A few years ago while browsing through a local Half Price Books, I came across a book that really through me for a loop. I almost past it up at first because it looked like book on science fiction movies, but as it turned out, there was more than enough of the horror genre covered within. The book was called The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema, originally published in 2005, by McFarland, and written by Mark C. Glassy. As I learned more about Glassy, I discovered that he is an actual professional scientist (now retired) with “extensive study in biochemistry and molecular immunology”, as well as a huge fan of science fiction movies, ever since seeing Earth vs. the Flying Saucers when he was four years old. In this book, he goes through some of our favorite films and discusses the actual science behind it, such as in The Fly (both versions), The Blob (both versions again), White Zombie to John Carpenter’s The Thing to even Lucio Fulci’s Zombie! He covers what parts of the science in the film are correct and what parts are not. This is a lot of fun to read through.
Well, it looks like Glassy is back with an all new volume, this time entitled Biology Run Amok!: The Life Lessons of Science Fiction Cinema, which will be coming this spring from McFarland. In this new volume, he continues to try and teach us a little science information and history, as he “separates biological reality from fantasy in dozens of science fiction films”. Originally published in Scary Monsters magazine, some of the titles covered are older classics The Island of Lost Souls (1933) and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) to David Cronenberg’s Scanners (1980) and Outbreak (1995), and many more.
I know I am looking forward to adding this volume to my library and doing some more scientific research myself!