A group of 18th-century scientists, led by Dr. Murdock, have remained young after all these centuries by using electricity to suck the life out of young women. If one of the scientists misses a treatment, his skin hardens to the toughness of stone. A female prisoner discovers why so many of her fellow inmates are disappearing, and attempts to stop them with the aid of a prison psychiatrist. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
I purchased a Goodtimes Video of this film in 1989 for $8.99. The jacket promo includes a statement claiming, "Weird scientists murder young girls to prolong life." Ah well, it turns out the jacket is far more exciting than the film. Young inmates of a women's minimum security prison continue to die of "heart failure." This becomes a little too obvious and the handsome young corrections psychiatrist, William Hudson as Dr. Rogers, is called in to investigate. The good doctor finds out that Dr. Murdock (Victory Jory) and the rest of the prison staff are all over 200 years old and must renew themselves from time to time with new life energy. It has been determined that young females are the best sources of this new energy, thus Murdock and his confederates have placed themselves in charge of a women's prison. All ends happily, however, after Dr. Rogers saves his lady love, the kind-hearted social worker Carol, played by Charlotte Austin, from Murdock's murderous clutches. Films such as this must be judged in context to it's genre, the time that it was filmed in (1957), and budget, which in this case it is obvious the budget was very modest. The sets are mediocre, the film is somewhat grainy and production values iffy at best and that is being kind. In short, this is another 1950's era horror / sci-fi B-film which could have been done much better in a different time and with greater financing. Not even the presence of that fine character actor Victor Jory, (a fine player for many years who never received the acclaim he deserved), could lift this one very high, but even with its limitations it is enjoyable to fans of this type of film. Today, the setting and story plot would tempt a director to include nudity and perhaps soft core porno scenes, which would change the tone of the story dramatically and this would be a shame, because the story itself is pretty good. Of course, I am prejudiced. Anything that has to do with time travel interests me greatly and immortality is, to me, a form of time travel. This one is of interest to fans of this type of film only, but don't let that stop you from catching it on late night TV if you can. If nothing else, it is an excellent example of the lesser B films of the era, an era far more interesting to serious students of film than most of the general public today realizes.
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