LURE OF THE RANGE (1927)
aka Speeding Hoofs
Article 4713 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Louis Chaudet
Featuring Dick Hatton, Elsa Benham, Ray Turner
What it is: Weird Western
A heir of a ranch returns to the west. He is there to find a hidden treasure, but is told that the house on the ranch is haunted. Villains are also after the treasure.
I will give this silent foray into the realm of the weird western credit for pulling off one thing; it does give us a real ghost. On the down side, the real ghost (that of the heir’s deceased father) only appears fleetingly, and most of the rest of the running time is filled with a gaggle of fake ghosts and the antics of the obligatory terrified unfunny comic relief black servant. In fact, the movie seems to care hardly at all for its main plot line; after setting up a few expository scenes, the movie putters around with filler and comic relief for most of its running time, and only bothers to get back to its story during the last ten minutes of the movie. I wish I could say that it was an enjoyable experience, but you can only squeeze so much humor out of people running in fear from fake ghosts, and the udders are long dry by the time this movie gives up that shtick.