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.
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