(director: Phil Rosen; screenwriter: Stuart Anthony/from the story by Stuart Anthony; cinematographer: Ira J. Morgan; editor: Rose Loewinger; cast: Ken Maynard (‘Whistlin’ Dan Savage posing as Ed Black), Joyzelle Joyner (Carmelita), Georges Renavent (Captain Serge Karloff), Harlan E. Knight (‘July’, posing as Pecos), Don Terry (Bob Reid), Jack Rockwell (Sheriff Cal Webster), Blackjack Ward (Jailed Henchman), Lon Poff (Bank President Jud Beal); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Phil Goldstone; Alpha Video; 1932)
“Covers routine B-film territory and stars legendary Nevada cowboy actor Ken Maynard.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Phil Rosen (“Extravagance”/”Lena Rivers”/”Pocatello Kid”) helms this unremarkable remake of Border Law (1931). It’s adapted by Stuart Anthony from his own story. It covers routine B-film territory and stars legendary Nevada cowboy actor Ken Maynard, who once again uses his favorite plot device of going undercover to nab the bandits.
Set in a dusty Arizona small-town on the Mexican border, where the governor of the territory posts an announcement for a $5,000 reward for the capture of dangerous outlaw Captain Serge Karloff (Georges Renavent). He leads a large gang of robbers and cutthroats who hang out in the hills. The cocky wiseguy leader kidnaps wrangler Bob Reid (Don Terry) and holds him hostage for the $5,000 he delivered earlier to the bank with wrangler pals ‘Whistlin’ Dan Savage (Ken Maynard) and ‘July’ (Harlan E. Knight). Karloff kills Bob in anger when he learns that his hostage is romancing his cantina singer girlfriend Carmelita (Joyzelle Joyner, exotic dancer). Unfortunately Dan was too late in delivering the ransom, which he robbed from the gruff bank president (Lon Poff) rather than follow his advice of going after the gang with Sheriff Cal Webster (Jack Rockwell). The bank president presses charges and Dan and July are jailed when they return to town bitter over the death of their pal. But wouldn’t you know it, one of Karloff’s henchmen is in jail and takes Dan and July with him when the gang springs them from jail. Using aliases, the heroes easily infiltrate the gang and quickly kill seven of Karloff’s men; it leads to the climactic scene where Dan and Karloff have a violent confrontation.
Rosen gives us a few funny moments, such as when we learn that all Karloff’s gang members must have a brand in their stomach with the letter K and they identify themselves by saying “I’m a Karloff man!” But the acting by one and all was poor for even such a low quality B-film and the story seemed more muddled than imaginative.
REVIEWED ON 4/27/2007 GRADE: C