Altered States

Altered States

4.6 3
Director: Ken Russell, William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban

Cast: Ken Russell, William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban

     
 

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In this 1980 sci-fi horror film, William Hurt plays Eddie Jessup, a scientist obsessed with discovering mankind's true role in the universe. To this end, he submits himself to a series of mind-expanding experiments. By enclosing himself in a sensory-deprivation chamber and taking hallucinogenic drugs, Jessup hopes to explore different levels of human consciousness,

Overview

In this 1980 sci-fi horror film, William Hurt plays Eddie Jessup, a scientist obsessed with discovering mankind's true role in the universe. To this end, he submits himself to a series of mind-expanding experiments. By enclosing himself in a sensory-deprivation chamber and taking hallucinogenic drugs, Jessup hopes to explore different levels of human consciousness, but instead is devolved into an apelike monster. Director Ken Russell helmed Altered States from a script by Paddy Chayefsky, who adapted his own novel of the same name. Unhappy with the finished product, Chayefsky had his name replaced with his pseudonym Sydney Aaron.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
British director Ken Russell has long been known for his bizarre, hallucinatory imagery, which he puts to good use in a visually stunning adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky's science-fiction novel. William Hurt plays a college professor whose experiments with hallucinogenic drugs and "race memory" turn him into an apelike caveman and other strange beasts. Blair Brown, Drew Barrymore, and John Larroquette are among the cast, but everything takes a back seat to Russell's trippy visuals and Dick Smith's outstanding makeup effects. Chayefsky hated the results so much that he had his screenplay credit changed to "Sidney Aaron," and the film admittedly veers into silliness several times, so if you're looking for thoughtful speculative fiction, look elsewhere. If you are satisfied by imaginative, good-looking eye candy, however, you'll find Altered States a lot of fun.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/10/2012
UPC:
0883929228034
Original Release:
1980
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
3,525

Special Features

Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Hurt Eddie Jessup
Blair Brown Emily Jessup
Bob Balaban Arthur Rosenberg
Charles Haid Mason Parrish
Drew Barrymore Margaret Jessup
Thaao Penghlis Eccheverfia
Miguel Godreau Primal Man
Dori Brenner Sylvia Rosenberg
Peter Brandon Hobart
Charles White Eagle The Brujo
Megan Jeffers Grace Jessup
Jack Murdock Hector Orteco
Frank McCarthy Obispo
Evan Richards Young Rosenberg
Hap Lawrence Endocrinology Fellow
John Walter Davis Medical Technician
Cynthia Burr Parrish's Girl
Susan Bredhoff Eccheverria's Girl
John Larroquette X-Ray Technician
George Gaynes Dr. Wissenschaft
Ora Rubinstein Young Medical Student
Paul Larsson Charlie Thomas

Technical Credits
Ken Russell Director
Sidney Aaron Screenwriter
M. James Arnett Stunts
Stuart Baird Associate Producer,Editor
Paddy Chayefsky Screenwriter
John Corigliano Score Composer
Jordan S. Cronenweth Cinematographer
Gary Daigler Asst. Director
Dick Smith Makeup,Makeup Special Effects
Bran Ferren Special Effects
Howard Feuer Casting
Larry Fuentes Special Effects
Chuck Gaspar Special Effects
James Glennon Camera Operator
Howard Gottfried Producer
Eric Jenkins Editor
Stephen Katz Sound/Sound Designer
Richard MacDonald Production Designer
Daniel Melnick Executive Producer
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Jeremy Ritzer Casting
Thomas Roysden Set Decoration/Design

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Altered States 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
I viewed this film on Christmas of 2007 and what a movie to be watching on the biggest holiday of the year. I stumbled across this movie accidentally in a movie retail store and just by the cover and the title; I had to check it out. Now I'm not saying anything incriminating, but the fact that the film is about consiousness expansion and the exploration of the mind with the use of psychedelics was a big draw. I'm in no way advocating the use of psychedelics or drugs, but I myself have had my fair share of experimentation and this film very much so touches on that subject; "Experimentation," only to a whole crazier level. Pretty much this film shows us what happens when we take experimenting too far or as a friend of mine would call it the "Syd Barrett Syndrome." The one thing that really drew my attention to the film was the use of Sensory Deprivation Tanks, which is widely unknown. Deprivation Tanks are used to explore and expand consiousness without the use of any drugs or psychedelics, but all with the brain, which in fact is the biggest psychedelic known to man. A tank is filled with water set to body temperature (98degrees) and the subject submerges themselve into the water and shutting the door behind him leaving no light. This creates Sensory Deprivation - No seeing, no feeling, etc. Then you relax and let the mind meditate and the trip begins. The Adrenal gland releases chemicals in the brain which allows the person to go on a visual journey, very much like looking at mandalas. So pretty much the reason why I'm babbling about all this is that the beginning of the film starts out with William Hurt's character submerged in a tank for a test study. The film follows his addiction to the exploration of the mind and in essence mankind. The film shows how his passion for exploring kills off his marraige, friendships and his job at a prestiges university. The feature is set in the 1960s during the time of the LSD revolution and doesn't really touch on the subject. The only other psychedelics the film discusses is Psylicibe Mushrooms (Magic Mushrooms) and DMT (the strongest psychedelic drug known to man). So the setting travels throughout his career from the 1960s into the late 70s. The film in my mind takes a huge left turn when the plot changes with Hurt's character thrusts into overdrive and goes from exploring the Mind to exploring Human Life. The visual aspect of the film is astonishing, especially for being a film made in the early ages of the 1980s. The film won an oscar nod with the sound editing which I can't blame for the intense sequences the feature provides. All in all, Altered States brings you an intellectual look into the world of consiousness expansion rather than other types of movies which glorify the use of drugs in a comedic manner or portray addiction in a commerical manner like "This is your brain on drugs." I was highly impressed and could only wish that there would be more films of this sort.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i saw this movie when i was fourteen in 1980.it freaked me out.however it was very insightful, in a post-modern sort of way. it is comelling in characters and the bizarre journey of Hurt's scientist character. enjoyable but freaky.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago