Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A remake of the 1927 horror melodrama The Wizard (which, alas, no longer exists), 20th Century-Fox's Dr. Renault's Secrets packs a real wallop in its brisk 58-minute running time. The scene is a remote French village, where the murder of drunken tourist Austin (Jack Norton) coincides with the arrival of young doctor Larry Forbes (John Sheppard, aka Sheppard Strudwick). It develops that Sheppard is the house guest of the outwardly benign Dr. Renault (George Zucco), who lives with his pretty niece Madeline (Lynne Roberts) and his bizarre manservant Noel (J. Carroll Naish), who possesses more than a few apelike tendencies. Several more murders occur, and the clues point in a number of directions. Upon learning Dr. Renault's secret -- which is something straight out of H. G. Well's The Island of Dr. Moreau -- the audience is able to discern the killer's identity. Alas, it may be too late for heroine Madeline, at present being kidnapped by a local hooligan (Mike Mazurki) and thus apparently at the mercy of the rampaging murderer. Dr. Renault's Secret was frequently shipped out on a double bill with Fox's other 1942 horror piece, The Undying Monster.
ape, experiment, doctor, intelligence [knowledge], transformation, animal-attack, brain, brain-surgery, rage, scientist, creation, jungle, serum