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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > B-Movies > Serials > Red Ryder Double Feature, Volume 7 & 8

Red Ryder – Volume 7 & 8 (VCI/B-movies)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Main Films: C+



More Red Ryder B-films have arrived from VCI and Volume 7 and 8 offer more of the two actors who played him at this time.  Wild Bill Elliott is on the seventh, the slightly more natural Allan Lane on the eighth.  Though all four films star a young Bobby (Robert) Blake as Little Beaver, which makes all of these installments feel so odd and unfortunate, the camera loved Blake and it is with some ironic tragedy he is so good here.


Great Stagecoach Robbery has Ryder trying to compete with a young man’s glamorous outlaw father as a role model, while Beaver finds a young girl who may be his match in the energy department alone.  Phantom Of The Plains (both 1945) offers a visiting British elite who may be as authentic as a three-dollar bill.  Can Ryder and Beaver expose the counterfeit count from Red’s Aunt?  Rustlers Of Devil’s Canyon (1947) has Ryder returning from The Spanish-American War (!!!) in time to take on gangs of crooks.  Santa Fe Uprising (1946) has Red’s Aunt being seduced by yet another phony, this time a local leader who may not be anyone worth following.  Has Red ever considered getting her a dating service?  All are watchable, but the third volume and serial remains our favorite Red films to date.


The 1.33 X 1 full frame image on both volumes are not bad for their age, all in black and white, though I actually think the chapters of the serials on both DVDs actually looks better.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono fares about as well as can be expected, with both aspects comparing well with past installments.  Extras in V. 7 include a stills gallery that offers lobby cards of the Bs and comic book covers they appeared on, bios on the two actors who played Red in the Bs, B-Western VCI DVD promo, Allan “Rocky” Lane promo, and Chapters 3 & 4 of the original serial with Don “Red” Barry, which VCI offers in its entirety and we also recommend.  Volume 8 offers a Wild Bill Elliot promo, five actor biographies, the same B-film promo & stills gallery, and the 5th and 6th chapters of the original serial.  VCI is consistent in offering good content here and fans can continue to enjoy the cowboy’s adventures, especially with more extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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