1978 95 mins
“A genre classic that delivers a deft fusion of horror-movie tropes, social satire, and cult-film weirdness” – Budd Wilkins, SLANT MAGAZINE
“An odd cinematic beast that works in elements of violent exploitation and strange anti-hippy undertones presented through Lieberman’s unique take on the era” – Ian Jane, ROCK! SHOCK! POP!
“Regardless of when you’ve taken the trip, Blue Sunshine’s cosmic stance still vibrates with enough ghoulish ill will to wilt all the flowers in San Francisco” – Scott Drebit, DAILY DEAD North American Premiere of New 4K restoration, courtesy of Jeff Lieberman and Synapse Films
A young Brion James doing a Rodan impression turns out to not be the most bizarre thing that happens at a party early in this film. After his wig is pulled off, revealing a bald head, another guest (Billy’s brother Richard Crystal) goes crazy and murders three women in an especially horrific manner. The police suspect Jerry Zipkin (future softcore titan Zalman King), who is forced to go on the run to prove his innocence. As more people around the country lose their hair and their minds, Jerry discovers that the mayhem is tied to their decade-ago dropping of an experimental batch of LSD called “Blue Sunshine”, and that its dealer was Ed Flemming (Mark Goddard), who is now running for Congress. But proving the connections may cost Jerry his own life…
Following his debut with 1976’s down-and-dirty nature-amok flick SQUIRM
, writer/director Jeff Lieberman went for something more ambitious, coming up with a cult favourite that’s been namechecked by everything from Robert Smith and Steven Severin’s 1983 album to Kier-La Janisse’s much-missed Montreal microcinema. Lieberman takes the premise of delayed reactions to ’60s drug-taking and runs with it, through a scenario that blends moments of brutal violence with political commentary. Uncompromising in its horrors, most notably when a woman goes after two children she’s babysitting with a butcher knife, BLUE SUNSHINE
is equally unstinting in its governmental satire. And now, thanks to Fantasia’s North American premiere of Synapse Films’ 4K restoration, fans can flash back to their discovery of this acid-horror opus, and newcomers can take their first trip. – Michael Gingold