Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blue Sunshine (1976) Review

Blue Sunshine 1976 poster
Director: Jeff Lieberman
Stars: Zalman King, Deborah Winters
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery

Blue Sunshine is a damn fine cult horror film. Easily one of my favorite rarities.

It's about people who begin losing their hair and suddenly turn into complete psychopaths and kill anyone near them. The film follows Jerry Zipkin who tries to uncover the mystery of why all this is happening, while also fleeing from police who are accusing him of a murder that he didn't quite commit. Jerry finds that all the people who are losing their hair and turning psycho had taken a certain kind of LSD, known as Blue Sunshine, ten years ago.

This is definitely a horror of its era. I love the idea that your past never leaves you and indeed sometimes comes back to haunt you. People who did LSD start going crazy ten years later, pretty much making them ticking time bombs? Awesome. Keep in mind that this was released in 1976, nearly ten years after the peak of the hippie movement, i.e., when the most LSD was done. So it must of been even scarier then.

And Blue Sunshine is a pretty scary movie. Never does it feel very cheap or low-budget. Seeing bald people  go psycho is funny, cool, and horrifying all at once. Not to mention it creates some awesome imagery; bald heads, bulging eyeballs. The opening scene was so sudden and eerie that it really scared the shit out of me. Then later on in the film it slows down a bit and plays out more like a mystery.

The suspense is really good too. Just knowing someone is about to lose control and become a murderous psycho is intense, especially when they're in a room with a young child. The film really makes good use of the psychotic break-outs, putting us in the room with surgeons performing surgery or babysitters watching a child, it's nerve-racking knowing that they could snap at any moment.

Blue Sunshine 1976

The film's atmosphere is great. It has an almost Argento-esque feel to it. Creepy to say the least. It even has a bit of a psychedelic sense to it (which I suppose is appropriate) though it never crosses the line to surrealism.

The soundtrack is pretty awesome and Zalman King's insane performance is quite amusing to watch.

Blue Sunshine 1976

It's a cult classic that I can easily recommend to anyone and it will surely leave you with some chilling imagery in your mind.

4/5 stars

Purchase Blue Sunshine on Amazon: DVD - Stream - Elvira Double Pack 
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