Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Creepy Cowboys: Four Weird Westerns
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on May 30, 2011
"Creepy Cowboys" is a collection from Retromedia of four westerns made by "poverty-row" studios, containing elements that terrify some of the characters, though there is nothing exactly "supernatural" about them. They are on a 2-sided DVD.

"Tombstone Canyon" is 1932 film from World Wide pictures, directed by Alan James, with Tarzan and his human, Ken Maynard. Ken is used for target practice in Tombstone Canyon on his way to meet Luke Waley, a friend he hasn't seen since childhood, from whom he expects to learn his family origin. A shot is fired; he follows a black-caped mystery man (Sheldon Lewis) who vanishes, but there's a gang shooting at him. Ken is helped in driving them off by a female, Jenny Lee (Cecelia Parker), daughter of rancher Colonel Lee (Lafe McKee). They go to Lafe Waley's cabin and find him dead. And the canyon contains a madman with a maniacal scream, who is killing those associated with the Lazy S ranch, run by Art Sykes (Frank Brownlee) whose men are hostile to Colonel Lee. Who is the mysterious Phantom Killer? Ken Maynard and Tarzan (who does an amazing "play dead" scene) lift this one above the typical B-movie, and the supporting cast is also fine. The plot moves along quite well, and the print is mostly good, with only a couple dark scenes and a few scratches.

"Vanishing Riders" is from 1935, directed by Robert F. Hill and released by Spectrum Pictures Corporation. During a shoot-out Sheriff Bill Jones (Bill Cody) kills a criminal, and adopts the dead man's son, Tim Lang (10-year-old Bill Cody Jr.) after turning in his badge. Some time later they ride into Silver City, almost a ghost town, and find Bill's friend Hiram McDuff (Budd Buster), a storekeeper. He tells them of a gang of murderers and cattle rustlers, headed by Wolf Lawson (Wally Wales) who killed rancher Ed Stanley, whose niece Joan and nephew Frank (Ethel Jackson and Donald Reed) now can't get anyone to help get their cattle to market to avoid foreclosure by the bank. When Joan shows up for supplies, Hiram volunteers Bill and Tim to help at the ranch, and later unwittingly gets more help from none other than Wolf Lawson and his gang, who plan to steal the cattle. But Wolf's men are superstitious, afraid to go into Silver City because the place is said to be haunted. Clearly made for juvenile entertainment, the plot has more than a little stretching of credibility, including the gang's fear of ghosts, to make Tim a major part of the action. For its purpose, the film works fairly well, the younger Bill Cody doing a good job in his role. And there is some well-handled humor, includling a scene with Wolf Lawson's gang singing in a manner that might be expected of real cowboys, without much vocal training. The print has a few scratches but is otherwise sharp and with good contrast, the sound is good enough.

"The Rawhide Terror" was released in 1934 by Security Pictures, directed by Bruce Mitchell and Jack Nelson, original story and supervision by Victor Adamson, well known for his low-budget films. It opens with an attack by a gang, badly disguised as Indians, on a wagon and killing the parents of two boys who have identical birthmarks. The older boy wanders off, his mind gone, laughing maniacally. Many years later, a crazed masked killer with a maniacal laugh is using wet rawhide to slowly strangle his victims as they lay tied up in the sun. The victims are all members of the gang that attacked the wagon, now respectable citizens, demanding that the sheriff take action. Started as a serial, the film ended up a short feature. It suffered a change of hero; ranch hand Al (Art Mix) vanishes somewhere in the middle of the film and the Sheriff (Edmund Cobb) has to take over the duty of saving Betty Blake (Frances Morris) who, with her (much) older brother Tom (William Desmond) have rescued a boy, Jimmy Brent (Tommy Bupp) from his abusive foster father (William Barrymore, a.k.a. Boris Bullock) who is, no surprise, the Rawhide Killer. But with the change to a feature, our title character must find a faster means of dealing with the remaining gang members. And what happened to the other boy with the matching birthmark? Critics who complain about acting in other "poverty row" films should consider this one. Experienced actors William Desmond and Edmund Cobb try hard, but can't overcome the writing and directing. Still, there is entertainment of the "so bad it's good" variety for viewers in the right frame of mind. Picture quality is fairly clean, sound is OK. There is supposed to be a fragment of an original chapter title at the beginning, but it was edited out of this edition; it is present in the version from Alpha Video but otherwise this is a better copy. I also thought I saw the start of an end title where a runaway wagon is heading for a cliff with Art Mix tied up in it, but it can't be seen clearly. IMDb shows the running time as 52 minutes; this edition is just over 46, a six minute improvement.

"Wild Horse Phantom" was released in 1944, one of the many films directed by Sam Newfield for PRC. Billy Carson (Buster Crabbe) follows escaped prisoner Link Daggett (Kermit Maynard) and his henchmen with help from Fuzzy Jones (Al St. John) to recover $50,000 stolen from the bank, which must be found to avoid foreclosure on the local ranchers. The trail leads to an abandoned mine, but there are weird things going on inside. The bad guy can't find the money he hid, and there is someone in the mine with a maniacal laugh -- or is it inhuman? Billy is confronted by a female, Marian Garnet (Elaine Morey, a.k.a. Janet Warren) but she doesn't do much, other than being the daughter of rancher Ed Garnet (Budd Buster) who owns the old mine. Tolerable "B" feature of its kind, and while Al St. John's humor is not subtle, it is under better control than usual, and he has an unusual "dramatic" scene early in the film. Along with a few scratches and splices there is an editing error, a repeated piece about 15 seconds long. Sound is fine.

And yes, as noted in other reviews, the labels on the hub of the DVD are for a different collection. Ignore them. While not as cheap as one of Mill Creek's movie-packs, the transfer quality is fairly good, and if only three of the films are up to expected B-movie quality the fourth has interest of a different kind.
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on May 6, 2006
Thanks to Retromedia for these 4 strange 30s westerns. I had heard that Image shipped the wrong disc with this. That is not true....although the hubs are mis-labelled! Play your disc before returning! Mine was labelled as the "Forgotten Terrors" disc and I almost returned it before viewing. Check your disc before making the same error!
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon February 7, 2008
Producers Releasing Corporation presents "WILD HORSE PHANTOM" (28 October 1944) (54 mins/B&W) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- American actor Buster Crabbe graduated from the University of Southern California and won the 400 meter freestyle in which he medaled in the 1932 Olympics, went to work for Paramount in "King of the Jungle" (1933), next role was "Tarzan the Fearless (1933), Crabbe returned to Paramount Pictures was featured in Zane Grey Westerns which were well received, then came the roles that made him a household word "Flash Gordon" and "Buck Rogers" at Universal Picture Serials (1936-1940), meanwhile PRC Studios was looking for a leading hero "Billy the Kid" and "Billy Carson" in the 1940's B-Western series and ran its course for six years, later made several televison appearances and appeared in a series "Captain Gallant and the Foreign Legion" (1955-1957) --- relive those thrilling days when Buster Crabbe took us down the dusty trails with hard riding and straight shooting hitting the bull's eye with excitement every time --- the Buster Crabbe series of B-Westerns were a staple of Saturday matinees in the 1930s and 1940s --- don't miss any of the Buster Crabbe features loaded with action that will leave you wanting more of his B-Western adventures.

Under the production staff of:
Sam Newfield - Director
Sigmund Neufeld - Producer
George Milton - Screenwriter
Robert C. Cline - Cinematographer
Holbrook Todd - Editor
Harold E. Knox - First Assistant Director

Our story line and plot, In this sagebrush oater, a courageous cowboy stops the land-grabbing conspiracy of a corrupt banker --- The banker was planning to wait until hard-working local ranchers made their mortgage payments and then was going to stage a phony robbery so he could foreclose upon their land --- Fortunately, our hero (Buster Crabbe) finds out about it and brings the outlaws to justice --- There are plenty of badmen in the film if you are a fan of the old Saturday matinée sagebrush, you should enjoy this one.

Special B-Western footnote, actor Al St. John, silent film comic who appeared in dozens of Mack Sennett's early Keystone comedies and would eventually create and star in his own vehicles for other studios --- With the advent of sound, he became a character actor in westerns and later the bewhiskered sidekick, also known as Fuzzy Q. Jones in some popular series Fred Scott (Spectrum Pictures/1937-38), Bob Steele/Billy the Kid (PRC Pictures/1940-41), Don "Red" Barry (Republic Pictures/1940-42), Lone Rider wth George Houston (PRC Pictures/1941-42), Lone Rider with Robert Livingston (PRC Pictures/1942-43), Buster Crabbe/Billy the Kid (PRC Pictures/1941-43), Buster Crabbe/Billy Carson (PRC Pictures/1943-46), Lash LaRue (PRC Pictures/1947-52) --- St. John retired from film making in the early '50s, passed away in 1963 from a heart attack while working with the Tommy Scott Wild West show.

Check out this and more in a new book "Those Great Cowboy Sidekicks" by David Rothel, available from Amazon and Empire Publishing --- pick up your copy today ----- second B-Western footnote, actor Charles King was among the top five "Best of the Badmen" (according to a new book by Boyd Magers, Bob Nareau and Bobby Copeland) --- King was a big man, but as agile as a cat during his fight scenes with Johnny Mack Brown, Buster Crabbe, Tex Ritter, The Rough Riders and Bob Steele...King appeared in 400 films and 350 were in sound including many cliffhangers --- King was the heavy we loved to hate --- check out this and more in a new book "Best of the Badmen" by Boyd Magers, Bob Nareau and Bobby Copeland, available from Amazon and Empire Publishing --- pick up your copy today --- another great B-Western for Buster Crabbe under the PRC Picture banner, proves to be one of his most exciting performances.

the cast includes
Buster Crabbe ... Billy Carson
Falcon ... Billy's Horse
Al St. John ... Fuzzy Jones (as Al 'Fuzzy' St. John)
Elaine Morey ... Marian Garnet
Kermit Maynard ... Link Daggett, Gang Leader
Budd Buster ... Ed Garnet
Hal Price ... Clipp Walters
Robert Meredith ... Tom Hanlon
Frank Ellis ... Henchman Kallen
Frank McCarroll ... Henchman Moffett
John L. Cason ... Henchman Lucas (as Bob Cason)
John Elliott ... Prison Warden
Jimmy Aubrey ... Henchman (uncredited)
Hank Bell ... Rancher (uncredited)
Steve Clark ... Rancher (uncredited)
Curley Dresden ... Rancher (uncredited)
Herman Hack ... Rancher (uncredited)
Reed Howes ... Jim Brooks (uncredited)
George Morrell ... Rancher (uncredited)
Bud Osborne ... Bill (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Rancher (uncredited)
Jack Tornek ... Rancher (uncredited)
Slim Whitaker ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

SPECIAL FEATURES:
BIOS:
1. Buster Crabbe (aka: Clarence Linden Crabbe II)
Birth Date: 2/17/1907 - Oakland California
Died: 4/23/1983 - Scottsdale, Arizona

2. Al "Fuzzy" St. John (aka: Alfred St. John)
Birth Date: 9/10/1893 - Santa Ana, CA
Died: 1/21/1963 - Lyons, Georgia

Hats off and thanks to Les Adams (collector/guideslines for character identification), Chuck Anderson (Webmaster: The Old Corral/B-Westerns.Com), Boyd Magers (Western Clippings), Bobby J. Copeland (author of "Trail Talk"), Rhonda Lemons (Empire Publishing Inc) and Bob Nareau (author of "The Real Bob Steele") as they have rekindled my interest once again for Film Noir, B-Westerns and Serials --- looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '20s, '30s & '40s and B-Westerns ... order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD and VHS --- stay tuned once again for top notch action mixed with adventure --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out Amazon where they are experts in releasing B-Westerns --- all my heroes have been cowboys!

Total Time: 54 min on DVD/VHS ~ PRCVideo ~ (6/15/1989)
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on May 6, 2006
i bought mt copy of this movies at best buy for about$15.00 dollars so be careful about the price.

the 4 movies in this collection are old "poverty row" movies of the 30's and 40's and while the pictures aren't in the best shape they are ok. my boys really like these old westerns,and that makes them a favorite in my house.
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on June 20, 2016
not what I thought it was, gave it away. westerns weren't that creepy and they were very very old. not just classic.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon October 25, 2006
VCI Entertainment and Producers Releasing Corporation present "WILD HORSE PHANTOM" (1944) (57 mins/B&W) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- relive those thrilling days when Buster Crabbe took us down the dusty trails with hard riding and straight shooting hitting the bull's eye with excitement every time... the Buster Crabbe series of B-Westerns were a staple of Saturday matinees in the 1930s and 1940s ... don't miss any of the Buster Crabbe features loaded with action that will leave you wanting more of his B-Western adventures.

Under Sam Newfield (Director), Sigmund Neufeld (Producer), George Milton (Screenwriter), Robert C. Cline (Cinematographer), Holbrook Todd (Editor), Harold E. Knox (First Assistant Director) ------ the cast includes Buster Crabbe (Billy Carson), Al St. John (Fuzzy Jones as Al 'Fuzzy' St. John), Elaine Morey (Marian Garnet), Kermit Maynard (Link Daggett, Gang Leader), Budd Buster (Ed Garnet), Hal Price (Clipp Walters), Robert Meredith (Tom Hanlon), Frank Ellis (Henchman Kallen), Frank McCarroll (Henchman Moffett), John L. Cason (Henchman Lucas), John Elliott (Prison Warden), Hank Bell (Rancher), Steve Clark (Rancher), Reed Howes (Jim Brooks), Bud Osborne (Bill ), Slim Whitaker (Prison Guard) . . . . . . our story begins with a modern day setting only to wind up in the Old West with "Our Old Pals", Buster Crabbe and Fuzzy Al St. John ... the Governor gives Crabbe the heads up to let Kermit Maynard and his unsavory group of outlaws escape from behind bars, only to lead them to the stolen money from a bank robbery ... behind this is a land grabbing plot by our favorite banker and the foreclosing of ranchers of the community ... what would a Poverty Row oater be without a gold mine, where there is one and Buster and Fuzzy is on the heals of the local baddies, but they can't remember where they left it ----- B-Western footnote, actor Al St. John, silent film comic who appeared in dozens of Mack Sennett's early Keystone comedies and would eventually create and star in his own vehicles for other studios. With the advent of sound, he became a character actor in westerns and later the bewhiskered sidekick, also known as Fuzzy Q. Jones in some popular series Fred Scott (Spectrum Pictures/1937-38), Bob Steele/Billy the Kid (PRC Pictures/1940-41), Don "Red" Barry (Republic Pictures/1940-42), Lone Rider wth George Houston (PRC Pictures/1941-42), Lone Rider with Robert Livingston (PRC Pictures/1942-43), Buster Crabbe/Billy the Kid (PRC Pictures/1941-43), Buster Crabbe/Billy Carson (PRC Pictures/1943-46), Lash LaRue (PRC Pictures/1947-52) --- St. John retired from film making in the early '50s, passed away in 1963 from a heart attack while working with the Tommy Scott Wild West show --- check out this and more in a new book "Those Great Cowboy Sidekicks" by David Rothel, available from Amazon and Empire Publishing --- pick up your copy today --- another great B-Western for Buster Crabbe under the PRC Picture banner, proves to be one of his most exciting performances.

Special footnote, actor Buster Crabbe graduated from the University of Southern California and won the 400 meter freestyle in which he medaled in the 1932 Olympics, went to work for Paramount in "King of the Jungle" (1933), next role was "Tarzan the Fearless (1933), Crabbe returned to Paramount Pictures was featured in Zane Grey Westerns which were well received, then came the roles that made him a household word "Flash Gordon" and "Buck Rogers" at Universal Picture Serials (1936-1940), meanwhile PRC Studios was looking for a leading hero "Billy the Kid" and "Billy Carson" in the 1940's B-Western series and ran its course for six years, later made several televison appearances and appeared in a series "Captain Gallant and the Foreign Legion" (1955-1957).....

SPECIAL FEATURES:

BIOS:

1. Buster Crabbe (aka: Clarence Linden Crabbe II)

Birth Date: 2/17/1907 - Oakland California

Died: 4/23/1983 - Scottsdale, Arizona

2. Al "Fuzzy" St. John (aka: Alfred St. John)

Birth Date: 9/10/1893 - Santa Ana, CA

Died: 1/21/1963 - Lyons, Georgia

3. Sam Newfield (Director)

Date of birth: 6 December 1899 - New York, New York

Date of death: 10 November 1964 - Los Angeles, California

If you crave action, drama and plenty of adventure check out other western double features with Buster Crabbe:

BUSTER CRABBE WESTERN DOUBLE FEATURES:

1. Vol. 1 - Western Cyclone/Sheriff of Sage Valley (1942-43) (VCI #7213) (DVD)

2. Vol. 2 - Fugitive of the Plains/Fuzzy Settles Down (1943-44) (VCI #7299) (DVD)

Ask Amazon.Com to carry the above Buster Crabbe titles

if they are not available as of yet...you can order

and pick up your copy now from VCI Entertainment.

Great job by VCI Entertainment for releasing "Wild Horse Phantom" (1944) - Buster Crabbe, the

digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more

high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '20s, '30s & '40s and

B-Westerns...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment where there

are plenty of copies available on DVD and VHS, stay tuned once again for top

notch action mixed with deadly adventure from the "King of Serials" VCI...just

the way we like 'em

Total Time: 57 min on DVD/VHS ~ VCI Home Video ~ (11/20/1997)
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