on 8 September 2013
A town is being terrorized by a hideous wolfman, who feasts on all the human meat he can find. However one day a man rides into town; his mission, to be the right hand of justice, using his superior fighting skills and six shooter to rid the world of evil in all it's many forms. . . and so begin the adventures of El Charro de las Calaveras (or to non spanish speakers, the title reads) The Rider of the Skulls.
He dresses in black and wears a mask, and for some reason appears to be sponsored by Black Death Vodka! Anyway, our hero befriends a teenage boy whose family is plagued by the hairy beast and vows to rid the town of this fearsome creature, and so, it's not long before he tracks it down and socks one to it.
Unfortunately most of the family are killed in his righteous meting of justice, and so Rider adopts the child and a cowardly, fat servant sidekick to help him on his future quests...
This is one of those late night treasures, some people out there are absolutely gonna love! If you imagine Zorro accidentally dropped into the original Kolchak series, then you wont be far off. In the further (rather repetitive) adventures contained within this movie, he fights a bat headed vampire, some undead skeletal bandits, and their boss, a sword wielding headless horseman. . . not to mention, meeting up with a witch and her talking corpse!! Of course the effects are terrible, but at the same time are also genuinely disturbing, for all their cheapness. And at times it's crude attempts at horror really are quite creepy, especially if you watch this with the hoot of the owl, while the world sleeps.
The film is black and white and half the time you can't tell if it's supposed to be night or day, as it all appears to have been shot in Mexico, when the sweltering midday sunshine is at it's peak, but who cares, because if anything this just furthers its wacky charms. There's plenty of action crammed into the 80m~ish run time and plenty of silly humour to keep the ninos entertained..
Overall this will probably appeal to the stoner brigade and also fans of weird cinema, and if you fall into both categories as a viewer, don't hesitate!
3.5/5 rounded up.