What if aliens came to Earth in search of heroin but found an even better high?
In Slava Tsukerman’s wild 1982 film Liquid Sky extraterrestrials descend on the Empire State Building in search of dope and discover the ecstasy of the human orgasm. They absorb the oxytocin released at the moment of climax destroying the producer.
Set in a low budget 80’s future Liquid Sky tackles big ideas with a raw aesthetic. Feminism, class conflict, drug abuse and commercial culture are all explored with a grit that borders on but never crosses into camp.
Anne Carlisle plays two roles, Margaret and Jimmy. They are both models and they antagonize each each other with androgynous flair. Jimmy is a drug fiend who is constantly trying to root out the stash of Margaret’s tough drug dealing female lover, Adrian. Adrian comes from a troubled background and she acts as a moral mirror to Margaret’s WASP princess/model perception of herself. There is a lot of cruelty between them, between all the character’s for that matter.
There is something in the cruelty that captures the tumult of the 1980’s. Even though it is set in the future the film captures the conflicts between humanism and consumerism that were coming to a head at the time.