a “double feature” from VCI in 2004.
Chariots of the Gods (1974) for my fadduh (it was on sale for $3.00) because…well, in addition to his obsession with reality TV shows and MSLSD, he also watches a lot of those UFO-themed programs—you know, the ones where the narrator refers to people as “ancient astronaut theorists” because he’s too polite to say “wacko birds.” Anyhoo, while browsing the stacks I also found copies of two of their Red Ryder volumes (11 and 12) for sale at $6 each and before you could say “Classic movies never go out of style” all three were nestled snugly in the online shopping cart and on their way to the House of Yesteryear.
Western Clippings gives Vigilantes of Dodge City four stars and calls it “high energy, non-stop action.” He’s not exaggerating, either; the highlight of the movie is a climactic chase where bad guys Jennings and Bishop have kidnapped Little Beaver and are making a run for it in a wagon while Red and Denver give chase with a stagecoach. The wagon is carrying a shipment of dynamite, and at one point in the action the vehicle is set ablaze as Red and Jennings fight to the finish. The stunts in this little programmer are incredible; it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the second unit director on the movie was one of the motion picture industry’s finest stuntmen, Yakima Canutt. It’s got a great cast of oater veterans: Mason, Taliaferro (he played a good guy in the Red Ryder serial), London, Geary, Kenne Duncan, Stanley “The Old Ranger” Andrews, and The Man with the Perpetual Sneer—Bob Wilke. (TDOY fave/Republic serial queen Linda Stirling plays the ingénue in this one—she was in quite a few of the Ryder films—but she doesn’t get much to do, sadly.)