Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dr. Blood's Coffin

This evening I stumbled across some old back up CDs of files from high school. As I was clicking through memories and scanning over past thoughts I ran across this movie review I wrote almost 9 years ago. My first thought was, "My I was a passionate little munchkin wasn't I!" My second thought was, "Wow I thought I was a good writer back then!" My last thought was, "Hmm, I think I would actually like to see that movie again." And so I share my review with you in hopes that one day soon I might watch it again and see if I am still as hearty an advocate for the film as I once was!

The idea of life weighed on my mind heavily this past holiday season as I thought about the Giver of life who came as a mere baby to die and to arise from the grave, victorious over sin so that we as Christians could enjoy eternal life.

Occasionally I love to watch a good horror movie. This past week, that urge struck me once again as my family and I visited the grandparents. I glanced over rows and rows of my grandfather's old movies until I found a title that sounded oddly intriguing. "Dr. Blood's Coffin". I read the back cover. "A doctor's quest to create the perfect human". I slipped the video out of its "oddly intriguing" cover, placed it in the ever beckoning VCR, and sat down hoping that the hairs on the back of my neck would not be disappointed…

A brilliant young doctor’s medical carrier was cut short when it was discovered that he was conducting experiments on living patients. This doctor, Dr. Blood, moved to a small town where his father was the local physician. There, where no one would suspect him, Dr. Blood continued his quest to make a dead man live.

At this point, I must admit, the movie was not “scary”, but I was in for a rather exciting surprise! As Dr. Blood was attempting to take out a living man’s heart to place in a dead man’s body, the town nurse stumbles into the gruesome scene. I found myself cheering as the young nurse argued for life in this “horror” movie:

Nurse: “You can’t let a man die so that you can discover something. It doesn’t matter how important it is, that is murder.”

Dr. Blood: “Everywhere men are dying, great men: philosophers, artists, scientists, but if they could live on look how they could contribute to the advancement of man. He [the man who is “donating” the heart] is going to help me prove that I can give life where there was death.”

Nurse: “You still can’t let a man die, you’re a doctor.”

Dr. Blood: “He is going to die, but in dying he’s going to help someone else live, some one who deserves to live.”

Nurse: “Who are you to say who is to live and who is to die. You have no right to judge.”

Dr. Blood: “Yes, I have. As a scientist I have the right!”

Nurse: “No, you have not. That right belongs to God because it is He alone who gives life.”

Dr. Blood: “No, I can take [that man’s] heart and with it I too can create life.”

Nurse: “That isn’t creation. You have to kill to give your sort of life.”

Dr. Blood: “You’re like the others. You want to limit man’s progress.”

Nurse: “No, what I say is that until you can create life out of nothing, then you have no right to take life.”

Dr. Blood: “Try to understand. A scientist has to be ruthless and unafraid. No one has the right to put limitations on my work because of some outmoded superstitious belief.”

Nurse: “You want me to deny God and instead to kneel down and worship a new god, science?!”

Dr. Blood: “No, I’m asking you to believe in me, to help me, and share in my discovery.”

Nurse: “Never.”

Dr. Blood: “How can you be so blind? Can you see what it can mean to the world to let brilliant men go on living, contributing to the greatness of man?”

Nurse: “You want the world to bow down to your greatness. You have the pride of Lucifer. Well, he also wanted to be equal with God and he suffered damnation for it. Anything you conjure up will be in his image.”

Dr. Blood: “You will use any excuse to stop me, because you’re frightened that I might succeed.”

Nurse: “No, no, I’m frightened at what you’re doing to yourself. Oh yes, you can give some sort of life to the body, but the men you are talking about aren’t great because of their bodies, their great because they use their minds and their souls which are in the image of God. All you will have will be a physical shell, which will be evil. Is that what you want?”

Dr. Blood: “I want to prove that science can overcome death. I want to prove that there are no limits to man’s progress, and if the only way I can do this is by calling on the power that be well then I call on this power. I call on it to guide my brain, my eyes, my hands to prove that I am right….”

My how that nurse hit the target. This message was proclaimed via a movie almost fifty years ago—before Roe v. Wade, before the big cloning issue, when life had a little more value than today.

At the conclusion of “Dr. Blood’s Coffin”, I immediately heralded it as one of my favorite movies. Not because it was labeled a “horror” movie, not because of the quality of the footage, but because it appropriately and adequately portrayed the battle for and against life. More than ever we are to be vigilant in our proclamation of truth, our proclamation of the gospel, our proclamation of life.

In the end, Dr. Blood was strangled to death by his own creation. The hairs on my neck may have been disappointed, but my soul was not. Rather, it was stirred anew in the affirmation that Lucifer has already been condemned, but, also, that we must not be guilty of standing idle.

No comments: