Torture Ship

2763. TORTURE SHIP (1939-USA). With LYLE TALBOT, IRVING PICHEL, JACQUELINE WELLS (JULIE BISHOP). Suggested from a short story by JACK LONDON. Using experiments with endocrine glands, Dr. Herbert Slander has been attempting to develop a process by which the mind of the hardened criminal may be forever “cured of crime.” “They’re suffering from mental disorders,” is how Slander describes even the most sadistic and unrepentant thugs. However, his research has caused him problems with the law as he has been abetting the prison escapes of convicts and using them as voluntary guinea pigs. If Slander is found guilty, he could find himself incarcerated. In order to avoid the authorities he decides to gather his subjects aboard a ship and set out to sea, where he will continue his research. Those on board include criminals of both sexes: machine-gun slayers and knife-wielding killers and blue-beard murderers and deranged trigger men. One of them, a young woman named Joan Martel, has been innocently implicated. On this most fateful journey, Slander is determined to “make better men and women” of his charges. Still, despite his good intentions it would only be fair to describe the doctor as your standard-issue loony celluloid scientist. Aboard his ship is a volatile mix, beginning with this warped egghead and his gaggle of malefactors. Then, there is stalwart Lieutenant Bob Bennett, a recent Annapolis graduate who is Slander’s nephew. The doctor has enlisted Bob to steer the ship, but Bob has no idea of the purpose of the voyage or the identities of those on board. Joan is destined to fall in love with Bob, and they soon will find their lives endangered in this rock-solid horror/crime drama. 63 minutes. Crime-Horror