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The Lightning Warrior

USA 1931
produced by
Nat Levine for Mascot
directed by Benjamin H. Kline, Armand Schaefer
starring Rin Tin Tin, Frankie Darro, George Brent, Pat O'Malley, Georgia Hale, Theodore Lorch, Lafe McKee, Frank Brownlee, Bob Kortman, Dick Dickinson, Hayden Stevenson, Yakima Canutt, Frank Lanning, Bertee Beaumont, Helen Gibson, Kermit Maynard
written by Ford L. Beebe, Wyndham Gittens, Colbert Clark, music by Lee Zahler

serial

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somewhere out West: a small town is threatened by the masked villain called the Wolfman, who wants to make all the villagers leave the village for good, otherwise he has the Indians he's in league with attack - something the villagers are understandably not very keen on. Eventually the Wolfman and his men kill both Jimmy Carter's (Frankie Darro) father (Hayden Stevenson) - leaving a rich goldmine in the hands of young Jimmy - and Alan Scott's (George Brent) brother, the only man who knew the identity of the Wolfman, and who before his death hid a note containing the name of the Wolfman in the collar of his dog, Rin Tin Tin. Now the Wolfman's men try everything to get their hands on this note while Alan - ably helped by young Jimmy - tries everything to find out the identity of the Wolfman, which is a tad difficult because everyone acts more or less suspiciously, including landgrabber Hayden (Lafe McKee), who seems to profit the most from the villagers leaving the town, La Farge (Theodore Lorch), an ex-convict who thinks that Hayden has framed him and now leaves no stone unturned to frame him back (in which he eventually succeeds), and who by the way is also the father of Alan's sweetheart Dianne (Georgia Hale). Then there's this weird local Indian called Indian George (Frank Lanning), who seems to be a bit too friendly to the Indians who are about to attack (?). And eventually, even the local Sheriff (Pat O'Malley) starts to act mighty weird.

Of course, as in all good serials, neither of the above is really the Wolfman, instead, after many chases, fistfights, shoot-outs and the like, McDonald (Frank Brownlee), a respected citizen who remained rather pale throughout the proceedings, is exposed as the Wolfman ... but it seems to be already too late, since his Indians already attack and can't be stopped anymore - until they meet opposition ... from the Indians.

In the end, it turns out that the Wolfman's Indians were actually white men in disguise, while the real Indians, led by Indian George, actually came to the rescue of the city, and it also turns out that the Sheriff, La Farge and Indian George - all three of them were acting very suspiciously lately - have cooked up this plan between them to save the city.

And why did McDonald want the city emptied anyhow ?

Because a rich gold ore was found leading through all the local claims - and this was an opportunity too good to pass up on for McDonald - but instead, he gets life in jail while the city gets prosperity ... oh, and Alan of course gets Dianne and promises to adopt Jimmy ...

 

A typical Mascot serial: A murder mystery with a masked villain that is full of incongruencies and gaping plotholes ... but none of this seems to matter too much, because the serial has things going at a steady pace and there is action aplenty to make one forget the shortcomings of the story, because as they say, action speaks louder than words, and even if they meant something entirely different when they said it, the old proverb works in this context like a charm.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD