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Altered States

Released: 1980

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Runtime: 1 hr 43 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Ken Russell

Starring: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid, Thaao Penghlis, Miguel Godreau, Dori Brenner, Peter Brandon, Charles White-Eagle, Drew Barrymore, Megan Jeffers

Paddy Chayefsky tale about a university professor (William Hurt) who experiments with mind-altering drugs.

All in all, it bored me.

Review by: EvilWolfie

Added: 10 years ago

William Hurt plays a guy that repeatedly takes psychedelic drugs and locks himself in a sensory deprivation chamber in an attempt to find the ultimate truth to the universe. Bad shit happens. That's pretty much the entire movie in a nut shell. The lack of a story does Altered States no favors. All we get is that the side effects of his experiments radically escalate until we are presented with an epic battle between a primordial ape and a pack of dogs. Thrilling. When not running naked and hairy through the lonesome night, Hurt tries to convince his colleagues that this crazy shit IS happening and that he isn't just crazy. But he is. And then we find out he isn't (gasp!). By that point I really didn't care all that much. Given, the idea of a physical manifestation of one’s hallucinations is a cool idea, and the movie backs it up with scientific lingo well enough written not to sound contrived. However, the sheer pointlessness of this movie seems to overtake all. It's like watered down Cronenberg, except with a harmless Hollywood ending. Sure it can sometimes be trippy but it's so easy to shrug off the seemingly random symbolism. I mean, really? A mutant, twelve eyed, goat head Jesus? What the hell is that?! All in all, it bored me. Still, William Hurt does make a damn convincing primordial ape.

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