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The Rawhide Terror1934

  • 2.6
In the late 1890s, a band of white men posing as Indians robs settlers. Finding one family's wagon alone and unprotected on the trail, they kill the parents, driving their older son to madness; he wanders off into the brush laughing crazily. Only the youngest son is found alive by rescuers. A decade later, with those bandits now in control of a whole corrupt Western town, a mysterious "Rawhide Killer" is capturing, torturing and murdering just such criminal renegades. This was one of numerous ultra-low-budget Westerns variously produced, written, directed and/or acted in by Victor Adamson, who passed on his cost-cutting methods to son Al Adamson, subsequently famed for such drive-in classics as DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN. The breathless, sometimes senseless (one leading character's name keeps changing) TERROR was a swan-song for its two directors, both of whom had prolific careers reaching well back into the silent era. Playing a principal villain is William Desmond, the erstwhile "King of Silent Serials" who, by now, was easing into a long post-stardom period of supporting and bit parts. - Dennis Harvey

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Member Reviews (2)

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top reviewer

A B-western antique so low-budget that I'm surprised the horses aren't guys in costumes. A bunch of ornery types in your standard dusty tumbleweed town get killed off one-by-one by a mad murderer who hides out in the brush talking to snakes and wearing an animal skin across the middle of his face that makes him look like he's recovering from a nose job. Everybody's trying to catch him, but they're not doing so well. They're also not doing so well at acting or having any screen presence. Meanwhile, co-directors Bruce Mitchell and Jack Nelson give this the short order cook treatment, slapping it together carelessly and wrapping it up quick (total running time: about forty-seven minutes) with a hair on the plate and the ham underdone. The plot description is more intriguing than the slug-paced film itself. It's no buried treasure, but see this if you're digging deep into the vintage B's and want to get real subterranean.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

This is a pretty bad super-cheapy western. It probably would have worked better as a silent, and I think it might have been filmed that way with the sound added later. The acting, or at least the voices, are just awful and the plot is campfire coffee thin. Of course, no one is watching this thinking they are about to see The Searchers, but even if you are a fan of low-budget westerns, this is not good.

1 member likes this review