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A reference page for confused writers, nitpicky readers, and the just plain morbid.
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Of all the things that the writers of action/mystery/fantasy novels and screen/teleplays get wrong, one of the most frequent types of mistake is in how their heroes react to physical attacks. Case in point: in Movieland, any blow to the head will immediately render you unconscious. Some of these things can be ignored, but occasionally you get somebody who clearly doesn't have a clue how the human body actually works. Now, sometimes this is just blithe and willful ignorance, but other times the author just doesn't know where to find out how long it takes for someone to suffocate with a punctured lung, and is afraid that his family physician will be a little suspicious if he asks.

Enter explorethegore.com, your one-stop-shop for information on bodily harm. A team of doctors and forensics experts have collaborated to compile information on what kind of damage various types of assaults really do. Researchers can browse by type of injury (gunshot, stab, fall, bite, blunt trauma, burn, etc., all divided into more specific subcategories), body part affected, or severity (mild pain, temporary incapacitation, mauling, permanent incapacitation, slow and agonizing death, etc.). A special fantasy section could be added for professional educated guesses about the damage that popular spell types might do.

Tabbyclaw, Nov 30 2003

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       Disturbing, yet interesting. I've always wondered if people who get stabbed and shot really die so silently. With that kind of pain, I'd at least want to say "ouch."
tchaikovsky, Nov 30 2003

       Generally, any fatal shot will allow a "grunt" of expelled air to escape. The victim will sometimes have a confused or scared look. Death is rapid and generally silent. If the victim is moaning or making noise, it means they are breathing and that they are still alive.   

       Airline crash survivors have recounted that when a plane is crashing that people generally are calm and do not scream and panic.   

       From experience, a bottle broken over a head will generally cause localized trauma and upon further exploration, a depressed skull fracture will generally manifest.   

       Movies are fiction. People don't want reality. It's boring. Screams, panic, and lots of gasping sells tickets.
Klaatu, Nov 30 2003

       //reality. It's boring.//
That's true.

       Unnatural special effects are more often by design, rather than due to ingnorance.   

       As for movies, the director dictates what happens, based on the producer's "vision". Guess why that gruesome scene was even included in the film? ...the producer thinks it will help at the box office. And they already bought all that stage blood -- might as well spurt it.
Amos Kito, Nov 30 2003

       // plane is crashing that people generally are calm and do not scream and panic //   

       That's because of the pure O2 from the overhead masks (source: the movie Fight Club).
benjamin, Dec 01 2003

       It takes 18 seconds to pass out if you compress the common carotid artery. This is why people who are being choked pass out so quickly, NOT because their air supply is being cut off (as is commonly thought).   

       One of the things that has always driven me nuts in movies is how people who are being smothered with a pillow die in 10 seconds.
Overpanic, Dec 01 2003

       //From experience, a bottle broken over a head //Oh dear Klaatu, a bit rough in your local is it?
po, Dec 01 2003

       Anything's gotta be better than opera deaths - where the victim of a stabbing can quite often be warbling away without any other signs of physical distress until, suddenly, the singer collapses.   

       And [po] - who said anything about Klaatu's local?
PeterSilly, Dec 01 2003

       I'm always bemused by films where some poor unfortunate is riddled with automatic weapons fire before collapsing in a bloody heap on the ground. This is quite ridiculous as anybody who's ever watched the A-Team could tell you. Guns, and particularly automatic ones, are so inaccurate that the chances of a person being hit by even a single bullet, let alone multiple bullets, is absurdly remote. Such weapons are best used for attacking large, relatively immobile targets, such as parked cars or stacked crates of explosives.
DrBob, Dec 01 2003

       PS, by the sound of it, he needed a general.
po, Dec 01 2003

       A last-ditch effort for the former VP to pick up dates?   

       "And if you look to your left, my adventurous bedbug companions, you'll see the crater that forms Al's left nostril. Many have plummeted to their deaths venturing too close..."
RayfordSteele, Dec 01 2003

       Would it include a section on the effects of being shot by 'magic bullets' that can re-enter multiple victims' bodies multiple times like the one that did for JFK?
dobtabulous, Dec 01 2003

       [po] the locale that I worked was, indeed, rough. I have seen people die in many ways.
Klaatu, Dec 01 2003

       Smoking Man: Don't try and threaten me, Mulder. I've watched presidents die.
po, Dec 01 2003

       Coroner: "Cause of death - lack of oxygen to the brain."
Assistant: "You're just not taking this seriously any more."
Detly, Dec 01 2003


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