Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Hopalong Cassidy Ultimate Collector's Edition (66-Film Collection)

My recent Hopalong Cassidy movie reviews have been fueled by this collection which I purchased online recently. All 66 of the Hoppy films are represented here in restored condition and I've been impressed with the quality of the picture and sound. I'm sure that I'll tire of watching these before I see them all, however I've really enjoyed the ones that I've watched so far. I picked up this DVD set on sale at Oldies.com. Here's a link Hopalong Cassidy Ultimate Collector's Edition (66-Film Collection)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Western Pulp: 10 Story Western - May 1940

I picked this one up at PulpFest primarily for the Harry Olmsted story, which I'm reading today. I can't say that I know much about the other writers that include Bart Cassidy, John G. Pearsol, Tom W. Blackburn, Moran Tudury, William Benton Johnson, Ruel McDaniel, Costa Carousso, Gunnison Steele, and H. M. S. Kemp, nor who painted this exciting cover.


Review: The Land That Time Forgot

The Land That Time Forgot The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first book in Burroughs Caspak trilogy is one of the most famous of the “Lost World” type adventures and rightly so with high pulpy action that includes submarines, sabotage, prehistoric beasts, and romance. The linear narrative is provided by Tyler Bowen’s journal which he seals in a thermos and tosses into the ocean and the end, a nice setup for the next book. The inventive biology where tribes of men are at different stages of evolution is hinted at here which helps link the succeeding stories in this classic pulp adventure trilogy.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Movie Review: Hopalong Cassidy Returns (1936)

One-legged miner, aptly named Peg Leg, finds gold but before he can stake a claim he is is killed by the criminals that run the lawless town. Windy is working for the town newspaper for some reason and he and the publisher call Hoppy in as the new sheriff to tame the lawless town. Hotheaded Johnny has left the series and seems to be replaced by Buddy, Hoppy's goofy tenderfoot nephew. Another fine entry in the series with a truly terrifying gunslinger outlaw named Blackie, and an unexpected budding romance between Hoppy and the villainous woman Lily that owns the saloon. I liked this one a lot.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Review: Deadman's Lament

Deadman's Lament Deadman's Lament by Linell Jeppsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Young Matthew Wilcox, orphaned and in the care of a shopkeepers family is orphaned again and captured by a group of violent outlaws. One of the outlaws named “Top Hat” is exceedingly psychotic and kills and sodomizes without conscience. Matthew manages to escape and vows vengeance on Top Hat. Many years later Matthew is now sheriff and word of Top Hat’s location sets the stage for a showdown. The book is a well written revenge tale. I can’t say that it breaks any new ground, although the Top Hat character is one of the most vile antagonists that I’ve read in a Western. Plenty of violence and gore, so not recommended for the faint of heart. Overall an enjoyable book.

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: Mac Detective Series 05: The Brave, Bad Girls

Mac Detective Series 05: The Brave, Bad Girls Mac Detective Series 05: The Brave, Bad Girls by Thomas B. Dewey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The sixth book in the “Mac” series of detective books is an ambitious one, telling the stories of several women, a young debutante charged with murder, a teacher accused of being a communist sympathizer, her principal (and a love interest for Mac), and Mac’s friend (another love interest!) who are all involved in a complex web of relationships that include a slew of other characters. This makes the book somewhat difficult to follow without paying strict attention. This is not necessarily a weakness. The plot, although complex, holds together beautifully and the journey is well worth it. Definitely one of my favorites of the series and recommended for readers that have an affinity for books with multiple plot lines and very many characters. There is a lot of depth here and I am adding this to my list of books that I intend to reread someday.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Review: The People That Time Forgot

The People That Time Forgot The People That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second book in Burrough’s Caspak trilogy finds young Tom Billings mounting a expedition to find missing friend Tyler Bowen, who was lost in the previous novella. High adventure ensues with Billings partnering with a native girl to survive the various creatures and murderous tribes of the inhabitants of Caspak, where each tribe makes up a subset of human biological evolution. The book was written over 100 years ago has the stale prose of that time, although once I got past *that* annoyance the story sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down. The world-building and inventive biology were very impressive, and the story was teeming with adventure and action. The story requires dedicated reading due to the complexity and the odd names. If I had been reading another book concurrently I would surely gotten lost and stalled out.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review: The House on the Cliff

The House on the Cliff The House on the Cliff by Franklin W. Dixon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember this one being one of my favorites when I read it long ago and I can see why. It's all there - the adventure, the cliffhangers, the corny dialogue - just as I remember it. A very enjoyable short novel.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Review: The Mean Streets

The Mean Streets The Mean Streets by Thomas B. Dewey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The fifth book in the acclaimed “Mac” series of detective books starts off by setting low expectations with a clunky beginning that has Mac posing as a High School baseball coach hired to work a juvenile delinquency problem in a unnamed urban area near Chicago. Fortunately the book picks up steam in a hurry with a few murders, organized crime, and jailbait named Stella. Mac partners up with a mysterious and alluring woman that he calls “The Duchess”, a grieving mother and alcoholic who is somehow tied up in this whole mess. The book works well as a period piece from the 1950s hype of juvenile delinquency and as a top-notch detective story. Recommended.

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Movie Review: Call of the Prairie (1936)

During Hoppy's absence hotheaded Johnny creates a another fine mess when he falls in with a group of outlaws led by a guy named Porter who proceed to frame Johnny for a shooting and a robbery. Gabby Hayes plays one of the outlaws called "Shanghai", which seemed really weird since he was introduced as Windy in the previous movie, who has a daughter that doesn't realize that her father is an outlaw and she of course falls for handsome Johnny. The outlaws then rob the town bank and Hoppy has to solve the crime, apprehend the outlaws, and try to clear Johnny's name. Enjoyable enough Cassidy flick. Seems like Hopalong should be getting pretty weary of Johnny's penchant for causing catastrophes by now.