This film finds Ken Baxter and his two pals, Pancho and Panhandle, finding Professor Wahl, injured and wandering on the range. They take him to Blue Mesa Trading Post, where two archaeologists, Dr. Floto and Baron Starkoff, foreign government representatives, are staying. Both want to secure control of a supply of helium gas found in an ancient Indian cave. Wahl, working for the Federal Government, is murder at the Blue Mesa. The land strip on which the cave is located is claimed by Letty and Jim Morgan, brother and sister owners of the Lazy Y Ranch. Tin Cup Ranch owner Joe Larkin hires Ken to take possession of a cabin on the Morgan land in order to gain title. Ken, an undercover G-Man, discovers a secret passageway from the cabin that leads to the cave and discovers the helium, and also that Larkin is working with Starkoff. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This is one of four Ken Maynard films sold by Colony Pictures in 1940 to the National Broadcasting Company to be telecast on New York's first television station, W2XBS; its earliest documented television broadcast occurred Saturday 6 December 1941 on WNBT (Channel 1). See more »
Ken Baxter (Ken Maynard) and his pals are out camping when they notice a body fall. They take it to a local doctor who refuses to deal with the man until the dying man tries to give the location of something. Ken wants to find out who killed the man and it turns out there's a piece of property with helium on it as well as some foreign agents.
DEATH RIDES THE RANGE is a pretty poor "C" Western from the days where you probably had two or three of these types of films being released weekly. This one here has all of the Western settings but they also mix in elements of a crime picture, a melodrama and an adventure. There's quite a bit going on in the 55 minute running time but sadly none of it is all that entertaining.
I think the film tries to do way too much and in the end it doesn't get much of anything done. Characters come and go without too much reasons why. We get all sorts of action scenes that are rather good, although you'll notice that the same hill is used several times for people to fall down it. The performances are bland at best, although Maynard is slightly entertaining in his role.
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