Altered States (1980)
Critic Consensus: Extraordinarily daring for a Hollywood film, Altered States attacks the viewer with its inventive, aggressive mix of muddled sound effects and visual pyrotechnics.
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as Eddie Jessup
as Emily Jessup
as Arthur Rosenberg
as Mason Parrish
as Primal Man
as Sylvia Rosenberg
as The Brujo
as Margaret Jessup
as Grace Jessup
as Hector Orteco
as Young Rosenberg
as Endocrinology Fellow
as Medical Technician
as Parrish's Girl
as Eccheverria's Girl
as X-Ray Technician
as Dr. Wissenschaft
as Young Medical Student
as Charlie Thomas
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Critic Reviews for Altered States
It opens at fever pitch and then starts soaring -- into genetic fantasy, into a precognitive dream of delirium and delight.
Direction by Ken Russell has energy to spare, with appropriate match-up of his baroque visual style to special effects intensive material.
There isn't a lucid moment in it (and much of the dialogue is rendered unintelligible by Russell's subversive direction), but it has dash, style, and good looks, as well as the funniest curtain line since Some Like It Hot.
[Director] Russell's noisily grandiose swipe at psychedelia embellishes what is no more than the cosily familiar story of the obsessive Scientist Who Goes Too Far and Unwittingly Unleashes, etc.
Dependably -- even exhilaratingly -- bizarre. Its strangeness, which borders cheerfully on the ridiculous, is its most enjoyable feature.
Audience Reviews for Altered States
The 80s produced a lot of cheesy films. This was one of them. Well, the first half's pretty entertaining. Then, suddenly, "No one takes me seriously!" *turns into ape* Then, everything devolves into sheer stupidity and melodrama. But again, the hallucinations, dialogue, and everything in the beginning are entertaining up until that point. Then, I wonder if I'm watching the precursor to The Lawnmower Man.
I was a little overwhelmed with all the scientific mumbo-jumbo at first but once I got an idea of what was going on I found this to be a very interesting and surprisingly creepy experience. It's quite Cronenberg-esque and reminded me of "The Fly" in some ways. Great performance too by William Hurt in his debut and Dick Smith worked his grotesque magic with the special make-up effects. Give this one a watch!
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