The Animal Hero’s Journey into Serial Darkness; or, Not Another Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Western!?

Just when you thought it was safe to go blog surfing, one more Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Western! Nooooo!

Actually, it’s not too bad. In this flick, Rex and Rinty far outshine the human actors and the ridiculonkulousness of the script. Like their man’s-best-friend comrades in the real world, Rex and Rinty prove themselves to be dependable through and through until…! Agggghhhh! Another cliffhanger!

Thank you yet again, Flapjack42, who sees these bad movies SO WE DON’T HAVE TO! –Bucko

#2  The Adventures of Rex and Rinty (1935, a serial) HEROES: Rex and Rin Tin Tin, Jr.

Abysmally bad, this cliffhanger series is a fantasy western. It has Atlantis–I mean the mysterious island of Sujan–and western polo. (See you in the next chukkar!) The King of Sujan worships the God-horse Rex, and also looks exactly like my neighbor. He wears a helmet that looks like an oil-filled heater. The black horse is stolen from the limited-access island by the villainous racehorse trainer. Rex escapes… (Follow that horse!) Rinty and Rex meet in the wilderness and become pals. The hero finds the horse and tries to get away. (Ride it like you stole it!) Lost and recaptured, the black horse is loaded into a truck and driven off down a mountain road. With an “I’ll save you!” bark, the dog jumps in the stock bed, hides, and pops out in the truck cab and nails the hapless driver. The driver bails, leaving the horse roling downhill in a driverless truck. Does he get away? It’s another cliffhanger! Will he survive? Ha! It’s only the fifth episode! Of COURSE he will!

(And I’m already exhausted. Pass the whiskey bottle, please. Oh crap, there’s more. Pass two bottles. –Bucko)

The horse and dog escape again and rescue a small boy. There are no western clothes–everyone, girl included, wears English riding breeches and straw boater hats. The dog discovers the secret message hidden on a bridle rein. Rinty is sent off to find somebody or other, and is almost strangulated by that valuable clue. (Rinty is thinking, Some days it just doesn’t pay to chew through the leather straps.)

(Some days you just have to ask, What does it all mean? Hiccup. –Bucko)

The hero has a pocketknife to make a telephone connection, the McGyver of the movie. Smiley Burnette plays the Buffoon. Races with the horse and an open roadster are a sign of transition. A native of Sujan uses a blowgun, which represents hidden forces. The substitution of Rex for another black horse as a decoy means the beginning of transformation in the inner self.

(Holy hero’s journey, Batman! How did those serials writers know about Joseph Campbell? –Bucko)

This one takes you to the edge of implausibility. The animal actors shine in their parts: They look welcoming/ threatening/ in a hurry, unlike the human actors. How do you find Rex in a polo scrimmage? Rex is the one with the black flowing tail. All the others have their tails bound up like a sumo wrestler’s braid. Rex chases a villain under a car and stomps all over, reaching his head under the car to snap at the man. I read that that shot wasn’t faked. The actor was almost stomped by Rex, King of the Wild Horses! He was a little tough to handle sometimes, they say…

(Ah. So Rinty was an actor’s best friend, and Rex was a bit of a diva. –Bucko)

WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: The hero and his horse jump off a tall cliff into the water–no fake Jake.

HOW I LIKED THIS MOVIE: Drop that gun or the movie gets it!

What can possible top that dog–oh, sorry, Rinty–that terrible flick? Stay tuned!

The list of shame so far.

Note that no animals have been harmed, although their reputations have been impugned.

#10 Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (TV; 1955-1958) HERO: Yukon King

#9  Fury, King of the Wild Stallions (TV; 1955-1960) HERO: Fury, of course!

#8 The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) HERO:  Silver

#7 Law of the Wild (1931) HERO: Rex and Rin Tin Tin Jr.

#6 White Fang to the Rescue ( 1974) HERO: Sacchia

#5  Lightning Warrior (1931 serial) HERO: Rin Tin Tin, Sr.

#4  Return of Rin Tin Tin (1947) HERO: Rin Tin Tin III

#3  Champion the Wonder Horse (1955, a serial) HERO: Champion III and Blaze

#2  The Adventures of Rex and Rinty (1935, a serial) HEROES: Rex and Rin Tin Tin, Jr.

#1 ?????

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