‘Blue Sunshine’ DVD Review
Thirty-five years after its initial release, Flatiron Film Company releases Blue Sunshine on DVD. Blue Sunshine was written and directed by Jeff Lieberman, known for his work on Squirm the year before and the TV series ‘Til Death Do Us Part in 2006. Blue Sunshine is an approximately 90 minute long psychedelic trip masquerading as a horror movie.
Blue Sunshine is premised on the theory that a form of LSD taken years prior to the current time would cause people to go insane and slaughter their friends, families and loved ones. Zalman King (Red Shoe Dairies) stars as Jerry who has the unfortunate experience of being framed for multiple murders that start during a party and then spread like wildfire within the next 24 hours. Jerry and his girlfriend/sidekick, try to clear his name and find a way to prevent further murders. I am not entirely sure they accomplish either. There did not seem to me to be a concrete conclusion or determination made as to how to prevent this slaughter.
Knowing that this film was made in the late 70s, I expected it to be full of low budget horror ridiculousness. However, Blue Sunshine was even worse than I could imagine. When your main way to show that someone is psycho is to make them lose their hair and have their eyes bulge out, you need a new definition of horror. Although I am able to appreciate Lieberman’s attempt to make the real scarier than the imagined, the execution fell flat for me. The psychotic scenes tended to last a bit too long, the transition between scenes was choppy, and I never quite got a feel for any of the characters to actually care about them, even Jerry.
Perhaps the best part of this DVD was the bonus feature with the never before seen interview with Jeff Lieberman, done 35 years later and as a retrospective look at the movie. The interview was 41 minutes long and not only did it cover the concept and filming of Blue Sunshine, but also Lieberman’s feelings on the film three decades later, as well as his feelings and opinions on different horror movie genres since then. Had I known how enteraining that feature was going to be as compared to the movie, I would have started there first.
Blue Valentine is not for everyone. If you are a Jeff Lieberman fan, you should buy it. If you are a fan of very old school psychological horror movies, you should get it. If you are into low budget flicks, you should get it. However, if you are merely a mainstream horror movie fan, this one is not necessarily for you. Although I enjoyed the trip back in time and the movie’s uniqueness, Blue Sunshine is not a movie I would visit twice or multiple times.