Something a bit different today...a film from the 1930s. Not called B movies back then, but that is exactly what they were...the second string of cinematic achievement. No Clark Gable or Carole Lombard, these films relied on terrific actors and actresses who needed to work to make a living. These films were often showed during matinees, as part of double or triple features. "Torture Ship" from 1939, directed by Victor Halperin ("White Zombie"), based on a story by Jack London, is our object of desire today. If re-made in 2015, this film would include zombies, and exploding torsos.
The plot: Dr. Stander has just been indicted for illegal experimentation on humans. Our mad scientist is insistent that his experiments must continue, though the justice system seems bent on shutting him down. No worries! Dr. Stander has a contingency plan. His experiments? He is tinkering with the endocrine gland in order to make heinous criminals into model members of society. The fiend collects these reprobates, such as: a Blue Beard, who has killed nine brides, Poison Mary (Sheila Bromley) who has poisoned several husbands to collect their life insurance, a machine gun slayer who committed a massacre at Union Station, a bomber, a strangler, a razor killer, and Joan (the beautiful secretary of Poison Mary, who is believed to be in cahoots with her). The doctor gathers all these charmers on a ship and steams for open water outside the borders of any legal system.