Torture Ship (1939)

Article #267 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12-8-2001
Posting date: 4-23-2002

A doctor performng unorthodox experiments helps several criminals to escape from justice on a boat that is on a voyage to nowhere. There he performs glandular experiments on them, and when they don’t quite pan out the way he wants them to, he starts experimenting on his own nephew.

Interesting little horror movie with SF and gangster elements has the novelty of taking place onboard a ship rather than in a creaky old house. The movie was directed by Victor Halperin, and fortunately it’s not quite as creaky as some of his other films. The cast includes Lyle Talbot, Irving Pichel and Skelton Knaggs as one of the gangsters. It was also one of the fledgeling productions of the company that would later become PRC. In it’s own way, this is a fun little film, and you don’t find out what exactly the doctor is trying to accomplish in his experiments until the end of the movie; I was quite surprised at what his goal turned out to be.

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