Frankenstein + LSD movies
July 24, 2012 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Frankenstein myths for the LSD age? I'm looking for movies that have similar themes to: Altered States, 'X' the Man with X-Ray Eyes, and Eyes of Hell (aka The Mask)

Each of my examples shows someone develop an obsession with experimenting on themselves, based on what visions those experiments allow them to access. Altered States is the only one that directly says he's experimenting with a hallucinogenic drug, but the other two obviously have similar connotations.

Are there other movies that do something similar?
posted by RobotHero to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Tingler (1959) contains a very early depiction of LSD experimentation. It's not exactly Frankenstein-like as a story, since Vincent Price's character is a bit of a coward and experiments as much on other people as on himself, but in the film LSD is used to awaken... The Tingler! The scene on YouTube.
posted by bubukaba at 10:18 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Tetsuo: The Iron Man?
posted by jbickers at 10:59 AM on July 24, 2012

Best answer: Beyond the Black Rainbow is a recent homage to these sorts of films (Altered States in particular) and has that wonderful combination of dark acid trip and 1980s techno-paranoia. I absolutely loved it (if for the imagery and soundtrack alone) but I know some people hate it (for the flimsy plot) so your mileage may vary.
posted by iivix at 11:07 AM on July 24, 2012

Best answer: Not sure if this fits your criteria but From Beyond and Pi seem to be in the ballpark.
posted by cazoo at 11:28 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Ballpark is fine.

Another ballpark one I just thought of is Limitless. (Ballpark because it feels more inspired by stimulants than hallucinogens.)

There might also be some takes on Dr. Jekyll or the Invisible Man that will be in the ballpark.
posted by RobotHero at 11:49 AM on July 24, 2012

Videodrome springs to mind and there's that great trippy scene in The Black Hole.
posted by oh pollo! at 11:56 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think Strange Days (1995) would fit in this category.

Maybe A Scanner Darkly (2006) as well?
posted by smitt at 12:20 PM on July 24, 2012

Best answer: I think Brainstorm fits what you're looking for. Christopher Walken plays a scientist who's part of a team that's created a device that records experiences and allows them to be played back. When his colleague has a heart attack one night alone in the lab, she records her own death, and the remainder of the movie is driven by Walken getting hold of the recording and then choosing to experience it himself. In the process he re-discovers his relationship with his ex-wife (Natalie Wood in what I think was her last role).

As a bonus, there's also a character who records an orgasm and then plays it on a loop. Which goes about as well as you'd expect.

(I've always loved the deliciously OTT ending of The Man With X-Ray Eyes: "I CAN STILL SEE!")
posted by meronym at 12:32 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Blue Sunshine?
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 1:01 PM on July 24, 2012

The SciFi Channel (pre-SyFy) had an original series of "The Invisible Man," featuring a luckless cat-burgler who was implanted (by his brilliant brother) with a gland that causes him to emit a silvery fluid ("Quicksilver," but not in the sense that it's just mercury) that makes him invisible. The catch is that he's addicted to the quicksilver, and thus is captive to the keepers of a serum that keeps him away from "Quicksilver Madness," which is when he loses his mind over his quicksilver jones.

The general story is that he works, somewhat against his will, with a US covert agency which, for budgetary reasons, finds itself temporarily under the Department of Fish & Game. Did I mention there's comedy?

This is probably not the Invisible Man you're looking for.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:16 PM on July 24, 2012

Also, I think Groundhog Day technically fits this category.

Eric Bana's "Hulk," the 2003 Ang Lee version, was a self-experimenter. I think we all know how that turned out.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:29 PM on July 24, 2012

Oh, so many films above that I absolutely loved!!!

I'm hoping Frankenstein Unbound, starring John Hurt, Raul Julia, and Bridget Fonda (directed by Roger Corman!!!) meets your criteria.
posted by jbenben at 7:31 PM on July 24, 2012

Best answer: From Beyond has a lot of what you're looking for, I think. Perhaps even more so Videodrome, except for the Frankenstein morality component.

How about Frank Hennenlotter's Brain Damage? It has the substances + revealed reality aspect but is more about addiction than experimentation. Like his other films, it's horror/comedy, but truly strange in a way that would reward fans of more "straight" takes on this like Altered States.

Trailer is here, but better to watch the whole thing and let it build.
posted by galaksit at 9:07 PM on July 24, 2012

Best answer: Do you mind if I add a book to the mix? It's never been filmed, though I think in the right hands it could be a corker: The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. Haunting.
posted by likeso at 9:13 PM on July 24, 2012

From Beyond
posted by K.P. at 2:04 AM on July 25, 2012

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