Alien Hand Syndrome in Pop Culture

Despite its rarity, Alien Hand Syndrome appears in the literary world and Hollywood. Its mysterious symptoms have added humor and/or sometimes horror to movies and books. Here are some films and books which incorporates Alien Hand Syndrome.

"Mad Love"- film

Alien Hand Syndrome made its first appearance in films in "Mad Love", released in 1935. Stephen, a concert pianist, crushes his hand from train accident. He seeks help from the doctor, and the doctor fixes his hand by replacing it with a hand from executed knife-throwing murderer. However, when Stephen tries to play the piano after replacement of his crushed hand, he realizes that his no longer has the accuracy but instead an uncanny accuracy with throwing things.

"Fever Dream" By Ray Bradbury- Short Story

In this book, Charles, a thirteen-year-old boy becomes sick with a fever for days. The doctor diagnoses the problem as scarlet fever and a cold, However, Charles is not convinced since no diagnostic tests has been done. Also, Charles begins to lose control of his limbs. He starts choking himself at night. The doctor dismisses the boy's fright as the result of fever and imagination.

"Dr. Strangelove"- Film

Alien-Hand-Syndrome's most famous portrait was in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" in 1964. In this film, a wheelchair-bound Peter Sellers (Dr. Strangelove) continually loses control of his right arm. He repeately attepmts to give the Nazi Party salute before being beaten by his left hand. This film illustrates the comical struggle of Alien-Hand-Syndrome.

Back to the Main Page