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Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Rory Cochrane
Robert John Downey, Jr. | substance D | blue clerodendron flower (fictional) | Philip K. Dick
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Charles tries desperately to remove bugs from himself, then his dog. He refers to them as aphids. (0:01)

A lecturer describes to an audience of men the community's problems with substance D addiction. He says the drug is derived from blue clerodendron flowers. Fred, introduced as a narcotics agent (and "the ultimate everyman"), elaborates on the subject, but he becomes confused and aborts his lecture. (0:04)

Donna and Fred (later to be known as Bob) seem to arrange a drug deal on the phone. (0:11)

James tells his friend Charles there is no "cold turkey" with substance D. (0:14)

He refers to James' "visions of bugs" as "garden variety psychosis." He talks about "phases" of addiction. He suggests that Donna has lost sexual interest because of her use of substance D. Charles and James return home from a grocery store, apparently after having purchased ingredients with which to synthesize or extract cocaine. James inflates a plastic bag from an aerosol can. He says, "[they] mixed the cocaine with oils so it cannot be extracted..." He places the bag in the freezer. (0:15)

A man and woman in white coats (neuropsychologists?) tell Fred that several agents have been admitted to "neural aphasic" clinics. They administer a "psychground (?) test." (0:24) They ask Fred, "Are you getting any "cross chatter" between hemispheres? (0:25) The female doctor assures Fred, "This is no Rorschach test where an abstract blot can be interpreted many ways." She tells him it is superior to the Rorschach. (0:26)

James, apparently acting as an informant, says Bob Arcter is addicted to substance D. (0:30)

Fred appears disoriented. (0:33)

Bob (Fred), James, and Ernie swallow red capsules of substance D after Bob protests that they will "wind up like" [Charles], and Ernie says, "Don't blame it on the drugs.". (0:38)

Ernie touching an ashtray says, "This roach is still hot." (0:43)

Bob asks Donna, "Did you smoke a joint... ?" (0:46)

As he rolls a joint Bob sees Ernie and James appear to morph into insects. (0:53)

Fred takes red substance D capsules. (0:55)

A voice appears to emanate from the radio: "Freck [Charles] becoming more depressed decided to off himself... bought a large quantity of downers and took them with some cheap wine..." (0:58)

After drinking wine and swallowing pills Charles hallucinates. (1:00)

Donna and Bob appear intoxicated. Donna says, "I do a lot of coke." (1:04) Later she says, "I don't shoot up." (1:06)

Bob gives capsules of substance D to Connie. She rejects his advances. When he awakens he sees Connie and Donna appear to transform from one to the other beside him. (1:07)

Back at the scanner Fred re-creates the visual image of Connie alternating with Donna. (1:11)

Fred undergoing more more neuropsychological testing. (1:12)

The psychologists observed that Fred seems "more depressed today." (1:13)

The psychologists tell Fred he suffers from "competition phenomenon... competition between the left and right hemispheres of your brain..." caused by use of substance D which resulted in damage to his left brain which might be treated with "hemispherectomy" and may result in permanent "organ damage." (1:16)

Fred says, "I'll never take substance D again for the rest of my life..." He minimizes that the amount he is taking now is "not much" but that he has been taking "... more recently because of job stress..." (1:17)

Another agent tells Fred an "officer who becomes an addict and doesn't report it promptly" can be charged with a crime. (1:21)

Fred experiences hallucinated visual distortions. (1:23)

In a car with Donna driving Bob shivers while hugging himself, perhaps withdrawing from a drug. (1:26)

Donna walks Bob into New Path Recovery Center where he falls to the floor and vomits, still shivering and holding his stomach. (1:27)

Bruce (a.k.a. Bob, Fred), now at a farm run by the treatment center, discovers the blue flowers from which substance D is extracted growing hidden under rows of corn. (1:34)

The film ends with a dedication by author Philip Dick listing his friends who were died or were hurt by "mistakes in playing."