Dr. Holk leads an isolated and lonely existence in a small, Dutch colony in the tropics. Having fled from love and civilization, his only companions now are alcohol and his work, which takes him to villages ravaged by dirt, fever and a strange illness which turns innocent people into madmen: Amok. One day, he is called on by Helene Haviland, who asks him to abort her lover's child before her husband returns from abroad. Even though Holk is enchanted by her seductive beauty, he haughtily refuses her request. Rejected, the woman turns to a Chinese practitioner. When Holk tracks her down in a dirty dive, it's already too late for the two of them.