There’s always gonna be someone there to ruin the “fun.? And why not? Exposing the fake behind the fun is often half the fun, if not all of it! I myself had often wondered while watching such gonzo classics as King Kong, The Amazing Colassal Man or One Million Years B.C.; what are the the actual physics governing the drastic change-in-size of someone, compared to the unchanged size of the world all around them? How can a giant lizard creature like Godzilla be so huge, but stil maintain the shape of a reptile? I mean… we all know he’s a radioactive mutant, but would it really be possible for a creature to grow in size like that and still maintain the structure of it’s organs and bone mass? Wouldn’t increased gravity rip it apart? In Richard Fleischer’s 1966 film Fantastic Voyage, when the scientist plucks a super shrunk-down Raquel Welch and gang from the corner of the guy’s eye at the end, they seem to be sitting on top a single giant dome of water, but in microscopic close-up they’re sploshing around in a kiddie pool of “tear duct fluid.? A small droplet of water behaves like a cohesive sphere when tiny, but a border-less mess when large. Wouldn’t water be like thick syrup to a microscopic person? Or just a bunch of giant, solid, beach-ball sized molecules all globbed together? How could Grant Williams in Jack Arnold’s 1957 film The Incredible Shrinking Man, actually breath if the dust in the air was like giant airplanes swatting at him? Not to mention trying to inhale the size of the air molecules themselves? In Nathan Juran’s 1958 The Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, how could Allison Hayes’ gargantuan gazongas maintain their temperature, not to mention their smooth, sexy-skin surface?

Michael C. LaBarbera, a professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, Geophysical Sciences, and the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at The College of The University of Chicago has put together a cohesive, and very fun study of just that subject. Flipping through a roster of drive-in, late-night TV classics – he playfully analyzes their probability, explaining exactly why “it couldn’t happen.? Be sure to check out the end, as he uses human facial-recognition statistics to prove why E.T. the Extra Terrestrial really isn’t cute and adorable to human audiences.

Click here to read Michael LaBarbera’s excellent and fun essay: The Biology of B-Movie Monsters. Now excuse me while I go remind viewers of the latest Captain Marvel serial that, at the end of the previous episode, he never got out of the cockadoodie car.