When the third young woman in a month disappears while travelling alone, Ralph Dawson (Tod Andrews) is asked by his boss (John Ince) to see if there's a story there but Ralph tells his boss he's taking two weeks off to get married. On his way to meet his fiancée Betty (Wanda McKay), Ralph's car runs out of gas. Meanwhile, Stella Saunders (Louise Currie) is on her way to her cousin's wedding and stops to ask directions from gas station owner Nicholas (George Zucco). After she leaves, Nicholas makes a phone call to tell 'the doctor' that she's coming. Stella picks up the stranded Ralph and discovers that he's the man her cousin Betty is marrying. A few minutes later, Stella turns onto a fake detour and Dr. Marlowe (Bela Lugosi) throws a switch, disabling Stella's car. When Ralph goes for help, Dr. Marlowe sends Toby (John Carradine) and Grego (Pat McKee) to subdue her. Ralph returns a short time later to find Stella and the car are gone. Inside his house, Dr. Marlowe puts Stella in a trance and tells her he needs her 'will to live' to bring his dead wife (Ellen Hall) back to life. In a voodoo ceremony conducted by Nicholas, Dr. Marlowe tries to transfer Stella's soul into his wife's body but it only works for a few moments. Elsewhere, Ralph finally arrives at Betty's but when Stella doesn't show up, he and Betty notify the sheriff (Henry Hall) of Stella's disappearance. Since Stella disappeared near Dr. Marlowe's house, the sheriff goes to question him but he doesn't find anything. However, on the way back to his office, the sheriff discovers Stella walking by the side of the road, still in a trance, having escaped when Toby accidentally left her cell open. The sheriff takes Stella to Betty's and when they discover she is totally unresponsive, they call the doctor...Dr. Marlowe. The doctor tells Ralph and Betty that Stella should be left alone to rest, then uses a voodoo ritual to summon her back to him. When Betty discovers that Stella is gone, she and Ralph go to Dr. Marlowe's house, where they see his dead wife walking around. Ralph immediately phones the sheriff to tell him what they saw but while he's doing that, Dr. Marlowe and Nicholas perform a ritual to put Betty in a trance and make her come to them. Ralph races after Betty, arriving just as Dr. Marlowe begins the ritual to transfer Betty's soul into his wife, but Grego knocks him unconscious. Fortunately, the sheriff arrives a few moments later and shoots Dr. Marlowe, releasing all the women from their hypnotic trances.
Type of mind control: Hypnosis/Voodoo
Mind control scenes:
Although this movie is overflowing with beautiful hypnotized ‘zombies’, there are three main mind control scenes. The first is when Dr. Marlowe hypnotizes Stella and uses her in his voodoo ritual. The second is when Dr. Marlowe and Nicholas use voodoo to make Stella return to them from Betty's place. The last is when Dr. Marlowe and Nicholas use voodoo to put Betty in a trance and summon her to them so they can use her in their ritual.
5 out of 5
The whole movie revolves around mind control, with Stella spending most of the movie in a trance, walking around in your stereotypical flowing white dress with a blank look on her face. Several times we see the other women Dr. Marlowe abducted, dressed in identical white dresses and walking around in a trance. The scene with Betty falling under Dr. Marlowe's voodoo spell is particularly good, with her valiantly struggling to resist the strange sensations before finally succumbing and walking away complete entranced. I would definitely recommend this movie to any fan of mind control.