Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Leech Women and Monkey Glands
The idea that dramatic rejuvenation was possible using simple extracts had been quite popular in the 1920s, and this movie represents its last gasp.
A French physician named Serge Voronoff felt that testicles could be transplanted to return youth to men. His experiments included both human and animal subjects. He claimed that grafting young testicles onto older donors not only increased vigor but could combat dementia. The practice of having "monkey glands" implanted in various ways became wildly, if briefly, popular amongst wealthy men.
"The Leech Woman" plays on Voronoffs masculinist focus in a strange way in that the female "leech" must have male donors and meets her downfall when extracting the material she needs from a woman.