|Blue Sunshine (1978)
| Synapse Films (USA).Region 1, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, English 1.0. 90 Minutes
Directed by Jeff Lieberman, the man who gave
us Squirm and Just Before
Dawn; Blue Sunshine is a hippy nightmare made flesh. A group of thirty
something's are partying when one of the
guests loses his hair and goes berserk, kills
three young girls and ends up dead under a truck.
Wrongly accused of the murders Jerry Zipkin, played
in a strange performance by erotic thriller producer
Zalman King, flees the police and decides a bit
of sleuth work is his only way of avoiding prison.
Soon realising that college alumni are turning
into bald psychopaths he discovers a connection
between the former students and a form of LSD
called Blue Sunshine.
|Director: Jeff Lieberman
Starring: Zalman King,
Deborah Winters, Robert Walden
Screenplay: Jeff Lieberman
you ever hear the words Blue Sunshine? Try to
remember…your life may depend on it"
Corrupt, flare wearing, politicians and side
burned security guards add to the intrigue as
Zipkin digs deeper and the gun toting finale forces
our reluctant hero to take action against the
follically challenged killers. To give more away
or reveal the killers would spoil the demented
mood that Lieberman has created. While not a "whodunit",
great fun can be had predicting whose wig will
Lieberman infuses his vision with some truly
delirious imagery, in particular the fight between
Zipkin and a dome headed female psycho that ends
in a multi storey freefall. The film has a gloriously
Seventies look, especially in the latter nightclub
scenes. Well paced and nicely played, the films
main problem is the before mentioned lead performance.
Zipkin is played as an unlike-able soul who very
rarely seems to do the right thing, in fact more
often than not his irrational plans lead to disaster.
This obviously makes for entertaining if not plausible
The film has to be seen by all fans of B- Grade
Seventies horror. It's the embodiment of
all that is great about the era. Seek out the
DVD before this limited edition vanishes off the
|A comparison is given between the old video print
and the re-mastered image which shows what a great
job Synapse has done. Sharp and clear, the picture
does belie the films low budget but does a great
job with what was available. The odd scratch is
still visible and some frames lack colour but on
the whole Synapse should be commended for a job
|The soundtrack has also been remixed to Dolby
5.1 and is clean and crisp. The surround is used
sparingly but to good effect. As an added bonus
an extra soundtrack CD is included, the music's
first ever digital release.
|The disc features a fine selection of extras considering
the low budget origins of the film and its relative
obscurity since its original cinematic release.
The disc kicks off with Lieberman on Lieberman,
a 30 minute video interview with the director. Often
rambling and always animated, he talks about his
entire career and many projects that never made
it to the screen. He inevitably repeats himself
in the running commentary but is always amusing
and interesting in both. The Ringer, Lieberman's
30 minute short film condemning the heartless world
of business and nose rings! is also enhanced by
another running commentary by the director. An excellent
trailer, deluxe packaging, liner notes and a fine
still gallery round off a superb package.
|Lieberman's movie has been unavailable for
10 years so congratulations to Synapse for dragging
the film from video obscurity into DVD heaven. The
demented combination of drugs, violence, horror
and politics perfectly sums up everything that was
wonderful from the Seventies. A joy from its dark
sombre opening titles to its violent disco denouement,
the film is a must for any fan of horrific trash.