During a series of sensory-deprivation experiments, a professor devolves into a prehistoric form of life. This bizarre yet intriguing sci-fi offering comes from Ken Russell, a genre filmmaker who's made a handful of weak films, including The Lair of the White Worm (1988) and Gothic (1986). The script comes from Paddy Chayefsky, who also wrote the book upon which the film is based. Though Chayefsky disowned the film and Russell's direction, it remains among the best films in both they're careers. The best thing about the film is easily the script, which is intelligent and thought-provoking. Russell's direction is quite good as well; the editing on this film is truly top-notch. The actors gave great performances, especially a very young-looking William Hurt as the lead. In my opinion, Blair Brown's performance was at times a little uneven, but that never hurt the movie. The make-up effects, from Dick Smith, were terrific. The imageryincluding visions of hell, a seven-eyed goat-man (how cool is that?), hideously mutated human bodies and a truly trippy vision of the creation of lifeare startling. There's some decent gore too, included a nasty gutted lizard (which looks suspiciously realistic if you ask me
) and other goodies I won't spoil for you. Also worth mentioning is a great score from John Corigliano, which is unsettling and very suspenseful.
This film is NOT for everyonesome viewers might be lost by the scientific aspects of the film and the hallucinogenic scenes. If you like everything explained to you and you're afraid of a little ambiguity, this isn't for you. If you want a different, intelligent sci-fi film
Just one complaint thoughI'm no scientist, but wouldn't it be impossible for a human being to survive the physical and metabolic changes of a transformation like the one seen in the film? (I know, I know, it's just a movie