Blue Sunshine (1978)

During a party a bald person goes crazy and kills a couple of people, but the wrong man gets accused of these murders. So, now Jerry Zipkin is on the run to prove his innocence. But also across town more weird murders are alarming the authorities. When trying to uncover evidence to clear his name, Jerry he finds out that 10 years ago, a group of people from the same college Stanford University have taken a new form of LSD called Blue Sunshine, which now has suddenly caused them to lose their hair and change into homicidal maniacs.

Hook, line and sinker… it totally took me by surprise and made me sit up. This rewarding flick that’s a very groovy slice of the 70s. Has become a cult film over the years and has been on my must-see list for ages. I was livid when I eventually came across it. Director/writer Jeff Lieberman (his debut as a director) delivered in what he set out to achieve in ‘Blue Sunshine’ and I wasn’t disappointed in what I got, at all. He comes up with an effective and energetic shocker, that sets itself out by the excellent performances from a cast of mainly no-names (with the exception of Zalman King) and a original story, which seems to get better the more it moves along. Don’t be expecting a fully loaded horror film, with gore and horror throughout. It’s rather a psychological, sophisticated mystery thriller that works in some decent surprises and jabs that are spine tingling good. There’s such a nice balance in this slow grinder that just pulls you along for the intriguing, but disquieting ride with our protagonist. So it’s basically a well-paced story that’s more a mystery with dabs of horror themes, the material isn’t too shocking but some of the violence is nasty or just plain maniac, but not overly graphic. The most startling scene in the film would have to be the opening killing and some implied violence or I should call it the aftermath of a murder spot in house mid-way through the flick will cause a tingle. Crafted into it, is a tight script that doesn’t sway of course, but sufficiently adds to the bigger picture.

For a low-budget production is stands up remarkably well and it’s rather sad it’s gone by with little impact, because Lieberman shows impressive talent here. The thick 70’s vibe takes real control, but the cheesiness doesn’t overshadow it, with a scene occurring in a groovy disco when a bald guy goes out of control because of the music. Which it’s really making fun of the type of music in doing so? Although the score doesn’t fall into that same fate as it’s eerie as hell, by raising the hairs on your skin. These moments definitely added to the unsettling mood that’s created and help build up those scenes with the bald psychopaths becoming rather freaky. Surely it would turn you off drugs! The camera-work was highly distinctive with its many shots. The only downside for me was the abrupt ending, but that’s a minor squabble compared with the rest.

Ultimately a satisfying shocker that hits all the right keys. An outstanding cult classic.

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