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A few years ago (in the film Frontier Revenge from 1948 to be
precise) Marshal Lash (Lash La Rue) and his pal Fuzzy captured white
collar criminal Deuce Rago (Ray Bennett) and sent him to jail ... but only
for half a year, because he bribed the judge. Now he's up to his old
tricks again and has his men silver shipment after silver shipment - until
Lash and Fuzzy intervene by robbing the silver shipments ahead of him and
posing as outlaws. Upon the advice of his legal advisor Bill (Byron
Keith), Deuce hires Lash and Fuzzy, but now that they are riding with
Deuce rather than against them, that gives our heroes plenty of
opportunity to warn those about to be robbed. Somehow, Deuce grows wise to
them and has Lash tied up and tortured by his men ... but Fuzzy comes to
Eventually, Deuce feels Lash closing in on him, and he wants
to make an escape, and even kills Bill to that end (not exactly sure why),
is then stopped by Lash, who is then overcome by Deuce's moll (Peggy
Stewart) ... but finally, Fuzzy saves the day.
When this film,
the last in the Fuzzy and Lash-series, was produced, the B-
or series-Western of old was already in its death throes, as TV has long
left deep cuts in the once flourishing double feature business - which
caused B-Westerns to be produced with less and less money and thus looked
shoddier and shoddier. Despite popular belief, this had nothing to do with
the greediness of their producers or lack of talent of their directors, it
was just an economic fact.
That said, The Black Lash gives plenty
of reason why the Fuzzy and Lash-series was laid to rest
after this one: Basically, the film is ill-structured because to make up
for the lack of funds, producer/director Roy Ormond tried to incorporate
large chunks of the earlier Frontier Revenge into the plot, as well
as totally unrelated rodeo footage, which all prevents a proper narrative
build-up, despite a very streamlined plotline. Plus, all the footage
originally filmed for this movie proves its very low budget, the action is
underwhelming, the sets are limited and look cheap, and even the cast
could have done with a higher headcount.
So to put it bluntly, yeah,
this is a pretty bad movie due to its economic circumstances - but at
least interesting and even fun to watch from a historic point of view.