The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Altered States: 4K Restoration

Altered States

WTF Wednesdays continues with a 4K restoration of Altered States, a surreal science fiction thriller from Ken Russell.

Academy Award-winner William Hurt stars as Dr. Edward Jessup, a psychopathologist with an interest in exploring other states of consciousness. He starts off by using sensory deprivation tanks to induce hallucinatory states but is unsatisfied with his progress. Eventually, his research leads him to Mexico, where an indigenous tribe introduces him to a plant with powerful hallucinogenic properties. The plant proves effective in elevating his psychedelic experiences, but it also starts to alter a lot more than just his consciousness…

A fantastical classic of alternative-minded sci-fi, Altered States earned Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score and Best Sound Mixing.


“It opens at fever pitch and then starts soaring — into genetic fantasy, into a precognitive dream of delirium and delight.” – Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

“Direction by Ken Russell has energy to spare, with appropriate match-up of his baroque visual style to special effects intensive material.” Variety

“I was overwhelmed, I was caught up in its headlong energy.” – Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com