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John’s Horror Corner: Blue Sunshine (1977), a weird drug-induced oddity of 70s cinema.

February 20, 2020

MY CALL: Don’t see this because it’s good—it’s not. But it is an intriguing horror oddity of the 70s and that alone makes it worth one viewing for completists. MORE MOVIES LIKE Blue Sunshine: For more drug-induced horror, try Bliss (2019) or Climax (2018). Although those movies feel like you’re on drugs whereas Blue Sunshine is just about the effects of the drugs.

IMDB—”A bizarre series of murders begins in Los Angeles, where people start going bald and then become homicidal maniacs. But could the blame rest on a particularly dangerous form of LSD called Blue Sunshine the murderers took ten years before?”

Perhaps a trend of the decade (e.g., Shivers, The Crazies), people are becoming psychotic for no apparent reason. They become edgy, aggressive and flat out murderous. Other than their overt behavior, the only symptom seems to be inexplicable hair loss resulting in advanced clumpy baldness. And once that hair comes off, the afflicted behave somewhere between Frankenstein’s monster and a 28 Days Later (2002) rage zombie.

The cause of this homicidal mania is traced back to a bad batch of LSD a bunch of classmates took at Stanford ten years ago. And, for some reason, after ten years it makes you go made like something out of The Happening (2008) or The Signal (2007). As manic as that sounds, this movie plays out far more like a mystery-thriller than horror.

This film also really drags. The content is intriguing, but the pacing is soporific. When the occasional “action” scene comes along, it’s not very exciting, suspenseful or scary; nor is there any gore beyond some blood pooling beside a dead body. Writer and director Jeff Lieberman (Squirm, Satan’s Little Helper, Just Before Dawn) needed to inject more urgency into this thing.

Overall this was a pretty boring but kinda’ neat oddity of the 70s. It falls in league with The Visitor (1979), another such oddity that I neither recommend nor rave over yet was glad I saw it for the simple sake of doing so.

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