So last night Nick and I went over to Scarecrow Video. We browsed around and got three things that sounded interesting. As I was standing there paying the rental fee, something popped up in the back of my mind: I’ve never seen Liquid Sky. I bet Scarecrow has it. I mentioned this on the way back home; we pulled up the trailer for it, shrugged, and went right back out to grab it. (Scarecrow is literally a block away; this is not much of a journey.)
I decided to let the random factors decide which one we were going to watch. So I handed all four discs to Nick and told him to shuffle them, while I invoked Eris’ aid in choosing one, and rolled a d4.
We ended up watching Liquid Sky. Which… damn that film is a hell of an artifact. Slow, full of borderline-unlistenable music, with a main character who is completely, scarily flat. It’s like she has absolutely nothing left inside her, burnt out by her life of clubbing, drugs, and… having every man in her life refuse to listen when she says she doesn’t want to have sex with them. Luckily(?) for her there is a tiny flying saucer on the roof of her apartment, which feeds on the chemicals released in people’s brains when they orgasm, and kills them.
Her name? Margaret. Which is.. my chosen name. I was very, very glad I was sober when she got date-raped by a character who has my birth name. Because that sure was complicated to watch even without that extra coincidence.
Anyway. It’s a freaky little piece of the eighties, from before “punk” and “new wave” had really split into two very different subcultures. Kind of fascinating to watch and imagine how alien it must have seemed to most people; all these aggressively androgynous people running around having Very Bad Sex and playing extremely difficult electronic music. I seem to remember it getting some play as a midnight movie, aiming for the same crowd that regularly did the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I can certainly see some commonalities – RHPS was very much a fifties-themed package of Queerness that spread across the country, and this is a very eighties one. It never took hold as A Thing the way RHPS did. Probably the fact that the main character has like five very uncomfortable sex scenes in it didn’t help.