- Movie Rating -

Liquid Sky (1984)

| February 10, 1984

I am of two minds with Liquid Sky and I can tell you that neither of them will send me back for a second viewing.  On the one hand, I appreciated what it is trying to do.  It is made by a Russian immigrant Slava Tsukerman who wants to take us into the world of New York City’s punk rock subculture and mix in a science fiction plot that makes a statement about the drug scene therein.  I appreciated this approach; I’ve never seen this in a science fiction movie before.  On the other hand, I think that the message gets lost in translation.  This is a good-looking movie that is trying to say something but its so dark and depressing that by the end you’ve stopped caring.  No matter what it is trying to say, this is a depressing movie.

The set-up is kind of great.  We’re in the electroclash club scene in New York City for a New Wave fashion show to which gay, coke-head Margaret (Anne Carlisle) is one of the models.  Margaret’s arch-rival is a gay acid-tonged addict named Jimmy (also played by Carlisle) who persistently shakes him down for more money to buy drugs.

If that’s not bad enough, suddenly the punks are invaded by creatures from outer space who thrive on heroine but then realize that they get a better high from the pheromones that present themselves during sex.  So . . . basically when we get off, they get off.

Once that’ idea is firmly in place, I’ll be honest, I got bored.  I wanted the film to either get into the punk scene or get on with the alien plot.  It tries both but it quickly becomes repetitive and depressing and the template of the film falls into just looking at weird new clothes and hair and make-up wrought by this subculture.  And yes, some of it is interesting, but I lost interest.  I suspect that Tsukerman wanted this film to do for early 80s punk what the 60s films did for the hippie culture.  Maybe it works for someone inside the culture (which I doubt) but for a square like me, I might have had some affection for the ideas, but I couldn’t get with the experience.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1984) View IMDB Filed in: Sci-Fi/Fantasty