Friday, January 20, 2012

Experiments In The Revival Of Organisms

Infamous, previously hard-to-find 1940 documentary chronicles the bizarre medical experiments conducted at Moscow's Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy in which surgeons animated dissected organs, brought dead animals back to life, and kept a severed dog's head alive in a tray. (For what possible reason aside from having watched too many "Frankenstein" movies one can only guess.) Made all the more disturbing by the clinical black and white photography and the droning, matter-of-fact narration by British biologist John Burdon Sanderson Haldane, F.R.S. (Fellow of the Royal Society). The actual surgical procedures are thankfully never shown, however the after effects are plenty horrific. Images of a severed dog's head reacting unhappily to being poked and prodded aren't easily forgotten. There's not much in the way of actual gore, though sensitive viewers may find the material upsetting. Film is in the Public Domain. From the Prelinger Archives.

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