'Coma,' 'Frankenstein,' 'Outbreak' and other medical thrillers that will freak you out
"Frankenstein" (1931): Since it involves a scientist's (Colin Clive) creation of a synthetic man (Boris Karloff), this most legendary movie version of Mary Shelley's story has to be considered one of the classic examples of this genre.
"The Satan Bug" (1965): An ex-government agent's (George Maharis) pursuit of two missing vials of a deadly virus fuels this gripping adaptation of an Alistair MacLean novel.
"The Andromeda Strain" (1971): In giving life (or, in the cases of some characters, death) to Michael Crichton's novel, director Robert Wise wisely uses a cast of frequent supporting players -- including Arthur Hill, David Wayne and Kate Reid -- as scientists fighting a lethal germ from a high-tech underground lab.
"Coma" (1978): Remade this week as an A&E Network miniseries, Robin Cook's best-seller -- first brought to the screen by the aforementioned Crichton -- casts Genevieve Bujold as a headstrong Boston doctor determined to find out why relatively healthy patients, including a friend of hers, are ending up in comas.
"Re-Animator" (1985): Jeffrey Combs has a cult-favorite role as a sort of modern Dr. Frankenstein in this memorably gruesome adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft tale.
"Dead Ringers" (1988): Jeremy Irons is double trouble as twin gynecologists sharing the same woman.
"Flatliners" (1990): Medical students toy dangerously with near-death experiences in this drama that marked one of Julia Roberts' earliest starring roles.
"Malice" (1993): Spouses (Nicole Kidman, Bill Pullman) are impacted by a doctor (Alec Baldwin) whose intentions are less than pure in a story co-written by Aaron Sorkin ("The Newsroom").
"Outbreak" (1995): Ex-spouse scientists (Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo) help battle a deadly virus, imported by a monkey from Africa, that forces the quarantine and potential eradication of a California town.
"Contagion" (2011): From the opening sound of Gwyneth Paltrow's cough, this world-ravaging-virus chiller from director Steven Soderbergh is enough to make you sanitize after every move you make ... despite the familiar faces of an all-star cast that also includes Matt Damon, Jude Law and Kate Winslet.
Photo/Video credit: Universal, The Mirisch Corp., MGM, Empire Pictures, Morgan Creek, Columbia, Castle Rock, Warner Bros.
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