Blue Sunshine: Limited Edition DVD Review

Written by Krystal Lake

DVD released by Synapse Films



Written and directed by Jeff Lieberman

1976, Region 1 (NTSC), 89 minutes, Rated R

DVD released on April 15th, 2003


Zalman King as Jerry Zipkin
Deborah Winters as Alicia Sweeney
Mark Goddard as Edward Flemming
Robert Walden as David Blume
Charles Siebert as Detective Clay
Ann Cooper as Wendy Flemming
Ray Young as Wayne Mulligan 




It's a groovy disco party! The music is loud and funky. People are dancing. Some guy is tripping out in the corner; he believes that he is a bird. Nothing unusual at this out-of-sight party. That is, until one of the partygoers gets a severe headache, loses his hair, goes insane and begins killing anyone within range! But he is not the only one going mad and murdering. That same night, another man flipped out and killed his family after experiencing similar symptoms.


What's going on?!? What has caused these seemingly normal men to freak out? Being wrongfully accused of the murders after wrestling the bald maniac to death, fellow partygoer Jerry Zipkin (Zalman King) sets out to find answers about this strange behavior and clear his name . After perusing some psychedelic art and receiving some convenient help from a beautiful Macaw, Zipkin discovers that the cause of these homicidal outbursts is from a batch of LSD called "Blue Sunshine." Ten years after ingested, the negative effects of Blue Sunshine set in: Headaches, hair loss, then homicide. Man... talk about a bad flashback.



Now that the cause of this madness is known, Zipkin must clear his name, find out who made the acid, who ate it ten years ago back in college, and prevent these hopped-out druggies from killing more innocent people.




I really liked this movie! With a captivating plot, great direction, that funky flavor that was the '70s, a cameo appearance by Alice Ghostley (Esmeralda on "Bewitched") and more than enough extras, the Blue Sunshine Limited Edition DVD set was definitely worth the purchase. Great job fixing this little beauty up, Synapse! It also serves as a very important Public Service Announcement: Don't eat the Blue Sunshine, man.



Video and Audio:


Blue Sunshine is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The picture was slightly grainy, but that is to be expected with a film of this age. Included in the special features is a split-screen comparision of the movie before and after restoration. (See the bottom two screenshots I've included.) Synapse has done an incredible job of making this movie look just as it did when it was filmed!


The soundtrack is presented in Dolby 5.1 Digital surround sound. It sounds quite crisp and clear. I was not able to detect any pops or crackles during the movie.



Special Features:


  • New Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) supervised by Director Jeff Lieberman
  • New Dolby Digital 5.1 remix created and mixed for home video environments
  • Original mono soundtrack
  • Full running audio commentary by Director Jeff Lieberman
  • Original short film, "The Ringer" Directed by Jeff Lieberman
  • Still gallery
  • The rare original theatrical trailer
  • Liner notes
  • Restoration comparison
  • A 30 minute video interview: "Lieberman on Lieberman"
  • A special CD soundtrack of Blue Sunshine


This 2-disc limited edition DVD is packed full of goodies! I thoroughly enjoyed the commentary, and the soundtrack CD is a very nice bonus! Both are worth a listen. It includes all of the following:




Movie: 4.5 Stars  
Video: 4 Stars
Overall: 4.5 Stars


Here are some split-image comparisons of the film before and after digital restoration included on the DVD.








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