David (David Schachter), a naive graduate student, has volunteered to work as a ‘buddy’ for people dying of AIDS. Assigned to the intensely political Robert (Geoff Edholm), a lifelong activist whose friends and family have abandoned him following his diagnosis, the two men, each with notably different world views, soon discover common bonds, as David’s inner activist awakens and Robert’s need for emotional release is fulfilled.
A science fiction oddity from the early 1980s set in the subterranean world of heroin addicts, performance artists and androgynous models in New York City’s East Village, Liquid Sky became a staple of the midnight movie circuit and college campus film societies. Produced with a budget of only $500,000, the film became the most successful independent film of 1983 grossing $1.7 million in the first several months of release. It’s also seen as heavily influencing the “electrotrash” club scene that emerged in the early 2000s in Brooklyn, Berlin, Paris and London.
A tiny UFO lands on the roof of a grungy penthouse apartment inhabited by an androgynous model played by Anne Carlisle (who works overtime in dual roles as Jimmy, a snarling junkie, and Margaret, his female nemesis, a languid model with an unusual kiss of death) and her drug-dealing lover Paula E. Sheppard (the former child star of Alice, Sweet Alice). As explained with deadpan gravity by hilariously naive alien hunter Otto Von Wernherr, the UFOs congregate in areas of intense heroin concentration and feed off the highs of addicts. This alien, though, has found an even better high: orgasms.