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.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

PulpFest 2019

Well I made my arrangements to attend PulpFest this year and am looking forward to it. This is the first time that I've attended in Pittsburgh as opposed to Columbus, so I'll be flying instead of driving. This may limit my haul since I'm not really interested in shipping stuff back. I've got too much stuff that I need to read now anyway, right? The only thing I'm missing is now transportation from the the airport to the hotel and back. I guess that a taxi or Uber will work unless anyone knows something more cost effective.

Here a link to the event page with lots of terrific articles about the event and Pulp magazines and their influences in general -

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Movie Review: Bar 20 Rides Again (1935)

An outlaw boss they call "Nevada", a.k.a. Mr. Perdue, has not only been hitting on Johnny's girl Margaret, but also rustling her father's cattle. Cassidy receives a message to help, but before him and Red can leave, the hotheaded Johnny heads alone out to win Margaret back. Hoppy poses as a gambler to infiltrate the outlaws and runs into a grizzled old windbag that he nicknames Windy. The four of them team up to battle the outlaws in an exciting climax. Another fine Hopalong Cassidy film, and an important one since it introduces George (Gabby) Hayes as Windy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Movie Review: The Eagle's Brood (1935)

The second film in the long running Hopalong Cassidy series is a really good one. It tells the story of little Pablo, the grandson of the notorious bandit El Toro. Pablo is being hunted by the outlaws that killed his parents in a robbery and is being hidden from them by a saloon dancer. El Toro conveniently saves Cassidy's life and in return Hoppy vows to find and return Pablo to him. Nicely plotted with a surprising number of disturbing deaths, a fair amount of gunplay, and an exciting fistfight, this entry is less juvenile than some of the latter films and is highly recommended for fans of old B-movie westerns.

Here is a link to the IMDb page

Friday, July 12, 2019

Review: The Buff Runners

The Buff Runners The Buff Runners by Jory Sherman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Gunn, the protagonist of this series, and his pal Jed Randall ride into San Antonio and sign up to crew for a buffalo hunt with John Masters, a long-time hunter who happens to have a beautiful wife and a couple of hot and horny daughters. A rival crew that is consumed by hated towards Masters intends to use any means necessary to sabotage the hunt in their favor. They are also infuriated by Gunn and vow vengeance. The author Jory Sherman writes wonderful prose and the first half of the book is terrific, however it meanders into a lengthy exposition of the buffalo hunt with a few sex scenes and a couple of sniper attacks tossed in that don’t add much value - effectively turning the second half into a real slog. The brutal buffalo killing is described in great detail with excessive gore that I found especially distasteful. An exciting climax pulls it out of the mire, but unfortunately too late for redemption.

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