DEVIL RIDERS (director/writer: Sam Newfield; screenwriter: story by Joe O’Donnell/Joe O’Donnell; cinematographer: Robert Cline; editor: Bob Crandall; music: Lew Porter; cast: Buster Crabbe (Bill Carson), Al “Fuzzy” St. John (Fuzzy Q. Jones), Patti McCarty (Sally Farrell), Charles King (Dell Stone), John Merton (Higgins), Frank LaRue (Tom Farell), Bud Osborne (Steve Lacey), Jack Ingram (Turner), (Sheriff), George Chesebro (Curley), Cassidy (Doc), Kermit Maynard (Red), Big Slicker Band (Themselves); Runtime: 56; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sigmund Neufeld; Mill Creek Entertainment; 1943)
“The bad guys have no personality, but neither do the good guys.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Sam Newfield(“Aces and Eights”/”Frontier Outlaws”/”The Gambler and the Lady”) directs this routine PRC Western, that’s based on the story and screenplay by Joe O’Donnell. The bad guys have no personality, but neither do the good guys.
In Mesa City, Fuzzy Q. Jones (Al “Fuzzy” St. John) and Billy Carson (Buster Crabbe) are partners in a pony express line, with Fuzzy the blacksmith and Bill the rider, and their competition is the stagecoach line owned by Tom Farrell (Frank LaRue) and his daughter Sally (Patti McCarty). The government has given Farrell a contract to build new roads in the Badlands (a wide-open desolate territory without law and order and a place where outlaws use as a hideout). Crooked lawyer Higgins (John Merton) and oily investor Stone (Charles King) previously controlled the Badlands and fear a safe road will destroy their outlaw investment and will bring to the territory decent folks and the law. When the government offers new contracts for the mail delivery business, the evil duo plot to make it look like Farrell stole Carson’s horses and shot Tom in revenge. But Tom lives and tells the sheriff that Bill didn’t shoot him. The rivals vow to become partners, and since the baddies couldn’t drive a wedge between the rivals they now escalate their plans to put both out of them out of business by going on a killing and robbery spree. Bill takes over rebuilding the road and the boys retrieve their horses in the Badlands. It leads to a final shootout in the Grand Canyon turf in the Badlands, where the thugs are put out of business and the Farrell & Carson partnership in the stagecoach line is official and prospers, as the Pony Express gives way to progress.
REVIEWED ON 8/22/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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