And Hit Me With Technology: Altered States Review, Part Three

5 May

Just… just to be clear, you guys DO know that these titles are lines from She Blinded Me With Science, right?

Just making sure.

Seriously, how many of you people even GET my references, anyhow?

Previously, on Altered StatesWe finally got down to the meat and potatoes of the film: Dr. Jessup, maniac extrordinare, has discovered that taking unbelievable amounts of drugs and locking himself in a small box will turn him in to a time travelling gorilla.

Why are you looking at me like that?


Jessup wakes up naked in bed with… someone who is very distinctly not his wife, only to find that his arm is bending and shifting, like a practical effects junkie’s wet dream. His chest is distending and bubbling too, which means that either he’s regressing in to an ape man once again, or this is the fastest STI in history. WHICH YOU DESERVE, CHEATING JACKASS.

He runs for the shower to try and wash the monkey off him, and although the bubbling has died down, his feet are now Hobbit feet and he has a terrible nose bleed. But still, apparently the shower has cured his rapid case of monkeyism, so it’s all good! He goes to leave the bathroom… and finds an active volcano outside.

… I think that violates the lease, dude.

Jessup ooohs and aaahs at the volcano in his head, until the random harlot shakes him out of it. He decides to go write some notes, aaaaaand his arm’s performing a passable representation of a balloon animal again! Which he finds… endlessly amusing. Eh, gotta love a man who loves his work, my momma always said!

Pictured: An effective upper arm workout?

We cut to Jessup’s wife and daughter arriving back home from a baboon world tour… apparently, and Red starts badgering Jessup over the whole “injected yourself with insane amounts of mysterious drugs” thing. But of course, he INSISTS that regressing himself in to an ape man is the only thing to do with his time, and he proves it by screaming at her! Well. On one hand, you’re still a fucking maniac, but on the other hand, Red is wearing short-shorts in this scene! *blush furiously*

Jessup is ranting and screaming about how he wants nothing more than to perform the experiment again, while Red is very clearly close to breaking down. Hey, if that break down involves bashing his fucking skull in, I’m perfectly fine with it!

We cut to Jessup trying to perform the experiment by himself, and while Red worries about where he could have gone, we see something climbing out of the deprivation tank. Oh, is this a monster movie all of a sudden? Roger, bring on the redshirts! A janitor hears the commotion, and we see the newly devolved and very naked Jessup run past him. Oh god, he’s a monster! And oh god, he’s naked!

The janitor finds a security guard, who in turn calls the Super Friends Of Security Guarding, and the search is on! They start rummaging through the massive, steampunk basement, hunting for the… Caveman, I guess, and it manages to beat the janitor and security guard to death before the others show up. Well, congratulations, Dr. Jessup, YOUR SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT JUST KILLED TWO MEN! Gosh, wasn’t your crazed pretentious ramblings just SO WORTH IT?!

Cave-Jessup escapes to the streets and runs afoul of a pack of wild dogs. I… wait, are roving packs of wild dogs just a thing in the 80’s? Is that what people do? Anyway, he flees, and finds his way to the zoo, where he tries to smack an elephant to death with a rock. Dude, just be lucky you DIDN’T piss that thing off, otherwise we’d be eating caveman meat for a MONTH.

Caveman Meat: Don’t even lie, you’d try it.

Cave-Jessup runs around with some wacky shenanigans in the zoo for a while, until he finds the goat cage. OH GOD NOT THE GOATS- wait, this place really had a cage for goats? Jesus, this must have been the dullest zoo ever. Anyway, he eats one of the poor bastards, and fortunately, it wasn’t the Satan-Eye-Goat, so I don’t have to worry about losing Sanity Points.

Eventually, a zoo guard finds the naked, un-cave-ified Jessup next to the dead goat, and we cut to Red picking him up from prison. Wait, you’re seriously picking up THIS FUCKING JACKASS?! Thanks to him, there are two INNOCENT MEN, and one VERY SINFUL GOAT dead, AND HE FULL ADMITS IT! AND HE DOESN’T FUCKING CARE! AND HE FUCKING ENJOYED IT! 

… His dick must taste like candy, it’s the only explanation.

At home, Jessup fills Red on everything that happened, and then Dr. Sceptic shows up. And okay, to Jessup’s credit, he informs us that Jessup only MOSTLY killed the security guard. So. Um. I guess that means he’s a good guy now?


[Editor’s Note: Well, actually, I know a lot of really cute serial killers-]


… Oh, right, I forgot this show existed.

The next day, Dr. Sceptic, Dr. Beard, Dr. Red, and of course, Dr. Insano  stick Jessup in the tank, and two hours later, all the crazy finally hits boiling point, and we get to see the little camera they stuck in there going haywire as Jessup transforms. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde, human body is made of plasticine type thing. It’s more of a “dimensional rift in the space/time continuum” sorta thing, and it fries the hell out of Beard and Sceptic. Freshly roasted scientist, coming up!

As it turns out, opening a hole in the fabric of reality tends to be less than healthy for the local infrastructure, and Red gets to watch as everything bends and twists away, all the while intercut with Jessup… not doing so well. I mean, I’m no doctor, but I’m almost fairly certain heads aren’t supposed to bend this way.

The rift makes a hole in the world, and Red makes the mistake of looking in, and gets five minutes of random special effects for her troubles. Gee, pretty light show and everything, but do you mind getting on with the plot? FINALLY, Red finds him in the hole and drags him out, and the newly recuperated Sceptic and Beard look really confused for a while, like they just saw the final cut of this movie.

Beard helps Red get Jessup home, and it seems like he’ll be just fine. For Jessup, I mean, Red launches in to a whole speech about how Jessup is insane. Oh, and she mentions how every time she tried to fuck somebody else, she had to imagine it was him or she’d never get it off. Well, nice to know that you’re a fucking asshole too.

Red, Beard, and Sceptic try to wait around for Jessup to recuperate, until we cut to the next morning, where… ugh, the fucking asshole is awake again. But hey, at least Red’s naked in this scene. So… nah, she’s a dick too. Come on, Jess-ass, go on about your quantum jackassery again. Yes, yes, life is truth, truth is terror, terror is avocado, moving on.

Jessup thinks about the pit too much, and becomes a big gooey mass of green screen and melted gum, and even manages to fry his wife, until he pulls a Take On Me and punches the walls until they’re normal again. Cue shot of her ass, happy ending, roll credits.

So! That was Altered States! How was it?

That was, without a doubt, one of the strangest things I’ve ever sat through, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. It definitely had THINGS to say, I’m just not sure they were particularly interesting things. And besides, trying to turn the love story in to the primary focus is almost insulting, considering how unlikeable Jessup is, and how self-destructive the whole damn relationship is. But, still, I definitely check it out for the neat effects and cool imagery!

Also, hot redhead.




4 Responses to “And Hit Me With Technology: Altered States Review, Part Three”

  1. Tim Hurley May 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    Somebody got a crush…

    Well, you know, I honestly don’t remember this movie too well, I guess, but that was a very, very long time ago. It reads more fucked up than I remember, that’s for sure. 🙂

    Oh, and as a side note: I was trying to figure out why I kept humming along to ‘Smooth Criminal’ the past few days, and it’s because of Part One. That’s some subliminal stuff you got going there, sir.

    • averystrangeplace May 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

      Yes, I am the Dark Lord Erik, AND I AM ALREADY IN CONTROL OF YOUR MIND! I’ll make you listen to other bizarre metal covers of classic songs! Next, Limp Bizkit’s cover of “Faith”!
      … Yeah, that happened.

    • Tim Hurley May 7, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Eh, I used to listen to some, I repeat, SOME, Limp Bizkit back in the day. I didn’t hate it. My only defense is ‘Nobody’s perfect’.

      • averystrangeplace May 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

        Dude. Come on. I’m a 16 year old boy, and even I know Limp Bizkit is the musical equivalent of the Ring tape!

        … Oh, I can’t talk, I still listen to Aqua. I’m a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie Woooorld…

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