Off Topic: Pathology, Arsenic & Such haste

I once had a little soft spot for Milo Ventimiglia, but it dissipated by the time Rory graduated from high school on The Gilmore Girls. Thus, I didn’t watch Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, 2006) and never got into Heroes. The reason I watched Pathology (Dan Schoelermann, 2008 ) was partly for guilty pleasure reasons–promise of gore–but also because I volunteered to review it for Filmthreat.com.

An excerpt:

Unlike films such as “Anatomy” (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2000) and “The Doctor and the Devils” (Freddie Francis, 1985), which explored the multi-layered beauty that is the human body, “Pathology” concentrates on determining cause of death. Running one hour and thirty-three minutes in length, Schoelermann’s film cannot afford to stop and marvel at physiology. The film has negligible desire in cultivating any sincere identification with Grey. Aside from the meek pathology resident Ben Stravinsky (Keir O’Donnell), none of the major characters solicit much sympathy or any other feeling from the viewer.

Read the rest here.

View the trailer here.

View the trailer for Anatomy here.

View a short clip from The Doctor and the Devils here.

I’ve also started reading a book by Peter Vronsky called Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters. I had read his book Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters a few years ago and loved it.

In discussing the murderous activities of English women in the 1840s (or the Hungry 40s), Vronsky details the agonizing death brought on by arsenic poisoning. Behold:

Symptoms of arsenic poisoning are horrific and begin within an hour of ingestion: an acrid sensation on the throat and the onset of unbearable nausea followed by uncontrollable vomiting, which continues long after the stomach is empty. The victim begins to vomit a whitish fluid streaked with blood. The mouth becomes parched, the tongue is thickly coated, and the throat is constricted. The victims suffer from an intense thirst but any attempt to drink immediately results in further bouts of vomiting. In the next stage, the victim suffers from uncontrollable bloody diarrhea and intense abdominal pain with more vomiting, accompanied by a severe burning sensation from the mouth all the way down to the anus. The urine is meager and bloody. Symptoms can include cardiac arrythmias and ventricular fibrillation often leading to the misdiagnosis of a heart attack in the victim. Whitish lines (Mees’ lines) that look much like traumatic injuries are found on the finger nails.

In the final stages, the victim goes pale and the skin takes on a bluish hue, accompanied by a sheen of foul-smelling perspiration. Breathing becomes harsh, irregular, and shallow, the hands and feet go very cold and numb, and the heartbeat grows feeble. Finally, the victim’s limbs convulse while their legs are seized by painful cramps. Death comes anywhere from six hours to several days after ingestion of arsenic, depending upon the amount of poison ingested and physique of the victim.

Essentially, arsenic affects how the body’s cells function, disabling their ability to absorb and use proteins and chemicals necessary to sustain human life (100).

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