Monday, October 28, 2013

Altered States

A brilliant Harvard psychology professor (William Hurt), becoming increasingly bored with his work researching schizoid disorders, begins experimenting with mind altering drugs and sensory deprivation equipment leading to genetic retrogradation. Watching a film based on a Paddy Chayefsky novel (the screenplay which he also wrote and purportedly disowned), I think I was expecting something more cerebral, angry and satirical and less horror oriented but was pleased nonetheless with Ken Russell's wild, and alternately horrifying and exciting treatment of the material. The editing is excellent, the fantasy sequences are exceedingly well done, and Hurt demonstrates what a commanding actor he is in what was his first screen outing.