After traveling to Africa, a woman learns the secret of eternal youth - unfortunately, it entails regularly sacrificing young men.

[[folder:Synopsis (From the [=MST3k=] wiki)]]

Dr. Paul Talbot is trying to find the secret of eternal youth. A 152 year-old African woman, Mala, approaches Paul and offers him her tribe's secret to long life, a special orchid pollen, but he is doubtful until she demonstrates how she has kept herself alive. He tells the secret to his estranged, alcoholic, and aged wife, June, and gets a guide to help them go on an expedition to Mala's village.

During the dangerous journey, June realizes Paul only wants her along to test the potential potion and becomes enraged. June, Paul, and the guide are captured by Mala's tribe and arrive just in time to see Mala undergo a special ceremony, extracting the pineal hormones of a man with a spiked ring, killing him in the process. She then mixes it with the pollen and drinks it to make her young again. Mala makes an offer for June to use the ring; Paul wants to use the opportunity to escape and "get help." However, June turns the tables and chooses Paul as the man she will kill. She undergoes the ceremony, and she and the guide then create a distraction, steal the ring and pollen, and escape. However, as Mala implied, the effect is temporary; June realizes she must keep killing men to keep young and alive, and so kills the guide after they become lost in the jungle.

When she arrives back in the States, Sally, Paul's shrewishly-voiced nurse, is dating Neil, June's wimpish but mildly attractive lawyer. June uses her new youth to pretend to be Terry Hart, her own niece; she constantly hits on Neil and makes Sally utterly jealous. She also goes around town, using her older form, to trick drunks and con men for their sweet, sweet pineal juice. Neil eventually falls in love with Terry, and decides to end it with Sally. Sally confronts Terry and tries to send her to New York via gun; the two fight, and Terry kills her with the ring.

During a romantic evening she has planned with the now free Neil, a detective investigating one of the men she's killed comes to her home and confronts her; he discovers Sally's body in the closet. Crazed, June rants about the formula for youth and tries to prove it using Sally's pineal juice, however June does not stop aging - in fact, she begins to age even more rapidly. Realizing she's lost everything, she throws herself off of her second-story bedroom balcony and reveals her horrible secret in death.

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode see ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E02TheLeechWoman here]] ''

!!Tropes used in ''The Leech Woman'':
* TheAlcoholic: June.
-->'''June:''' Here's to you, whiskey, guardian of all frustrated wives.[[note]]'''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Mike:]]''' Defender of truth, friend to children.[[/note]]
* AllMenArePerverts: Depressingly so; every single male in the movie seems motivated by lust (and [[{{Greed}} greed]]). And the women are completely defined by their ability to attract men.
* AllTakeAndNoGive / MasochismTango: June and Talbot, ''and HOW''.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Leaving out the whole "youth serum" thing, the pineal gland is buried deep in the middle of the brain--the small spiked ring used to extract its juice is nowhere near big enough to get at it in a single rabbit punch to the back of the skull.
* AssholeVictim: June's last tie to morality after she starts killing seems to be her choice of victims, most of whom were crimes of passion. Talbot's an obvious example. Sally was threatening to kill her if she didn't leave. David the hunter is where she first went over the slippery slope, but he did reject her. The one time she kills in completely cold blood, her victim is the con artist who tries to kill her for the jewelry she wore as bait[[note]] it '''could''' be called self-defense, but again she was luring him in for this explicit purpose[[/note]] -- the film even spends a few minutes showing her rejecting the chance to ensnare the happy drunkard she meets earlier.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Subverted. Talbot acts the part, but he's just using June straight 'til the end. [[spoiler:His.]]
* BatmanGambit: Mala plays Talbot ''and'' June like a fiddle, getting a free trip home and knowing their ChronicBackstabbingDisorder will make sure the secret of the naipe is never revealed.
* ButNotTooBlack: The actresses who played Old and Young Mala (Estelle Hemsley and Kim Hamilton, respectively). All of the background tribeswomen, as well, are noticeably lighter-skinned than the males.
* CallingCard: June accidentally leaves one behind after she murders the sleazy guy. Oops.
* CrapsackWorld: The world this movie depicts -- every character unilaterally selfish and motivated by their worst impulses -- is definitely this.
* DarkestAfrica
* DespairEventHorizon: June, after drinking Sally's pineal juice and having her aging ''accelerate'' rather than reverse.
* DestructiveRomance: A disturbing example, rife with sadism and codependency.
* DistinguishingMark: A scar caused by a slave trader is how Young Malla proves she's the same Malla who was 152 years old.
%%* DownerEnding
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Just prior to the movie, Malla had dreams of blood, with June as the central figure.
* DrJerk: Dr. Paul Talbot.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:June]] jumps out a window when [[spoiler:Sally's pineal juices don't work]].
* DysfunctionJunction: Let's see, we have an endocrinologist motivated solely by greed and lust; his alcoholic wife he [[DestructiveRomance psychologically abuses mercilessly]], yet who later [[ProtagonistJourneyToVillain loses all sympathy points]] by becoming the titular Leech Woman; a GreatWhiteHunter motivated solely by greed and lust; a seemingly-noble lawyer who later [[spoiler: [[YourCheatingHeart reveals himself to be an inveterate cheater]]]]; a {{Yandere}} nurse willing to go to psychotic ends to keep her man (AND who [[LackOfEmpathy hardly batted an eyelash]] as she saw aforementioned wife abused time and time again); and a ConMan [[RuleOfThree motivated solely by greed and lust]]. The only remotely sympathetic character is Mala, a [[Really700YearsOld 150-year-old]] MagicalNegro who sets the plot in motion. You could say the policemen at the climax are not so bad, but the lead detective is smug to the point of being a complete ass even after Neil identifies himself as an attorney.
* EconomyCast: There's no story-related reason that Neil needs to be dating Paul's nurse. However, by having him do so, the producers were able to avoid having to cast two separate actresses as the nurse and Neil's girlfriend.
* EvilVersusEvil: Everybody vs. everybody else. [[HumansAreBastards It's that kind of movie]].
* FountainOfYouth: ''and'' of Oldth.
* GoldDigger: Dr. Talbot's a male version.
* GreatWhiteHunter: David.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Dr. Talbot brings June with him to Africa so she can test the rejuvenation potion. Guess who dies so she can become young?]]
* HumansAreBastards: The ultimate moral of the film; there is not a single honorable character in the entire cast, and in fact most of the cast is appallingly petty, occasionally outright [[MurderIsTheBestSolution murderous]]. [[CrapsackWorld And these traits are considered normal and commonplace]].
* ImmortalityImmorality: There's only one place to get pineal juice, and it ain't Wal-mart.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: How Neil accidentally outs June as the murderer. Played with in that he actually thought he was '''exonerating''' her.
-->'''Detective:''' There was another murder just like this one, a week ago.\\
'''Neil:''' Well that proves Mrs. Talbot couldn't have done it; a week ago she was in New York.\\
'''Detective:''' So was the murder.
* IWasQuiteALooker: ''Oh'' yeah.
* JerkAss: Paul Talbot. To put it mildly. In fact, ''the entire cast'' could qualify.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: June starts off as a sympathetic character, but after one shot of the youth formula, she became all too eager to kill in order to preserve her youth.
* LoveMartyr: June is legitimately, whole-heartedly, pathetically in love with Paul.
* MagicalNegro
* ManipulativeBastard: Paul sees literally everyone around him as nothing but tools for him to use to advance his own ambitions, honeys them up with fake praises and promises only to abandon them the moment they are no longer useful to him. [[spoiler:It ultimately leads to his death]].
* MayDecemberRomance: Sans "romance," in Paul and June's case. June and Neil play it a bit straighter - at least in chronological terms.
* MightyWhitey: Surprisingly averted in a 1950's film. There is a scene that '''could''' qualify -- where David's porters appear to be spooked by some buzzards and David seems to be reassuring them -- but it's open to interpretation as the dialogue is untranslated.
* MisplacedWildlife: An elephant -- not even an African one, but [[{{Slurpasaur}} an Asian one with fake ear extensions]] -- shows up in the middle of the jungle, stock footage of crocodiles ''and'' alligators is used interchangeably, and [[JunglesSoundLikeKookaburras kookaburra sound effects]] are occasionally heard.
* MistreatmentInducedBetrayal: Paul spends the entire movie viciously verbally and emotionally abusing June, and then was surprised when June decided to have her youth restored using Paul as the sacrifice.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: It would seem, with [[DysfunctionJunction this crowd]], murder is the FIRST AND LAST solution.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Just before June [[spoiler:offs herself]], she utters the following when seeing that Sally's pineal secretions were backfiring on her:
-->'''June''': It's not working... I killed Sally for ''nothing!''
* MyGrandsonMyself: June uses her new youth to pretend to be her own niece.
* NonindicativeName: Though she does, technically, "leech", June is not, alas, a leech-woman. [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot *Sigh* ]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: Thanks to the naipe, Malla doesn't ''quite'' look 152 years old.
* OutWithABang: Malla's tribe uses the pineal ceremony to allow old women to go out this way.
* PhlebotinumBreakdown: Naipe alone = slowed aging, naipe + male pineal juice = youth serum, naipe + female pineal juice = Bride of the [[ComicBook/TalesFromTheCrypt Cryptkeeper.]]
* PhlebotinumMuncher: ... and a subject suffers RapidAging if they don't keep supplementing their doses.
* PinealWeirdness
* PlayingGertrude: June's implied to be approximately in her mid-fifties or so, and much older then Paul. At the time of filming, Coleen Gray was about 37 or 38 - 13 years younger then the man who played her husband. Justified, of course; it's a lot harder to make an older actor look ''young'' than to make a younger actor look ''old''.
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: Inverted with Malla, played straight (to ill effect) with June.
* PrettyInMink: We know that money isn't one of the things making June unhappy, since she first appears in a nice day dress and mink wrap.
* QuicksandSucks
* RapidAging: [[spoiler:This is the consequence of drinking ''female'' pineal juice instead of male, as June learns the hard way]].
* SmugSnake: Talbot, the main HateSink trait for his AssholeVictim comeuppance.
* StockFootage: "Real Africa...''Hollywood Africa!''"
** After ''several'' minutes of Africa footage, Mike and the 'bots declare it to be "more like stock ''mileage'' at this point."
* TookALevelInJerkass: Every character that wasn't a {{Jerkass}} to begin with.
* TooDumbToLive: Apparently the restoration of her youth shaved off a few dozen of Malla's IQ points. "Well, I ''had'' been having psychic dreams about you becoming a murderer, but since I'm young now, I don't really care any more. Think I'll go get laid - seize the day, you know. Anyway, you've got free rein of the village 'til we execute you and your heavily-armed boyfriend tomorrow! Ta!"
** Neil Foster probably counts too. A supposedly intelligent lawyer lets himself be instantly seduced away from his fiancee by a client's niece whom he'd never heard of until she appears, and who looks and sounds exactly like a younger version of his client. Not to mention he has every reason to believe she's mentally unstable, given how she behaved earlier.
** Paul Talbot emotionally abuses his wife for years, drags her to Africa just to use her as a guinea pig in his experiments, announces that the best way to escape is leave her behind, and encourages her to pick a man to murder so that he can enact this plan. Then is shocked when she picks ''him''.
* {{Yandere}}: Sally, pulling a gun on your ex's new flame isn't exactly normal.