Torture Ship (1939)

This is so bad it’s good. Loosely, very,very loosely based on “A Thousand Deaths” by Jack London. A boatload of crooks including Harry The Carver, Kranz The Strangler and the notorious Ritter are guinea pigs for a mad doctor. Also on board are Poison Mary, her sweet young secretary Joan and our hero Lt.Bob. The movie has been billed as SF/Horror but those elements aren’t really major.

Dr.Herbert Stander has a boatload of captured crooks to experiment on. He’s trying to cure the criminal mind. Ritter (Wheeler Oakman) is overheard planning a takeover. Stander and his assistants put a stop to that with the help of the ship’s crew.

In another stateroom, Poison Mary (Sheila Bromley) is holding a gun on her secretary Joan (Julie Bishop). She thinks she turned her in. Lt.Bob Bennett (Lyle Talbot) saves the day. He gives Joan the key to his stateroom so she can lock herself in and be safe.

Trouble happens when Kranz The Strangler gets loose and tosses a sailor overboard and knocks out Bob before he’s subdued. Then Stander gets Bob who just happens to be his nephew.

Bob is almost a zombie. Before he can get another injection, Joan comes into the room with a gun. The distraction allows Bob to switch the serum in the hypo for distilled water. Joan is now captured and taken to the operating ward.

Bob goes into the radio room to try and send a message.  He hears people coming and goes into his drugged up act before he can finish. A short time later he manages to escape. He goes to the cabin where Ritter is locked up. He enlists his help in taking over the ship. Bad move Bob.

From here on out it gets so dumb I couldn’t help but like it.

Wheeler Oakman had a long career playing all kinds of villains. His distinctive voice was more recognizable than his face.

Wheeler Oakman


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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