By Richard Winters
My Rating: 8 out of 10
4-Word Review: Aliens invade punk hangout.
No matter how many years go by this film remains cutting edge. It’s one of the few movies made in the 80’s that makes fun of its own era and those that considered themselves hip and sophisticated.
The plot has to do with a young punk girl named Margaret (Anne Carlisle) living with her lesbian roommate Adrian (Paula E. Sheppard) in a New York City penthouse. The place is frequented by the usual weirdos, vagabonds and druggiess. The two make a living by dealing drugs and offering indiscriminate sex. One day a spaceship the size of a dinner plate and filled with aliens that have no shape or form lands on their penthouse roof and zaps away anyone who has an orgasm. Margaret is unable to achieve climax so she is left remaining while everyone else is gone, which convinces her that someone or something has finally ‘recognized’ her and that she is ‘special’.
Literally every camera shot, scene and line of dialogue is unique. This film not only has an offbeat point-of -view, but reinforces it by constantly looking, feeling, thinking, and sounding different, which includes its funky musical soundtrack. There is no compromising here. The filmmakers believe in their material and keep it true to form throughout forcing the viewer to adjust to its bizarre sensibilities. Yet if you do you will not be disappointed. It’s pace and sense of humor has a fresh free-form flow not seen since the European new wave films of the 60’s.
Despite the radical style it still touches on many universals including the human need for acceptance, understanding, fulfillment, and communication. It also takes jabs at many of modern society’s fringe groups who many times can end up embodying the same hypocrisy as the mainstream.
Star Carlisle also wrote the screenplay and the novel version of this film and based it on her own experiences while involved in the punk scene during the late 70’s. She hasn’t been in a film since 1990 and today lives in southern Florida and is involved in both psychotherapy and teaching. Here is a recent pic of her:
Her co-star Paula E. Sheppard, who if recent reports are correct has now changed her name and working as a nurse in the Seattle area, gives another great performance. This turned out to be her last film and one of only two that she was in her other film Alice Sweet Alice will be reviewed on Wednesday.
My Rating: 8 out of 10
Released: April 15, 1983
Runtime: 1Hour 51Minutes
Director: Slava Tsukerman
Available: VHS, DVD (out-of-print)