Thursday, July 25, 2019


Here's a DC character I don't think they're gonna be makin' any multi-billion dollar feature films about in the near future! Not only that but I get the impression that this serial was made on a budget consisting of a mere five grand max! And since it's probably way more jam-packed action-wise than any of those superhero features seen since the SUPERMAN one in 1977 I kinda get the feelin' that all of the dough used for special effects and star salaries was nothin' but POURIN' MONEY DOWN A RAT HOLE as my dad used to say about my record buying habits. Y'see, you can make a great film whether it be a feature, serial or tee-vee program with less and less money if you know how to USE IT RIGHT, and Sam Katzman obviously knew how to make hotcha and adventurous films with what little he had or else film snobs would be making fun of them EAST SIDE KIDS pitchers even this far down the line Oh wait---they still are.

But cheese Louise, how can anyone doubt the clear-minded results of an effort like this which stars none other than Ralph Byrd (yes, he being the DICK TRACY of serial, feature and tee-vee fame) sidestepping into this 2nd rank DC character role as a special agent type who's posing as singing cowboy star Gregg Sanders (not Kregg Sanders)! While filming on local bigwig Lyle Talbot's ranch (and even cracking a stolen car ring in between shots!), Sanders is caught up in one big whale of a case when a middle eastern potentate presents not only he but Talbot and Sanders' galpal and trick rider played by Ramsay Ames (no special good looker) with these all white Arabian horses which, according to a dying assistant of the Most Exalted One, contain a curse. (Naturally the bloke croaks before he can reveal what this curse is to the Vigilante's comic relief sidekick and fellow agent.) There's also something about a hundred tears of blood mentioned which kinda stymies everyone in on the case, and that just might be one reason why Talbot wants to get his hands on Our Hero's stallion to the point where things can get rather gnarly for the goodskis!

Won't spoil things too much for you because I just know yer all gonna rush down to your nearest zilch-level moom pitcher emporium to see THE VIGILANTE! Ya might be a bit let down when you find out that this hero, even if he was a big name at National Periodicals at the time, really doesn't wear a fancy costume and is basically a modern day low-rung take on the Lone Ranger what with a bandanna covering up most of his face. And this doesn't even take place in the Wild West and if you don't like horse operas you might not like this even if it ain't one by any long stretch of the imagination! But it sure has the thrill-packed cliff-hanging endings that I'll just betcha had kids holding their bladders in for weeks on end until all the pressure from wondering what happened is finally relieved, only for a new inescapable ending to pop up making whiz problems even worse! My advice...wear a catheter so's you don't have to worry about wrecking your bladder or kidneys and have a ball with this great low-fi serial that might not remind you of the Golden Age of action adventure films like this, but will bring up plenty of seventies-era nostalgia thrills that most kids at the time were inundated with whether or not they wanted to be! 

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