Altered States is one of the rare examples of a movie being better than its director.
Marvelous ideas, some truly sharp dialogue and some (still) fantastic special effects. Ken Russell kinda just piles it all on and keeps his fingers crossed. Lucky for him it mostly works. There are instances when the performances threaten to go off the rails, but this is a talented bunch, even if (I’m guessing) they weren’t given quite enough to go on.
Okay – I really have no idea what was going on on the set – but this is the only Ken Russell film I’ve ever seen that hasn’t been awful, and I just love it. I watch it every few years and it just gets better – even though you can tell the last twenty minutes or so are just rush rush rush. Maybe one day I’ll read the book.