Red Ryder Volume 2 (VCI)
Sound: C- Extras: C Main Films: C
It has been a while
since VCI issued the first set of Red Ryder B-movies, which itself was
proceeded by the best of the Red Ryder films, the Don “Red” Berry movie serial. Now, this new set continues the issuing of
the B-films, though Allan “Rocky” Lane took over the role. He was fair in the role, but not as kinetic. However, the new attraction is who played
his child sidekick Little Beaver. Once
again, it is a very young Robert Blake!
The two films this time are Stagecoach To Denver
(1946), with its child-in-jeopardy plot that fades fast, and Vigilantes
Of Boomtown (1947), in which Ryder manages to get kidnapped! Both are fair, made better by Blake’s
presence, which can now be described as something like bittersweet. TV prints are often the best that can be
found, so they are a few generations down, which also applies to the sound, but
this is still better than cable or VHS for the condition they are in.
Peggy Stewart, the widow of Lane, gives a good
interview, while the remaining extras include stills, five biographies, and a
set of trailers for other VCI Western DVDs.
This is nice to have, but the only problem is that the trailers runs
8:42, but the space they are in goes black, running until 15:27! When they end after those nearly nine
minutes, you are better off going back to the main menu.
These are doing well enough for VCI to continue
issuing them, but the hope is that they will be watched in the spirit in which
they were produced, undistorted by recent events.
- Nicholas Sheffo