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Category:    Home > Reviews > Serial > Western > Rustlers Of Red Dog (1935 Serial)

Rustlers Of Red Dog (1935 Western Serial)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C-     Chapters: C+



John “Mack” Brown defected to Universal by 1935 to star in Rustlers Of Red Dog, as part of a makeshift Three Musketeers battling criminals, evil people and “murderous Indians” in a serial that shows continuing refinement in their production.  The chapters are:


1)     Hostile Redskins! (and they do not mean the NFL)

2)     Flaming Arrows

3)     Thundering Hoofs

4)     Attack At Dawn

5)     Buried Alive

6)     Flames Of Vengeance

7)     Into The Depths

8)     Paths Of Pearl

9)     The Snake Strikes

10)  Riding Wild

11)  The Rustlers Clash

12)  Law & Order



Though it is among the better Western serials, it simply cannot escape the dated clichés and archetypes, though fans will celebrate them.  The cliffhangers are better than usual and the money is certainly here relatively speaking, as compared to the earlier productions that broke such Saturday Morning fare in.  Again, the greedy and native population stands in the way of “progress” with only our heroes being able to “fix” things.  Universal and Columbia are considered not as good as Republic in the serials that were produced, but as far as Western types go, this is one of the better ones.


The 1.33 X 1 monochrome full frame image shows its age and is lucky to be in the shape it is in, with varying quality throughout.  Sometimes, the footage is degraded and down a few generations, but this is watchable for its age.  Universal does not have key sections of its older catalog, so one wonders if they have any of this material in their vaults.  To date, Universal Home Video has not issued any serials on DVD.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is just as aged, with background noise throughout.  It is not as “hot” as many an untreated film soundtrack we have heard on DVD, but it is limited, while optical flutter is noticed in places.  The only extras here are text biographies of two of the actors and the director, plus trailer The Red Rider (from Universal) and a general VCI Serial trailer.  By the way, Nat Levine was NOT a producer on this program, despite the DVD case’s artwork.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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