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Doctor Stander (Irving Pichel) is indicted from the medical profession
because he has performed glandular surgery on criminals that should have
cured them from being criminal, but instead it killed them.
However, minor mishaps don't stop our good doctor, so he buys a ship to
take his business off-shore, just outside the American jurisdiction
& breaks free a few serial killers & takes them along to use them
as guinea pigs. That this might not be such a good idea does actually
never occur to him, only his nephew Bob (Lyle Talbot), captain of the
ship, has certain doubts, but then he lays his eyes on lovely Joan
(Jacqueline Wells), one of the criminals his uncle has brought along (even
if she will be proven to be innocent before long).
When hearing about the experiments the doctor is planning to perform on
them, the criminals, led by Ritter (Wheeler Oakman) start a rebellion, but
to no avail (at first) as the doctor seems to have thought of everything,
& soon surgery starts ... which makes the first guinea pig not into a
law-abiding citizen but a homicidal monster who knocks out Bob before he
can be killed.
But why did it go wrong ? Because he had used synthetic glandular
fluid, the Doctor figures, but needs natural glandular fluid of a law
abiding citizen ... like that of Bob, who just happens to be in the
infirmary knocked out ...
But after the doc has extracted some of Bob's glandular fluid, Bob
turns homicidal maniac for a while & knocks out quite a bunch of
people before he can be restrained. & meanwhile Ritter & his
criminals plan another mutiny & even get a few guns to help them ...
but somehow pretty much bungle it up, before Bob, upon having learned that
Joan is the next to be operated on, teams up with them, & soon enough
they take over the ship ... but when Ritter shoots the Doctor despite
having promised otherwise, he & Bob have a fall-out, & Bob locks
himself into the operating theatre with Joan & his dieing unlce while
the criminals party like it's 1999, & have emptied the wine supply in
Bob meanwhile uses the in-ship communications, imitates the voice of
his uncle & tells the criminals that he has given them a lethal
injection that will soon kick in should they not give themselves up. At
first the criminals take it for what it is, a hoax, but when one of them
dies (from something completely else), they finally give themselves up.
& before he dies, the doctor can actually see that the glandular
fluid has indeed worked on one of his patients.
Not a good film, the story is pretty far-fetched, the actors are at
best adequate & production values are limited - still it's fun to
watch as an early piece of sci-fi-horror-trash. By the way, production
company PRC's (then still called PDC) first venture into the