After his ship goes down, Edward Parker is rescued at sea. Parker gets into a fight with Captain Davies of the Apia and the Captain tosses him overboard while making a delivery to the tiny tropical island of Dr. Moreau. Parker discovers that Moreau has good reason to be so secretive on his lonely island. The doctor is a whip-cracking task master to a growing population of his own gruesome human/animal experiments. He does have one prize result, Lota the beautiful panther woman. Parker’s fortunes for escape look up after his fiancée Ruth finds him with the help of fearless Captain Donohue. However, when Moreau’s tribe of near-humans rises up to rebel, no one is safe.
Based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Henry Jekyll believes that there are two distinct sides to men – a good and an evil side. He believes that by separating the two man can become liberated. He succeeds in his experiments with chemicals to accomplish this and transforms into Hyde to commit horrendous crimes. When he discontinues use of the drug it is already too late.
Widow Julia Endicott rewrites her will, leaving her fortune to her alcoholic nephew Herbert, on the condition that he move into her estate, instead of her son Phillip, who is mentally deficient but physically powerful. Later, Herbert’s greedy wife Laura cajoles him to murder Julia, but Phillip, who is known to be bloodthirsty, is arrested for the crime. Having seen a demonstration of Phillip’s strength, police lieutenant Valcour believes he is innocent, since he would have broken Julia’s neck, not strangled her. Laura’s lover, Thomas Hollander, strangles Herbert, who happens to be his best friend, after Laura lies that he has brutalized her. Herbert survives, however, and unaware of Tom’s involvement in the matter, Valcour calls Tom to Herbert’s bedside. When Herbert begins to revive, Tom tries to stab him but is stopped by a policeman. In the meantime, Laura, presumed to be asleep from a sedative given to her for shock, appears as Julia risen from the dead and shocks Herbert to death. Later, Phillip escapes from jail at Laura’s suggestion and kills Tom in front of her, then kidnaps her and takes her to Julia’s crypt. In a secret passageway, Valcour finds Julia’s body and a plaster of paris mask of her face, from which he gets Laura’s fingerprints. Struggling with Phillip in the crypt, Laura presses Julia’s casket alarm, which she had installed before she died out of fear that she might be buried alive. Valcour comes to Laura’s rescue, but despite her amorous advances, arrests her for Herbert’s murder, since she frightened him to death with the mask of Julia.
This jumbled light comedy was one of the last pictures featuring silent matinee idol Wallace Reid — after being given morphine for an injury in 1919, Reid became a drug addict and he died a few months after this film’s release. When the penniless Maria Theresa (Lila Lee) hears of a treasure hidden in a deserted castle, she decides to track it down. With the help of her cousin, the Duke D’Alva (Arthur Carewe), Maria goes to New York, where the papers which reveal the treasure’s location sit in a museum. She meets handsome Warren Jarvis (Reid), who has gotten involved in a feud in his native Kentucky and is trying to escape. He and Maria join forces when they discover that the castle is haunted, and they sail to Spain. It doesn’t take Jarvis long to figure out that the Duke is responsible for the phony ghosts that haunt the castle, and he forces him to confess. Although Jarvis and Maria end up treasure-less, they do find romance together. Rotund Walter Hiers does a blackface turn as Rusty Snow, Jarvis’ valet.