The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema


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About the Book

Science fiction films of the 1930s and 1940s were often set in dark laboratories that had strange looking glass containers with bubbling fluids and mad scientists conducting glandular and hormonal experiments. In the 1950s, films were more focused on radiation induced mutations. The 1960s and 1970s brought more sophisticated biological sciences to the movies and focused on such relatively new concepts as immunology, cyrobiology, and biochemistry. In the 1980s and 1990s, the focus of science fiction films has been DNA. This work of film criticism relates 71 science fiction films to the biological sciences. The author covers cell biology, pharmacology, endocrinology, hematology, and entomology, to name just a few topics. An analysis of each film includes a brief plot synopsis, the author’s favorite quotations, the biological principles involved, the accuracy of the laboratory, and correct and incorrect biological information. In his analyses, the author sets out what would be required to achieve in real life the results seen in the movies and whether these experiments or events could actually happen.

About the Author(s)

Mark C. Glassy is a professor at the University of California, San Diego; Moores Cancer Center, Translational Neuro-Oncology Laboratory and a member of the advisory board for the University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine.

Bibliographic Details

Mark C. Glassy
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 304
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [2001]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2604-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0822-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction     1

Scientific Principles     7

1. Cell Biology      23

2. Molecular Biology     55

3. Pharmacology     99

4. Endocrinology     111

5. Surgery     137

6. Hematology     157

7. Microbiology     173

8. Virology     189

9. Biochemistry     201

10. Entomology     211

11. Shrinkology     225

12. CULFology     237

13. Life Cycles     249

14. Reanimated Brides     255

15. Synthetic Skin     265

Appendix     273

Index     291

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Fascinating”—Classic Images
• “Marvelous…fun…fresh, lively, iresistibly informative…a real gem”—Filmfax
• “Fun, appealing and intelligently done”—School Library Journal
• “Detailed…required reading”—C&RL News
• “Remarkable”—Cult Movies
• “Unique and unprecedented…anyone interested in the ‘science’ behind horror films and mad doctor machinations would do well to sample [this] book”—Monsters From the Vault
• “Full of real science…the author shows his indisputable knowledge of the field…painstakingly detailed…deserves respect”—SFRA Review