last night, i was talking to natalie, and she mentioned the prelinger archives. i had forgotten all about this lovely collection of public domain films, and was inspired, this morning, to start browsing, looking for some good films to sample for the upcoming MOCKINGBIRD album.
well… i didn’t know where to start, so i just typed the word “noise” into the search box. scrolling down the page a little way, i found a very intriguing title: “experiments in the revival of organisms”. i had to click on it, cuz just like anybody else with an unhealthy love of zombies, i couldn’t resist figuring out what this was all about.
turns out that this 1940 medical film is pretty much what it sounds like. it shows soviet experiments and research regarding the revival of dead organisms. it starts with keeping a heart and lungs functioning outside of their body, moves on to maintaining a fully functioning severed head (not of a human, unfortunately), and finally climaxes with the death and return of an entire dog (who supposedly goes on to start a family, living a happy healthy life).
this dog’s decapitated head supposedly lived and reacted normally for hours
a graph showing the heart’s diminishing beat
the autojektor was used to revive this dog 10 minutes after it’s death
according to wikipedia, some people believe the film to be documenting real live experiments, while others think it was all staged. regardless of whether the actual footage was authentic or faked, the fact remains that the experiments were real. there are photos of similar decapitation experiments as well as published medical papers on all the topics covered in the film.
another poor decapitated dog
a patent drawing of an autojektor for human use
watch the whole movie here:
you can read multiple reviews and opinions about the film on the prelinger archives site.