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Film / Anatomy

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They can't wait to get their hands on you...

Anatomy is a German Medical Horror film directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and starring Franka Potente.

Paula Henning manages to get a spot in a special anatomy course at the University of Heidelberg along a few other lucky students. While she is initially professional, dealing with everything in a serious manner, she soon starts being paranoid when two of the other students disappear and she comes to the conclusion that a group of doctors at the university might not care about ethical procedures to get research objects.

A sequel called Anatomy 2 was released in 2003 with a mostly new cast. It follows a young intern who gets entangled with another chapter of the Anti-Hippocratic Society in a prestigious Berlin hospital.


This film provides examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: The Anti-Hippocratic Society are masters of plastination of corpses, but due to a lack of fresh, perfect, undamaged corpses, they have decided to obtain their own "study material". Certain selected victims (people that no one will miss, but also a co-student who discovered what was going on) are injected with a drug that completely paralyses the victim within a few minutes and suppresses all life signs so that the victims appear dead on first glance, while still semi-conscious. The drug then transforms the blood, slowly plastinating the victim from within, while the members of the conspiracy pose the body and start to dissect and flay away skin and muscles from the organs and bones. One such victim wakes up, unable to move more than his eyes, and sees that his hand has been artfully dissected down to the bones, and he himself is posed naked as a plastinated "scientific show piece".
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  • Artistic License – Medicine: Pretty much everything described about Promidal.
  • Body Horror: The preserved bodies are anatomical models — as in, you can open them, take them apart, et cetera.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The bodies of those killed by the Anti-Hippocratic Society are Hidden in Plain Sight as anatomical models.
  • Eerie Anatomy Model: The Anti-Hippocratic Society's preferred murder weapon is the poison Promidal, and some of their victims are plastinated for future use. Ambitious new member Hein defies the society's controlled M.O. by poisoning his love interest and stabbing her boyfriend out of jealousy. He disposes of the boy, but plastinates the girl (after decapitating her to avoid her being recognized). He then goes after Paula, and her boyfriend for the same reason and with the same plan of preserving Paula's corpse.
  • Fingore: The Anti-Hippocratic Society turns one victim into an anatomical model while he's alive; they show how the hand nerves make the fingers move, among other things. He's obviously nonplussed as he wakes up during the procedure.
  • For Science!: The Anti-Hippocratic Society argues that without them, medicine and science would not be able to develop much.
  • Genre Shift: The sequel, while still having slasher influences, is closer to a standard medical thriller and even has minor action and sci-fi elements, in contrast to the far more straightforward horror of the original.
  • Human Resources: The Anti-Hippocratic Society recycles dead bodies as anatomically correct medical displays... and they are still alive and unable to move when they begin the surgery.
  • Killed Offscreen: Paula saves a young man at the beginning, only for them to meet again when she dissects his body in the morgue. Also Gretchen, Phil and Ludwig.
  • Mad Doctor: The Anti-Hippocratic Society is a secret society of doctors who want to conduct experiments without caring for ethics.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Caspar has his desk scattered with drugs and notes of the Anti-Hippocratic Society... because he was researching them as part of his history doctorate thesis.
  • Playing with Syringes: The Anti-Hippocratic Society believes that only by thoroughly analyzing the human body can science understand it. It also believes that the few bodies they get through legal ways aren't nearly enough...
  • Skip the Anesthetic: The victims do get a drug injected into their veins. But that is so their blood becomes thicker, thus making it easier to work and does nothing about any pain the victim might feel.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Both Paula and Oliver end up like this. Implied to have happened to Gretchen and Phil as well as many others before.
  • Wax Museum Morgue: While it gets implied a lot earlier, the entire body collection of the University of Heidelberg is proven to be this when Paula finds Gretchen.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Paula wants to be like her grandfather to the point of wanting to study anatomy at the same university as he did.