About Altered States
William Hurt, in his screen debut, experiments with that nostalgic 80s pastime, sensory deprivation, which culminates in biological devolution. Writer Paddy Chayefsky, credited onscreen as Sidney Aaron despite writing the novel his screenplay was based on, disowned Ken Russell’s wacko hallucinatory approach, which plays more like a remake of Return of the Ape Man. Original director Arthur Penn and fx maven John Dyksytra also resigned after disputes with Chayefsky, whose last picture this was. Darren Aronofsky revisited this territory in The Fountain, to equally mixed results.