Doctor Benson (Lionel Atwill) experiments in suspended animation, but
unfortunately he's not very good at it yet, so instead of bringing his
first human guinea pig (Hardie Albright) back to life, he kills him - and
is theerefore wanted for murder.
Soon enough, Benson finds himself on a ship to New Zealand to evade the
law, but even though he has assumed a new identity, the law is already
after him and knows he's on the ship. So Benson kills a detective (Byron
Shore) who has come too close to the truth and later sets fire to the
ship's engines to get out of a tight spot ... and suddenly he finds
himself stranded on an island full of savages (led by noble Johnson) with
a motley crew of survivors: Dwight (John Eldredge), the cowardly first
officer of the ship, Red (Nat Pendleton), a boxer who provides the muscles
of the group, Jim (Richard Davies), the heroic lead of the film, Patricia
(Claire Dodd), his love interest and the leading lady, and her aunt
Margaret (Una Merkel).
Before long, this little group has of course fallen captive to the
natives and are to be burned - when Benson, with a bit of adrenaline and
smelling salt brings Tanoa (Rosina Galli), wife of the cheiftain, back to
life - and suddenly he is worshipped as the God of Life - ideal
circumstances to continue his experiments in suspended animation far away
from the society that is against him. Thing is, now he of course cannot
let the others leave the island, otherwise they would spill the beans to
the police, so he has them live in a hut outside the village and denies
them the access to any kind of boat.
After a while, Benson figures he needs a companion, and he picks
Patricia because she is the prettiest. And to keep Jim, her love interest,
from interfering, he puts him in suspended animationand has him walled up
- but ultiamtely Pat agrees to become Benson's wife only if he restores
Jim back to life ... which he does, and this time successfully.
In the meantime, cowardly Dwight has tried to steal a boat and make it
off the island, but when doing so, he killed a native, Barab (Mala), whose
body our heroes find just before Pat is married to Benson, and he bring
the corpse to the village, and the chieftain immediately wants Benson to
survive Barab - but other than Jim, who was in suspended animation and not
dead at all, and Tanoa, who just needed some adrenaline after her heart
attack, Barab has died from drowning and Benson simply has no remedy
against drowning, and suddenly the natives get very angry and kill him.
The others meanwhile are collected by a rescue plane, just before the
native could catch up with them to kill them too ...
Usually described as a particularly bad Universal shocker of its
time, this is actually a fun mix of horror and scif-fi elements (of the
mad scientist variety with South Seas adventure and a spot of crime drama.
Of course, the film is silly as hell, and of course it's far from any kind
of classic, but in its carelessness concerning genre boundaries it's also
way more entertaining than most other Universal horrors of its
Actually, I would almost recommend this film.