I first discovered Jeff Lieberman when SQUIRM was bouncing around the boobtube, edited and chopped up but still serving the scares. I tracked it down and started consuming everything I could find with that cat’s name listed as director. I was disappointed to only find three titles (at the time, though there really isn’t much more), but between SQUIRM and JUST BEFORE DAWN was BLUE SUNSHINE. I was 11 or 12, my only experience with drugs at that point was UP IN SMOKE and WOODSTOCK so I didn’t pick up on a lot of the social commentaries but the message was clear: do drugs and you will turn into a murdering hippie.
BLUE SUNSHINE takes on just about everybody; from the straights in suburbia to the doped up clowns. Lieberman had a lot to say about the legacy of a peaceful movement. Starring a pre-perved Zalman King (9 1/2 WEEKS), the film tells the story of a man accused of murder who uncovers a connection between students at Stanford in the 60s and those that are turning up with a case of crazy. The picture is a 90 minute conspiracy theory, kind of a PARALLAX VIEW with a hit of flower power. Lieberman is mainly thought of as a horror director, and while this film has some of those elements, it’s also an unnerving thriller that demonstrates his ability to take on other genres with just as much success. He can even make a Kevin Dillon film work (REMOTE CONTROL) and that takes real talent. Watch Blue Sunshine. All the cool kids are doing it.
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