Loosely based on the Paddy Chayefsky novel, this sci-fi spectacle tells the incredible story of a research scientist who experiments with altered states of human consciousness. Great performances and mind-blowing special effects. Academy Award Nominations: Best Sound, Best Original Score.
A psycho-physiologist doing experiments with human consciousness eventually decides to test his findings on himself. He becomes obsessed with performing these auto-sensory deprivation experiments until he actually changes form physically, ending up as a gorilla at a local zoo. He returns to his normal state, at which point he also involves his wife in the experimentation.
William Hurt made his film debut in "Altered States."
Paddy Chayefsky wrote the screenplay for the film and then disassociated himself from it, crediting the finished script to Sidney Aaron.
Several problems marred the pre-production process. Arthur Penn, originally scheduled to direct the film left in late 1978 to be replaced by Ken Russell. The special effects specialist John Dykstra left soon after. Finally, the project was moved from Columbia Pictures to Warner Bros., and given an increased budget of $15 million.
Robert Blalack and Jamie Shourt did the time lapse photography in the film.