Bizarro Masterpiece Theatre: Liquid Sky

Anne Carlisle, and Anne Carlisle

Movie: Liquid Sky (1982)

Directed by: Slava Tsukerman

Starring: Anne Carlisle, Otto von Wernherr

Written by: Slava Tsukerman, Anne Carlisle, Nina V. Kerova

I may have found my crapseeking limit. I’m not sure what Liquid Sky meant to accomplish with its sordid tale of drugged-out hipsters and opiate aliens, but it’s certainly one of the dumbest, most crackheaded films I’ve ever seen.

The story focuses on Margaret (Carlisle), a Bowie-wannabe model who ingests drugs, lurches around, and gets raped with equal frequency. Her immediate circle consists of a mongoloid-looking drug dealing girlfriend, an old hippie lover, and a slick, sneering, pretty boy enemy named Jimmy. (He’s also played, wonderfully badly, by Carlisle, who in this guise sounds like a 15 year old boy trying to buy beer.) Beyond the hippie, none of these people are what you’d describe as rational. Indeed, almost nobody in this film is. All the characters either jitter around like epileptics or strike morose poses and come off as pretentious assholes. There’s no in-between.

After a U.F.O. the size of a dinner plate lands on the roof of Margaret’s apartment, the alien within watches her make a fool of herself. That evening, the Mongoloid (who is the worst element of the film) gives a horrible musical performance where she raps about her “rhythm box.” Then the cool kids put on a vapid fashion show, and Margaret gets raped by an Andrew McCarthy doppelganger. Following the degradation, the alien makes poor Margaret its champion and sets her loose to kill villains through orgasm, which somehow turns their brains into crystals. Whatever.

The production in this movie is ridiculous. Awkward editing and jarring jumps to solarized negative weaken the film on the visual end, but what’s worse is that Liquid Sky may boast the worst score of any film, ever. It’s as though the director injected a monkey with heroin and forced it to play a synthesizer.

Still, I will give the film a few positive points. Occasionally, Margaret becomes eerily interesting, and the knife fight she gets into with the Mongoloid (over the hippie’s dead, naked body) is pretty swell. And I’m always a fan of dumb Deus ex Machina, which this film delivers in U.F.O. form. Yet the very best thing about this film is the giant German astrophysicist and his sweet wavy 70s hair, high-ridin’ pants, and red leather jacket. Coming to America to stop the alien, he fights off Jimmy’s horned-up mom in his quest for intergalactic justice. And it’s damn hard to fight off a line like “you have a laser gun in your pants?” What a champ!

Yet our Teutonic hero can’t save Liquid Sky. It’s so vacant, so hopelessly fashionable, that I wouldn’t be surprised if Lady Gaga soon starred in a remake.

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