Hollywood often gets it wrong with comas. So what’s new?

I just came across this article while doing a little research about comas. It’s worth a read and makes a lot of sense.

What do the movies “Kill Bill Vol. 1,” “Rocky 2” and “Monkey Bone” have in common? Each has a character in a coma. In Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill,” the character The Bride is comatose from a bullet wound to the head. Then a mosquito bites her. And she snaps out of it.

Dramatic? Yes. Realistic? Not in the least. Doctors are concerned inaccurate representations of coma do have an effect on people’s understand of coma and expectations about recovery.

Kevin Tiggs, one of the key characters in The Sleeping Deep, suffers an acute “emotional” overload to his system while deep in one of his dream cycles. He doesn’t wake up from it and, eventually, an eel demon rises out of his mouth from the other side. Oh, the horror!


Kevin’s mouth OPENS WIDE and from it rises a sinewy EEL
DEMON, orange eyes, rows of fangs. It hovers several feet
over Kevin’s body, gnashing teeth, hissing.
The monitoring machines are going nuts, lights flashing,
beeping erratically.

A NURSE rushes down the hallway and enters Kevin’s room.

There, in full view, the EEL DEMON protruding from Kevin’s
mouth turns to face the NURSE. It bellows out a heinous
screech then DISSOLVES into vapor. Gone.

The Nurse falls to the floor in shock. The monitors go flat
and unresponsive.

Actually, when produced the right way, it will be a gripping and terrifying moment. Of course, this sort of thing doesn’t happen in real life (maybe it does?) so we will be making the most of our creative liberties. Still, it’s important to ground the scene with some amount of reality and get the hospital details as close to legit as possible.

Wijdicks acknowledges that feature films are fiction. They’re aimed at evoking an emotional response. But he says that doesn’t mean they have to be inaccurate. If military advisors and historians can be found on set, he says, why not a neurologist?

I totally agree with this statement. However – you guessed it – this requires a budget, which at the moment I do not have. (Hell, I need to secure a set before I should worry about getting a neurologist!) But this won’t prevent me from researching and ironing out those details for when the money does present itself.

Time will tell. It always does.

Peace. Out. – Jeff


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