Director David E. Durston is best known for a little exploitation flick called I Drink Your Blood, which he followed up in 1972 with Stigma, starring “Miami Vice”‘s Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) in his first movie. In honor of the recently passed Valentine’s Day, Stigma gets the Trembles treatment!
On probation after performing an illegal abortion, young black Dr. Calvin Crosse (Thomas) hitches his way along with discharged soldier Bill Waco (Harlan Poe) to the island of Stilford off the coast of Maine. Crosse is there to assist one of his medical school teachers, Dr. Thor, on a mysterious project but arrives to find the man dead. Taking up residence in the dead man’s home despite suspicion from Sheriff Whitehead (Peter H. Clune) and general unfriendliness from the townsfolk, Crosse discovers (through a taped message left by Thor [voiced by director Durston]) that Dr. Thor was investigating a V.D. epidemic on the island. Crosse follows Thor’s suspicion that the sheriff’s daughter, D.D. (Josie Johnson), is the key to the outbreak, which causes friction not only with the corrupt sheriff but also with Bill, who is D.D.’s boyfriend. Can Crosse get the word out about the epidemic before the sheriff silences him?