Liquid Sky (1982)
Reviewed on 2007 January 30
When I was in school, one of my English profs told me the story of a teaching assistant from hell, who no matter what would grade essays with a B (usually less) and a note admonishing the writer to “come up with a more gripping opening sentence!” According to him, one fed-up student started his essay with the words, “ ‘Screw you!’ said the duchess, as she pushed the cigar further into her mouth and put her combat boot-shod feet on the table.” Liquid Sky makes me think of that story, because I can picture writers Anne Carlisle and Nina V. Kerova in film class, saying “I got your original idea right here!” to some smug teacher.
The plot (such as it is) of the movie is this: tiny aliens that feed off the energy released by copulating humans crash-land on the Manhattan apartment roof of a bisexual model named Margaret (Carlisle). Margaret is beautiful, popular, and has access to parties and drugs, so she has plenty of potential lovers. The aliens must think they landed in the ultimate all-you-can-eat buffet but problems arise when Margaret’s lovers vanish. The ETs and parade of bodies are largely unnoticed or cared about, except by a scientist named Johann Hoffman (Otto von Wernherr). It’s a good thing someone is alert to the danger here, because Margaret and her group of wannabes can’t be bothered — they’re too busy partying and putting on wild clothing and DayGlo makeup.
Even though it was made in 1983, the movie still says a lot about celebrity culture — I get the idea a lot of the men wouldn’t care they became alien chow if they could have a night with a model. It’s also hilarious at times, intentionally or not. Throw in a spartan synthesizer soundtrack that makes the B-52s sound like a lush orchestra, add some deadpan acting, and you’ve got a cult flick. I just wish I could have been a fly on the wall when Carlisle, Kerova, and director Slava Tsukerman pitched this thing. Love it or hate it, has it been done before?
Two chocolate morsels. It gets one just for being… unique.