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LIQUID SKY - Skull
Rated R
Copyright 1982 Z Films Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Margaret - Freaky fashion model. It's her sexual partners that the aliens kill off. Vaporized in the end.
  • Adrian - Another psycho woman and Margaret's lover. She likes to make up songs about everything and they're none to easy on he ears. Dissolved by the aliens.
  • Jimmy - Supposedly a dude (Played by the same girl as Margaret actually.) who hates Margaret. Dissolved by the aliens.
  • Johann - German scientist who has been studying the aliens. Stabbed by Margaret.
  • Sylvia - Jimmy's undersexed mom.
  • Owen - Margaret's old professor who has spent some time in the sack with her. Has a glass pipette stuck through his head.
  • Paul - Heroin addict. Gets the old glass pipette through the head then dissolves.
  • The Aliens - Little guys who look like irritated eyeballs, they feed on heroin and a chemical produced in the human brain during orgasm.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Few movies are specifically tailored for appeal to those on controlled substances, here's one film though. Heralded as a great work in science fiction and so on... ...well, my ass. There is no damn way this thing sits alongside Alien, Bladerunner, or The Thing. What you have is a great number of lifeless and disturbed people having sex with Margaret then dying. Aliens come to Earth looking for heroin but find that the chemicals produced by human brains during orgasm are even better. So they park their flying saucer, it's about two feet wide, on top Margaret's apartment and begin killing everyone who has sex with her. Then we have a barely understandable German scientist who is studying the aliens, at least he describes the plot to us. Throw in a crazy girlfriend and a few other weirdos to fill gaps. Margaret finally goes completely bonkers, it's difficult to find that special someone when everybody you sleep with dies, and gets vaporized. In addition, her face is always covered with smudged makeup, probably to disguise that the actress played Jimmy as well. My main problem with this movie wasn't that there are aliens. Nor that these aliens were after heroin or human brains. You just have all these dysfunctional relationships between the characters and nobody ever goes postal. Even talking to most of these people would be like getting beaten in the head with a sock full of quarters.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Aliens are best represented by something which belongs in an eyedrop ad.
  • Microphones make handy stethoscopes.
  • Philosophy is less convincing when dispensed by a heroin addict.
  • Telescopes are equipped with crosshairs. (Shoot the moon you say?)
  • Some women take pride in being told they dress like a hooker.
  • Junkies often mistake German scientists for police officers.
  • The brain produces a chemical that tastes just like heroin during orgasm.
  • Having your toes stomped doesn't hurt.
  • A dozen people screaming at you to have an orgasm can be distracting.
  • Don't have sex with someone if their partners mysteriously dissolve.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Is that a flying saucer or two light covers?
  • 8 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SHOES!
  • 11 mins - Hey Adrian, shut the hell up! Do you make enough money to eat singing like that?
  • 24 mins - What sort of goofy alien tracking telescope is that?
  • 26 mins - Whoa! The "C" word! And I don't mean communist, try "see you next Tuesday." (Think about it.)
  • 44 mins - Glass pippette through the brain huh? Yeah, we get that around here.
  • 48 mins - Any particular reason you're sitting on a dead man's face Adrian?
  • 58 mins - She's half your size Johann, kick her ass - good grief.
  • 63 mins - Another guy died on top of you Margaret? Maybe you should get that thing checked.
  • 84 mins - Why are you all looking for the body? You watched the um, guy I think, dissolve.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note liquidsky1.wav Margaret: "Whether or not I like someone doesn't depend on what kind of genitals they have."
Green Music Note liquidsky2.wav Adrian: "Margaret is an uptight WASP c**t (Word bleeped here, even I don't throw this one around.) from Connecticut."
Green Music Note liquidsky3.wav Johann: "The most interesting fact we've found, these killings occured during sexual intercourse."
Green Music Note liquidsky4.wav Johann explaining to Margaret about aliens, heroin, and orgasms.
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage


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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipliquidsky1.mpg - 1.6m
Owen and Margaret were going to town when he became more lifeless than normal. Why does having a probe stuck into your brain kill you anyway? Wouldn't it just give some people a lobotomy?

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 7 8 [9]
Re: Liquid Sky
Reply #65. Posted on June 13, 2011, 10:53:26 PM by wespennest
I've given this movie three times to impress me.

-I started getting bored roughly halfway through. I thought it was amusing that a bunch of samples that Industrial bands use (you're nothing you're nobody you're nothing you're nothing, et cetera) were from this movie, but overall I found the "acting" to be stiff and emotionless. I have an affinity for crazy, non-linear and otherwise "odd" plots-- but Liquid Sky doesn't really have much of a plot to stick to in the first place. It's as if it was trying to be a cinematic version of Burroughs' Naked Lunch, but utterly fails. Self-indulgent, emotionless and badly acted. Maybe this is a metaphor for the 80s?

-I had explained my gripes with this film to a friend of mine who absolutely adores it. She assured me that it would be "better" when high, so I took her up on the offer. Two bowls of Jack Herer later, I was in the middle of this psychedelic, melting film that-- while looking very nice-- was a MAJOR BUMMER. Major turnoffs: Margaret's rape scene; I couldn't decide whether she was insulting whats-his-name to make him lose his erection or insulting him to turn him on. Adrian's singing. Margaret's "you're nothing" line. Pretty much every scene with Margaret. For whatever reason, the scenes with the German researcher were transcendentally hilarious and glorious to behold, but that may have been a combination of the weed and the relative awfulness of the rest of the film. I don't remember much else after that (I was taking notes and I think I started drawing near the end). We put on Heavy Metal afterward and had our minds thoroughly BLOWN.

-I figured I'd give Liquid Sky another chance without mind-altering substances, so I watched it again last night. Nothing much in my assessments has changed, except that I'm more-or-less convinced that this is little more than a group of New Wave friends who wanted to make a movie about themselves snorting tons of heroin and cocaine while wearing cutting edge fashion. In that regard, Liquid Sky can be considered a fantastic film that documents the state of the early 80's New Wave scene, but it's no more a science fiction film than Buckaroo Banzai is a serious documentary about brain surgery.
Re: Liquid Sky
Reply #66. Posted on June 18, 2011, 02:25:51 PM by MikeAlike
The film itself is odd, which was also what the new wave movement was like. What nobody has touched on as I see this, is the film was a pre-Aides movie. The porn acting and surreal context made the movie entertaining. I wondered if the director was losing his  drug addicted friends and tried explaining the phenomenom by equating it with space aliens opposed to a virus, that in 1982, nobody knew existed. Transgender people and bisexual or gay people were rarely protrayed in film at that time, so its safe to assume getting a budget was likely difficult. Its one of my favorite cult pictures just for the melodrama and mildly sadistic approach to sex, in a juvenile manner. And when watching "Liquid Sky" one can imagine what heroin addicts would act like if on smack....it wouldnt be "pretty" which is why I enjoy the fashionable intent of the movie.  Nobody has really pinpointed its timelyness or import but actually this film is historical and unassuming.
(MikeAlike-independent recording artist)
Re: Liquid Sky
Reply #67. Posted on June 15, 2012, 07:30:23 PM by Derrik
Has it been 30 years already? I saw LS when it first came out and I'll never forget what a disturbing experience it was for me. The technical aspects of the movie were disappointing even back then; the cheap UFO/aliens FX, the supposedly avant-garde use of the Fairlight synthesizer (I've been a synth geek since the early 70s), the grating slow pace of the first half of the movie before the aliens actually do anything (what little THAT is), the outdated punk look that had been out of fashion years before, etc.

What made it disturbing to me was that, though I knew a number of people who were into the subculture and heavy drug abuse, I was still embarrassingly naive in my early 20s, and the cold, cruel indifference towards one another as depicted by the characters in the movie was somewhat of a shock. I found it hard to believe that in that modern day and age (HA!) some people were so shallow and self absorbed that they would do anything to anyone just to satisfy their twisted little needs. Then 2 weeks after I'd seen the movie it's weird reality hit home when I discovered that the 2 girls I'd been "dating" (though not at the same time, unfortunately) were 2 lesbian lovers who had broken up and had decided to use me to get back at one another. That was quite a wake up call.

So yeah, the movie is far from being great, even in a so-bad-it's-good sense. Still, I'd recommend watching it, especially if you're a bad movie masochist. For me, it's just a "trip" down memory lane.
Re: Liquid Sky
Reply #68. Posted on May 25, 2013, 02:59:19 PM by Knightsaber1
Could someone here please reassure me that Professor Owen was not Kurt Vonnegut? I'm trying to write an entry for the "So It Goes" literary magazine and I need that image out of my head ASAP. Thanks.
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