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Bodiless extra-terrestrials descend on Manhattan’s post-punk club scene for the heroin and stay for the sex, vaporising their fodder in explosions of psychedelic ecstasy at the moment of climax. Margaret, a pansexual New Wave fashion star, discovers she can dispatch unwelcome suitors by feeding the aliens’ habit. Anne Carlisle, who co-wrote the film with recent Russian émigrés Slava Tsukerman and Nina V. Kerova, brings eerie concentration to playing both the dangerously bored Margaret and cokehead male model Jimmy, her caustic fashionista rival.
Their awesomely jaded carnival of sexual identity (and hairdressing) as art form and weapon is as startling now as when it twice filled the Paramount for Festival midnight screenings in 1983. A quintessential artefact of 1980s New Wave, Liquid Sky looks and sounds sharper than ever in this 2018 4K restoration.
“At last… Slava Tsukerman’s 1982 neon-fired New Wave New York alien sex-party punk-disco orgasm-as-revenge proto-electroclash feminist genderfuck is on screens in its finest form, scrubbed and crisp and gorgeous, ready to baffle, disquiet, thrill, and trigger… The tangerine skylines, sweat-slick club dancers, grubby-chic apartments, ubiquitous neon, lavishly asymmetrical hairdos and so-primitive-they-fascinate alien effects demand truly to be seen…
Liquid Sky has always been caught smack between delirious curio, avant-garde put-on, exploitation cheapie, and naive masterpiece. Today, it seems prescient… A singular vision of a twilight Manhattan haunted by the lost, the daring, the damned, the jonesing – and some aliens.” — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice