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King of the Bullwhip

USA 1950
produced by
Ron Ormond, Joy M. Houck (executive), Ira Webb (executive), J. Francis White (executive) for Western Adventures
directed by Ron Ormond
starring Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Jack Holt, Tom Neal, Anne Gwynne, Dennis Moore, Willis Houck, George J.Lewis, Michael Whalen, Cliff Taylor, Frank Jaquet, Jimmy Martin, Roy Butler, Hugh Hooker, Tex Cooper, Mary Lou Webb, Augie Gomez, Ray Hughes
written by Jack Lewis, Ira Webb, music by Walter Greene

Fuzzy, Fuzzy and Lash, Buffalo Bill

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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El Azote, a masked outlaw with a bullwhip, is terrorizing the neightbourhood, robbing fold shipment after fold shipment - so the local bankers call in Marshal Lash (Lash La Rue) and his sidekick Fuzzy to investigate. But Lash and Fuzzy soon notice their arrival has been heavily promoted by the local newspaper, which means their secret investigations would no longer be secret, so they pretend to be outlaws who have found the marshals that were supposed to be coming (as in themselves) dead in the desert. Everybody buys their story, and soon enough, the local barowner Benson (Tom Neal) hires them - to lead his outlaw gang. His reasoning: Lash is to be the head of his gang disguised as El Azote, which makes sense inasmuch as Lash is as handy with the bullwhip as the masked outlaw. Benson figures that should lure El Azote out into the open - for whatever reason.

Lash and Fuzzy agree, and soon become the region's top outlaws, while at the same time seeing to it that noone's really hurt ... but then Benson finds out their real identity, while Lash and Fuzzy find out that Benson's gang isn't only siding them but also the real El Azote.

After much to and fro, everything culminates in a bullwhip-duel between Lash and El Azote, which Lash of course wins, to then unmask El Azote to be an ambitious young banker (Dennis Moore) of the region who wanted to rob all regional banks blind so he could form a sort of super-bank ...

Tex Cooper plays Buffalo Bill in the last few scenes of the movie to deliver the punchline to the film's running gag, but he isn't involved in any proceedings beforhand.

 

If you really think this film through, there are plenty of plotholes, and I also don't understand why the finale's bullwhip duel is also shown to accompany the movie's opening credits - but then again, the film moves along rather swiftly, there's lots of bullwhip action involved, Lash La Rue might not be the best actor but he's likeable, and Al St.John is a good sidekick without being moronic. Now sure, it's all done on the cheap, and nobody even tried to make this one a masterpiece ... but it's entertaining at least.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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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
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD