and after each sexual conquest infect and kill all of her mates, a deep metaphor for AIDS being a near instant death sentence at this time where the average lifespan for those who contracted the virus was 3 months to 2 years.
The acting, dialogue and special effects of Liquid Sky are terrible but on a budget of half-a-million dollars, even in the early 80s, that still was not a lot of money to make a worthwhile feature. However, with what Tsukerman was able to work with, Liquid Sky has a definitive place in pop culture in a time when fashion, drugs and AIDS were all a fact of life during that time of the decade of decadence.
This Blu-ray and 4K version of Liquid Sky has been fully restored from its original 35 mm negative. The film is represented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 1:85:1 and DTS-HD master audio mono.
Liquid Sky comes to 4K and Blu-ray Combo on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
Bonus Features: Director’s introduction and commentary track; interviews with Tsukerman and Carlisle; Alamo Drafthouse screening Q&A with Tsukerman, Carlisle and Clive Smith (co-composer); “Liquid Sky Revisited” (2017), a 50-minute, making-of feature; behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage; never-before-seen outtakes; isolated soundtrack; alternate opening sequence; photo gallery; reversible cover artwork by Derek Gabryszak; multiple trailers; and English SDH subtitles.
About Vinegar Syndrome:
Vinegar Syndrome is an exploitation film/distribution company and film archive located in Bridgeport, Conn. Founded by genre-film lovers for genre-film lovers, Vinegar Syndrome’s mission is to preserve, restore and release the massive number of exploitation titles in our archive. We’re always searching for the rarest and most interesting exploitation movies we can find and, with a constantly growing in-house film archive consisting of thousands of 35mm and 16mm negatives and prints, there’s always a new treasure to be discovered and released. Our goal is to as accurately as possible recreate a theatrical viewing experience and only use digital restoration tools to remove or reduce severe image damage. All film scanning, color grading, digital restoration and disc authoring is performed in-house by our sister company, OCN Digital Labs. By constructing a completed DVD or Blu-ray, we offer these films an opportunity to have a new life on home video (and theatrically, in some cases), to find new fans and rediscover old ones. Visit us online: www.vinegarsyndrome.com
Vinegar Syndrome/OCN Digital Distribution
Genre: Cult/Science Fiction
Blu-ray/DVD Combo (2 Discs)
Original Release: 1982
Running Time: 112 Minutes (Plus 160 Minutes Special Features)
Suggested Retail Price: $32.98
Pre-Order: April 3, 2018
Street Date: April 24, 2018
Catalog #: VS-200
UPC Code: #814456021324
Box Lots: 30
- Overall Score
Once you understand the subtext of Liquid Sky is is clear to see what the filmmakers were doing. However, if you’re looking for a clear cut, well acted movie then you’ll miss the point of what Slava Tsukerman was doing in a time when AIDS was a four letter word never to be uttered.