In a throw-back to the worse of the 1930's indie westerns, Red River Johnny gathers his friends (most of whom are called some variation of the name Bill) and returns to claim the heritage ... See full summary »
In a throw-back to the worse of the 1930's indie westerns, Red River Johnny gathers his friends (most of whom are called some variation of the name Bill) and returns to claim the heritage of his father who was outlawed many years ago by the sheriff of Red River. The present Sheriff Masters, son of the man Johnny's father shot, is his enemy. Three-Finger Jack stages a series of robberies and stage coach holdups, for which he frames Red River Johnny. The latter learns that Three-Finger plans to rob the town bank, and gathers his men and wipes out Three-Finger and his gang. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Ed Wood Might Have Written It -- It Sure Is Bad Enough
Red River Johnny's Pop was driven out of the Red River valley because he went renegade and outdrew Wild Bill Hicock. Will tough sheriff Bat Masters let the SON OF THE RENEGADE assume control of his father's ranch, or will he let the kid take the fall for all the bank robberies and stage robberies the evil bandit Billy is pulling off?
Some Ed Wood fan websites (yes, they exist) claim that this movie's script -- credited to the star, Johnny Carpenter, was actually written by Wood. Based on the visual evidence, it's possible, even though the Wood stock company of weirdos is nowhere to be seen. There certainly is the parade of random, unintentionally surreal incidents, that is the hallmark of Wood's movies. There is also one of those strange narrations that appear in certain Wood movies. And, on the good side of the ledger, there is the unexpected narrative energy that, somehow, keeps Wood's unintentionally funny movies from ever being boring.
So, yeah, this is could be a Wood movie. And, surprisingly, that does not mean it is much worse than any other B Western. The fight scenes are badly choreographed. The musical score sounds like it was recorded by a High School Marching Band after one rehearsal. And every available western cliché seems to find its way into the movie (though often in peculiar fashion). But, honestly, the same is true of many a B western churned out by Monogram and PRC over the years, and this one, at least, has the virtue of NOT having an endearing sidekick with more beard than teeth. Also, atypically for the genre, the hero seems to be keeping company with three girls, and actually enjoying the women more than his horse.
This isn't a good movie, by any stretch (though the final conflict between the gangs is actually pretty well staged). But it's kinda fun and I don't regret wasting an hour on it.
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