The Vanishing Riders (1935)

Article 3968 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 7-3-2012
Directed by Robert F. Hill
Featuring Bill Cody, Bill Cody Jr., Ethel Jackson
Country: USA
What it is: Weird Western

A former lawman who has adopted the child of a criminal takes up work with a lady cattle rancher. The other workers turn out to be members of an outlaw gang headed by Wolf Lawson. The criminals have an Achilles heel, however; they’re superstitious and scared of the ghosts in a nearby abandoned silver mining town town. Can the former lawman use this against them?

The fantastic content in this B western include the concept that the old silver mining town is haunted, and the scheme which the lawman and adopted son use to defeat the outlaws; they dress up as skeletons (and they dress up their horses the same way) and frighten them into submission. It’s a silly idea, and should have made for a fun B western, and the skeleton outfits are actually fairly scary looking. However, there’s something rather dull and lethargic about this western, especially during the first half; it takes forever for things to get moving. Budd Buster adds a bit of fun as western-style comic relief, but overall, this is one of the weaker weird westerns out there.

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