It's the late 1960's. Just for a lark, graduate student Eddie Jessup, known for being unconventional, brilliant and slightly mad, conducts experiments with an isolation chamber, using himself as the subject. His experiences in the chamber cause him to hallucinate, much of the imagery being religious-based despite he not being a religious man. Seven years later, he is a respected full professor in the Harvard Medical School. Believing he has lost his edge and has fallen into an unwanted state of respectability, Eddie decides to resume his work with sensory deprivation, this time using hallucinogens, specifically untested ones used in mystical Mexican rituals, to enhance the experience of being in the isolation tank. After initial tests, he claims he entered an alternate physical and mental state. Although unbelieving of Eddie's claims, his colleagues Arthur Rosenberg and Mason Parrish, as well as Eddie's wife, Emily, who is in her own right a respected academic, are concerned for ... Written by
In the basement of a university medical school Dr . Jessup floats naked in total darkness. The most terrifying experiment in the history of science is out of control... and the subject is himself
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Did You Know?
The film's "Altered States" title refers to "altered states of consciousness" which can also be called "altered states of awareness" or "altered states of mind". This is any state which is significantly medically different to a normal waking state i.e. a normal waking beta wave state. The term was first used around 1966 by Arnold M. Ludwig and entered the popular lexicon around 1969 when Charles Tart used the expression to describe induced changes in a person's mental state. See more
The introductory story is set in 1967, but exterior shots of the streets shows a VW Rabbit and a Plymouth Volare, both 1970s cars. See more
I want someone to look at those X-Rays who can read them.
I'd rather not have everyone in the Brigham in on this. It's bad enough we've got this nosy x-ray technician.
Are you all right?
I'm fine, Mason. I tried to indicate this was just a transient thing.
Transient ischemic attack, that's what it was.
He's got his voice back.
It wasn't an ischemic attack! It wasn't a seizure. You saw the x-rays, Mason. There was clearly something anterior to the larynx that looked like a ...
Light My Fire
Written by Robby Krieger
, Jim Morrison
, John Densmore
and Ray Manzarek
Performed by The Doors See more