Blue Sunshine (film)
Blue Sunshine is a 1978 American horror film written and directed by Jeff Lieberman and starring Zalman King, Deborah Winters, and Mark Goddard. The plot focuses on a series of random murders in Los Angeles, in which the only common link between the perpetrators is a mysterious strain of LSD that they had all taken years prior.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jeff Lieberman|
|Produced by||George Manasse|
|Written by||Jeff Lieberman|
|Music by||Charles Gross|
|Edited by||Brian Smedley-Aston|
|Distributed by||Cinema Shares International|
Over the years, the film attracted a cult following, and was released on special edition DVD by Synapse Entertainment in 2003. It has been shown at many film festivals since.
In the midst of a party a reveler croons to the rest of the room and has his hair suddenly pulled off by a curious friend. The bald crooner then has a psychotic break and starts killing everyone. Jerry Zipkin (Zalman King) is wrongly accused of the murders and tries to gather evidence to prove his innocence with the help of Alicia Sweeney (Deborah Winters). He discovers that ten years prior a group of college kids had taken a new form of LSD called "Blue Sunshine," which causes its users to lose their hair and become homicidal maniacs many years after their trip is over. Zipkin manages to defeat the crazed bodyguard of a local politician (Mark Goddard) and save the shopping mall discothèque by carefully remembering the advice of the gun shop employee.
- Zalman King as Jerry Zipkin
- Deborah Winters as Alicia Sweeney
- Mark Goddard as Edward Flemming
- Robert Walden as David Blume
- Charles Siebert as Detective Clay
- Ann Cooper as Wendy Flemming
- Ray Young as Wayne Mulligan
- Alice Ghostley as O'Malley's Neighbor
- Stefan Gierasch as Lt. Jennings
- Richard Crystal as Frannie Scott
- Bill Adler as Ralphie
- Barbara Quinn as Stephanie
- Adriana Shaw as Barbara O'Malley
- Bill Sorrells as Ritchie Grazzo
- Jeffrey Druce as Junkie
- Brion James as Tony
AllMovie gave the film a mildly favorable review, calling it "too uneven to please a general audience" but "offers enough moments of interest for fans of horror films and offbeat cult items."
Fawn Krisenthia of Cult Reviews wrote:
The movie gets a thumbs-up since quirky (Jeff) Lieberman directs. You know you are entering Lieberman’s world when the very movie title is spoken by his parrot. I imagine that Lieberman had a checklist for his 70s style movie, things that were popular at the time. For example, random car chase? Check. Discothèque? Check. Conspiracy theory? Check. Obligatory ‘This movie is based on true events’ disclaimer at the end of the film? Check.
Budd Wilkins of Slant Magazine gave the film two and a half stars out of five and called it "an unjustly neglected genre classic that delivers a deft fusion of horror-movie tropes, social satire, and cult-film weirdness." In the Village Voice, Simon Abrams wrote:
Shot at the end of 1976 and into early 1977, the influential film gradually amassed an eclectic but hardcore following over the years. Its champions include Gremlins filmmaker Joe Dante and even the late critic Andrew Sarris, who praised “Lieberman’s directional talent” and the film’s “intriguing premise” in this paper when Blue Sunshine screened on TV in 1982.
- Smith, Richard Harland (2013-05-10). "Blue Sunshine". Turner Classic Movies. TCM Underground. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
- Nelson, Michael Curtis (2011-10-26). "People Lose Their Hair -- and Their Minds -- in 'Blue Sunshine'". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- Alexander, Chris (2015-10-30). "Interview: Director Jeff Lieberman Talks BLUE SUNSHINE 4K Restoration". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- Krisenthia, Fawn. "Blue Sunshine". Cult Reviews. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- Abrams, Simon. "The 'Sunshine' Cult: Jeff Lieberman's Far-Reaching Rays at Anthology". The Village Voice. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- Guarisco, Donald. "Blue Sunshine - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- Wilkins, Budd (2011-09-20). "Blue Sunshine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2017-11-01.