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Jax C. (Destructa) from SAN JOSE, CA Reviewed on 11/9/2008...
Fun--one of those old film serials where the hero appears to die at the end of every chapter, then is shown to jump out of danger at the last second. This "Zorro" is a vigilante known as "The Black Whip", who is fighting some corrupt men trying to keep their territory from becoming a US state. If they succeed, they can write their own laws and keep a stranglehold on the money. When the Black Whip falls in battle, his sister takes up the fight both in the public forum and in costume.
The acting is nothing to speak of, especially the villains, but there are a lot of good stunts: fistfights, trashed sets, explosions and high-speed horse/wagon chases.
Linda Sterling at her best
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 12/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is among the best of the western serials. It doesn't really follow the Zorro tradition either storywise or in geographical setting. But it has some of the best western serial action you'll find. As far as having a female Zorro type character, why not? Hey, Linda does quite well for herself as a dashing heroine. And the minor characters, such as the newspaper editor, add much to the fun. This is for enjoyment and not for nitpicking."
Republic Pictures Cracks the Whip.
Robert S. Clay Jr. | St. Louis, MO., USA | 12/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Idaho ~ 1889. While the honest citizens stop growing spuds long enough to foster statehood, dastardly elements in the community try to frustrate the process for their own greedy reasons. Into this conflict rides the Black Whip and saves the day, repeatedly. Let's set the record straight. This 12-chapter serial is guilty of a misnomer. The Black Whip is a mysterious masked rider, but not Zorro. After all, what would Zorro, the hero of Old California, be doing in Idaho territory in 1889? Anyway, Western adventure fans will enjoy the hard-riding, slam-bang action sequences of this breathless serial. The legendary Yakima Canutt is the second unit director, which explains the great stunt work. Typical of all serials, the threadbare plot is merely an excuse for the fast-paced action. George Lewis later played Guy Williams' father in Disney's '50s version of the Zorro legend. Nobody could make Grade B Westerns like Republic Pictures. This may be the only Western set in Idaho. Relax and enjoy the "to-be-continued" nonsense. ;-)"
Not Zorro, but good enough
Paul M. Dellinger | Wytheville, VA USA | 01/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lovely Linda Stirling, fresh from her starring role in Republic's "Tiger Woman" serial, got to play another athletic female. As noted in other reviews, this serial has nothing to do with Zorro, except mentioning the name in the title and the similarity of outfits for the masked rider. It's a traditional western with a masked hero known as the Black Whip, who is fatally wounded (!) in the first chapter, limps back to his secret cave, and dies -- only to have his sister take over his mission, combating outlaws who are trying to run the territory and keep out statehood. The undercover operative hero is competently played by George Lewis, usually seen as a bad guy (although he was Zorro's sidekick in the future Republic serial, "Ghost of Zorro," and Zorro's father in the Disney TV series). He and Linda Stirling make a terrific team. In the last scene of the first chapter, they save each other's lives about three times in a two-minute wagon chase sequence."
Masked Female Avenger
S. Why | South Africa | 03/28/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Not only does Zorro not get mentioned at all, why the silly title, as the story has nothing to do with him. The central character is a masked female avenger played by the very capable Linda Sterling. The title should be "The Black Whip", as this is what the heroine is known. Another disappointment is that the episode cliff-hangers are weak and the serial also lacks the atmosphere and pulse-pounding soundtrack music of the Republic Classic Serials such as, Zorro's Fighting Legion, Spy Smasher, Nyoka and the Tigermen, just to name a few. The redeeming factors here are the action sequences that are well handled and there are plenty of fisticuffs, good stunt work coupled with some rough riding from our heroine. The story-line is good, and has all the ingredients of a good action packed western."
ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND THIS 1
Me | Chattanooga, Tennessee | 08/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great "movie" for 1944! Lots of action, good plot, a beautiful Zorro babe. Too bad she didn't make more Zorro films. Would have enjoyed getting intoher hot little outfit. We need a modern-day female Zorro. If you enjoy westerns, action-packed movies, good guys v. bad guys, or exciting women, you will like this "movie"!"