Saturday, April 9, 2011

FILE UNDER: "MONSTERS ARE GOOD FOR YOU!"


We've all heard our film favorites such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Joe Dante, Ray Harryhausen and others all talk about how monster movies were in some way responsible for them choosing the career paths that they did. Well, here's a shocker for ya (no pun intended). Did you know that the 1931 version of FRANKENSTEIN was directly -- that's right, directly responsible for the creation of that fabulous invention for a bad ticker, the pacemaker? Guess FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND was right on when they published the article, "Monsters Are Good For You!", back in the day.

No kidding! In Christopher Frayling's Mad, Bad or Dangerous? The Scientist and the Cinema (Reaktion Books 2005), he explains:
"Horror films have had some very unexpected consequences, just like the research they are depicting, even within the scientific community. They have sometimes been criticized in the journals and in interviews with professors for putting young people off a career in the sciences. And yet, Dr. Jean B. Rosenbaum of New Mexico once wrote that the idea for the first cardiac pacemaker came to him in 1951 when he recalled being scared out of his wits as a child by the laboratory scene in James Whale's FRANKENSTEIN: 'absurd as this drama may be to sophisticated audiences of today', the memory of electricity stimulating Karloff's body as he twitched into life on the slab led directly to his invention of the pacemaker."
This could make you a winner at the next game of Trivial Pursuit!

1 comment:

The Gill-Man said...

Dontcha just love stories like this? If it weren't for Dr. Frankenstein, lots of folks wouldn't have pacemakers!!!

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