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Ghost Patrol

USA 1936
produced by
Sigmund Neufeld for Excelsior/Puritan Pictures
directed by Sam Newfield
starring Tim McCoy, Claudia Dell, Walter Miller, Wheeler Oakman, Jim Burtis, Dick Curtis, Lloyd Ingraham, Jack Casey, Slim Whitacker, Artie Ortego, Bruce Mitchell
written by Wyndham Gittens, electrical effects by Kenneth Strickfaden

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When some planes are disappearing somewhere above the ghost town of Shiloh, federal agent Tim Caverly (Tim McCoy) decides to investigate, & to that end flies a plane over Shiloh ... & would you know it, he is shot down by some powerful deathray, & survives only because he bails out in time.

He can however then witness some gangsters ransacking his plane & secretly follow them to their hideout.

Later he returns to Shiloh with his sidekick Henry (Jim Burtis), & he also picks up lovely hitchhiker Nathalie (Claudia Dell) on the way, who is looking for her inventor father Professor Brent (Lloyd Ingraham), who has disappeared, but who has been working on a deathray before his disappearance. So she figures, he might be somehow involved in the whole scheme. She, the good girl, however gets the wrong impression of Tim when he, having met the gang in Shiloh, poses as a notorious outlaw trying to gain access to the gang's bosses Kincaid (Wheeler Oakman) & Dawson (Walter Miller).

At first Tim's little scheme works as he is accepted into the gang & can move somewhat freely among them - & he even finds Professor Brent, who is held captive but treated well enough as long as he keeps the death ray going -, but after a while the gangsters find out that he really is a federal agent, & it all culminates in a shoot-out during which the death ray is destroyed - which is good news since Tim's sidekick Henry has just called for backup & they are approaching in an airplane & are arresting all the crooks Tim has not yet shot ... now all that's left to do for Tim is to marry Nathalie, of course ...


If you haven't noticed yet from my synopsis, Ghost Patrol is a western, & a nice one at that since the Western- & the sci-fi-elements are blended in a rather imaginative & amusing way, without betraying either genre (science fiction Westerns by the way were not all that uncommon in the 1930's, when especially small studios wanted to give their audience something extra to make their films more memorable). Also, Tim McCoy, a popular cowboy actor of the 1920's & 30's is one of the more charismatic b-Western-stars, & - in contrast to many of his colleagues - has effortlessly made the transition from silent to sound thanks to his characteristic sneering voice.

Claudia Dell's role here is overall pretty boring, almost inactive, but she has a nice scene when she explains to Tim the different ways of hitchhiking ... one would just wish she had more such scenes ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD