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The Rawhide Terror

USA 1934
produced by
Victor Adamson for Securtiy Pictures
directed by Bruce Mitchell, Jack Nelson
starring Art Mix (= Bob Kesterson), Edmund Cobb, William Desmond, William Barrymore, Frances Morris, George Holt, Bill Patton, Joe Weaver, Tommy Bupp, Fred Parker, Denver Dixon (= Victor Adamson), Ed Carey, George Gayton, Ernest Scott, Herman Hack
screenplay by Jack Nelson, based on a story by A.V.Adamson, cinematography by A.J. Fitzpatrick, Bert Longenecker

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Way out West, the 1890's: A gang of cutthroats dress up as Indians & hold up a family of 4, killing the parents. One sun can get away alright, but the other goes mental ...

10 years later: The cutthroats have become respectable citizens of the city of Red Dog, when a maniac starts bumping them off, leaving a note by each of their corpses saying "Remember 10 years ago". The maniac becomes known as the Rawhide Terror, & he wears a leather mask & a mock Indian outfit like the cutthroats themselves 10 years ago. He understandably puts fear into those of the cutthroats still alive, but when they ask the sheriff (Edmund Cobb) for help, he can do remarkably little, as the Rawhide Terror remains elusive.

Meanwhile: Tom (William Desmond) & his sister Betty (Frances Morris) find little Jimmy (Tommy Bupp), who has been beaten up by his father, local brute Brent (William Barrymore) again, & Tom decides to teach Brent a lesson for beating up little children, but the situation soon culminates in a shoot-out obnly ended when Tom's younger brother Al (Art Mix) interferes. Not long afterwards, Tom falls victim to one of the Rawhide Terror's assassination attempts, too, even though he didn't belong to the badmen from 10 years back (& fortunately he is saved by little Jimmy in the nick of time), & Al, when pursuing the Rawhide terror, is almost pulled over a cliff in a runaway wagon (in a quite impressive chase sequence, with the camera monted atop the speeding wagon).

The cutthroats-turned-respected-citizens meanwhile decide to take law into their own hands & form a posse to hunt the Rawhide Terror own, but he instead lures them into an abandoned mine & blows it up ... which puts an end to them. But then the sheriff & his posse hunt him down & kill him.

Dieing in the sheriff's arms, the Rawhide Terror is unmasked as Brent. & Brent encounters a birthmark on the sheriff's shoulder that resembles his own, & it turns out both he & the sheriff were the boys whose parents were killed at the beginning of the movie (guess who awas the one who has gone mental), but now that he has avenged his parents, Brent can die in peace.


Despite some nice camerawork, & at least one inspired chase scene (when Art Mix pursues the Terror), it is pretty obvious that this movie was done on the (dirt-)cheap, having obviously saved on sets or costumes ... like many B-Western were produced back then.

What makes this movie interesting however are several gruesome plot-elements more at home in psycho-killer-horrormovies from about 40 years later than in Western of its time, like the maniac killer who wears a mask & who kills in gruesome ways (like tieing strips of wet rawhide around his victims' necks, which are sure to strangle them once drieing in the desert sun), deliberately leaving notes with the corpses to strike fear into his next victim(s). & somehow the leathermask seems to be a surefire precursor for Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface (even though it looks rather different in that movie).

Producer Victor Adamson (who quite frequently worked under the alias Denver Dixon) is of course nowadays best known to the exploitation crowd as father of director & genre fave Al Adamson, but he was quite a prolific (if small-fry) Western producer in the 1920's & 1930's, having made up the cowboy actor Art Mix (a not very cleverly disguised name to cashi in on Tom Mix's successes as the silent film cowboy hero), whom Adamson himself was in the beginning before he inherited the name to his protegé George Kesterson, & - when he split up with Kesterson for a time in the 1930's - to Bob Roberts.

In later years, Adamson gave up Westerns for films intended for the exploitation market ... a trade his son would eventually pick up ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD