Ken Russell, the late, lamented master of freak-out fantasia, directed this 1980 head-trip, whose screenplay was adapted by Paddy Chayefsky (under a pseudonym) from his own novel. The result is a jarring hybrid, blending elements of sci-fi, horror, and psycho-expressionism. Fearless scientist Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) attempts to plumb nothing less than the unborn soul of mankind, using a sensory-deprivation tank and extra helpings of shroom stew. Russell takes us along for the phantasmagorical ride and transports us—thanks, in part, to the manic mobility of the camerawork—into Jessup’s subjective states, merging psychedelic special effects, hyperreal dream sequences, and the director’s typically dazzling and blasphemous take on Christian symbolism. The film features Blair Brown as Hurt’s smitten wife, and a timely use of “Light My Fire.”