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  • Lash LaRue's main claim to fame is having starred in several B westerns in the late 40's and early 50's as the man with the lash. He dressed and looked a lot like Bogie as Whip McCord in 1939's "The Oklahoma Kid." In fact, Lash usually played a character called the Cheyenne Kid. Fans could always count on plenty of action in a Lash LaRue western plus plenty of slapstick comedy by a master, Fuzzy St. John, Lash's sidekick. Fuzzy was the real thing, a talented comedian who had worked with the best including Mack Sennett in many early Keystone comedies. He could take a pratfall as well as Buster Keaton or even Charlie Chaplin. He partly learned the art of comedy from his uncle, Fatty Arbuckle, who helped him get his first movie role with Sennett. He really shines in "Ghost Town Renegades." There is one funny scene when he, Lash, and Diane Trent (Jennifer Holt) spend the night in the ghost town in a room that Fuzzy thinks is full of spooks. A particularly funny part is when Fuzzy mistakes a mirror for a window and tells Lash that one of the toughest and ugliest hombres he has ever seen is spying in the window at them. Whereas Bob Steele was the fastest fighter in the B western, Fuzzy St. John was the funniest. He usually came out on top, but it was always in some humorously distorted position.

    The plot of "Ghost Town Renegades" is also a good one, well-written by Patricia Harper. The bad guys are trying to take over property containing mineral wealth by killing off the heirs to the land one by one. Each heir is invited by letter to come to town to talk to Vance Sharp (Jack Ingram) about selling the property which is described as worthless by the land clerk Jonas Watson (William Fawcett). Watson and Sharp are in collusion. Before the heirs arrive in town, they are bushwhacked. Their bodies mysteriously disappear. Their trails always lead to the old ghost town. So Lash, who is an undercover marshal, investigates. His old pal Fuzzy is already on the job posing as a prospector snooping around the ghost town looking for clues. Diane Trent (Jennifer Holt) enters the picture as one of the heirs. Lash and Fuzz must protect her from the killers. There is one really clever scene when the outlaws are chasing the stage carrying Miss Trent after having shot the driver. Enter Lash LaRue. He takes a shortcut without the outlaws seeing him, snatches Trent from the runaway stage, then disappears carrying her on his horse,Black Diamond, without Sharp's henchmen seeing him. When they finally catch up with the stage, there is no Diane Trent. They spend all day looking for her to no avail.

    This is a fast-moving Lash LaRue oater not to be missed if you're a fan. Others may find it entertaining as well and Fuzzy is always a treat.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Chalk one up for "Ghost Town Renegades", here's a "B" Western with a title that actually has something to do with the story. It takes place in the abandoned old mining town of Waterhole, Arizona, where a newly discovered vein may prove profitable once again. Holders of deeds to property in Waterhole are contacted by chief bad guy Vance Sharp (Jack Ingram) with an offer to purchase their worthless land, but they never seem to make it out of town alive. Sharp's henchmen make them disappear whether they cooperate or not.

    Enter Cheyenne Davis (Lash LaRue), sent to sort things out by the territorial chief marshal. When given the lowdown by Marshal Jennings (Henry Hall), Cheyenne asks if he should investigate as the law or as the Cheyenne Kid; the Marshal states that a little bit of both would do. Chey's old partner Fuzzy (Fuzzy St. John) is already on the case, going undercover as it were, and posing as a prospector.

    Lash LaRue gets to use his trademark bull whip a few times in this oater, but it's Fuzzy who seems to get the quality time in this picture. He certainly gets to use his acrobatic skills, head butting bad guys and doing a few headstands at the expense of Sharp's henchmen. He's even featured in a couple of bits at an abandoned mining cabin, trying to make a grab of his "haunted" hat, and doing some double takes at the meanest hombre he ever saw while looking in a mirror.

    Handling the female chores in this one is a pretty Jennifer Holt, one of the deeded landowners in Waterhole, who falls in with Cheyenne after being duped once by Sharp. Jennifer appeared in a number of LaRue's Westerns, including "The Fighting Vigilantes" and "Stage to Mesa City". Sometimes credited as Jacqueline Holt, she's the sister of cowboy actor Tim Holt, and daughter of Jack Holt.

    Good guys and bad guys trade the upper hand a few times in this flick, but in the end, Lash and Fuzzy come out on top after exposing the crooked Sharp and his accomplice at the assay office, Jonas Watson (William Fawcett). It's a fairly quick paced shoot 'em up that comes in at just about an hour. One thing to note about the shooting scenes, watch as the bad guys shoot the stage driver from behind, he doubles over as if hit from the front. It happens twice in this picture.

    The other thought that occurred to me - if you shave off Fuzzy's beard and sideburns, could it be that under all that hair is Popeye the Sailor Man?
  • When gold is discovered in a ghost town, a crooked attorney, town clerk, and a couple of vicious gunmen team up to lure the unsuspecting landowners and kill them, securing their deeds by forgery.

    Investigating the disappearances is undercover federal Marshall Davis, better known as the Cheyenne Kid and his sidekick Fuzzy Jones.

    This is a entertaining entry in Producers Releasing Corporation's Cheyenne Kid series starring Lash LaRue, with some good action scenes and a craftier than usual villain.

    Al St. John gives good support with ample comic relief, definitely the best sidekick in the business.

    Co-star Jennifer Holt was one of the most beautiful women of the Saturday matinée westerns, her best role being as the title heavy in The Hawk Of Powder River.
  • Pretty good Cheyenne Kid (La Rue) oater. The opening hook is a grabber as two guys get dry-gulched by a long-range shooter. After that, their bodies disappear. Now the Kid and Fuzzy have to untangle a land grab scheme that takes them to a ghost town where odd things happen.

    Along the way is the usual complement of hard riding and theatrical brawls. But watch how nimble Fuzzy is in these fights, surprising for an old coot except he's not as old as he looks (54). In fact, Fuzzy gets more screen time than La Rue, which appears true of many of the entries, and I'm not sure why since the guy in black is a decent enough actor and strong presence. Catch that first frilly shot of Diane (Holt) in the stagecoach—she's an absolute knockout. If I were the Kid, I'd drop the whip and grab her right away (but then that's me as an old guy, and not as a former Front Row kid).

    Anyhow, looks to me like the "New PRC" is just as chintzy as the old PRC since the boys still have to ride around the scrubby hills of LA. The new outfit should have popped for something more scenic because they had a winner in La Rue with the kids I knew. Better production values would have really elevated the series above many of its competitors. Instead, I guess they took the fast-buck route. One way or the other, the Kid still cracks a mean whip.
  • Al "Fuzzy" St. John had been an acrobatic funny-man since his debut in silent comedies. He remained funny through his days as a western bad guy to and through his sidekick days.

    Even in some of those atrocities with Buster Crabbe, Fuzzy was funny.

    In "Ghost Town Renegades," we realize again that he even moves funny: Be sure to watch him pick up his hat early in this film.

    Al "Lash" LaRue, billed here simply as Lash LaRue, in my opinion deserved and deserves better than he usually gets from critics and reviewers.

    Without being gimmicky or affected, he does act.

    Most important, he is a good cowboy.

    Jennifer Holt, of the famous acting family, was a real beauty, but she doesn't get to do much here, not much more than be beautiful, which she does very well.

    A very capable cast of bad guys (including Wally West using another name) and a pretty good script and a good score make "Ghost Town Renegades" a darn good B western, well worth watching.

    My copy is on a disk with "Border Feud," also with Lash and Fuzzy, from Treasure Box Collections. It is "digitally remastered" and looks and sounds good -- you can hear the saddles creaking! -- except for being too dark, apparently from being a couple generations too old.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ghost Town Renegades: 5 out of 10: Though I am familiar with the name Lash La Rue (King of the Bullwhip), this is my first encounter with cowboy’s body of work. According to critics, this is one of La Rue’s strongest pictures... Oh dear...

    First let us get the obvious out of the way... did men of the fifties really let their kids dress up as Lash La Rue complete with bullwhip? Now I admit Lash, dressed all in black and sounding more Bogart than Bacall, is certainly no gay blade. In addition, he clearly knows his way around a horse as well as his trademark bullwhip. But still Lash La Rue??? {IMDB has his last name as La Rue (two words) while Ghost Town Renegades credits and other sources have his last name LaRue (one word).} Ghost Town Renegades has some decent if low-key action and the plot, while out of an old Scooby-Doo episode, is somewhat logical and easy to follow. (Up until Lash pretends to double-cross someone forgetting to let his allies in on the gag for no other reason than to add fifteen minutes to the film, one might suspect this kind of merry mix-up from a Three’s Company episode.) As for the supporting cast... well female lead Jennifer Holt is ridiculously good looking. She does not really do much but hey why look an eye-candy gift horse in the mouth. (Especially in a film filled with real horses.) Speaking of ridiculous... Lash has a wizened old sidekick “Fuzzy” played by toothless veteran actor Al St. John. Now St John is the nephew of Fatty Arbuckle and played the character Fuzzy in more than 80 Westerns. Therefore, needless to say, it was a popular character. Ghost Town Renegades is considered one of St. John’s strongest performances. Oh Dear...

    Maybe it is I but the comedy of Fuzzy has not seemed to travel the decades intact. Jokes a five-year old on Soma could come up with combined with pratfalls a five-year old on Ritalin might perform. I guess his target audience (five year olds and surprisingly enough per Wikipedia Germans) found his schtick a nice break from the men in leather and the whipping.

    Really seriously Lash La Rue???