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Published on Oct 31, 2010
Pancho (Paul Panzer), the constantly pissed off villain of THE MASKED RIDER (1919) decides he is so fed up with the Texan ranchers on the other side of the border that he will simply blow up the entire Medina Dam and drown everybody around for miles. Ruth (early female film director Ruth Stonehouse), the heroine and Pancho's captive, gets a note to Harry the hero (Harry Myers) in time for him to be able to try and prevent mass-murder and utter disaster. Pancho's daughter Juanita wants to take action against her father's insane plan and escapes her captor Santas to try and stop Pancho. The result is the following scene from this amazing serial which is not at all represented in the original script and therefore was probably improvised on the spot, with all the leading actors doing their own very dangerous stunts atop the actual gigantic dam.
And that just kicks ass.
Note: the Ranger getting shot at by the phantom hand of the Masked Rider appears to have been Lon Hildebrandt, an actual Texas Ranger of the time and friend to associate producer Patrick McGeeney of the Shamrock Films studio in San Antonio, where this was filmed.
The restoration here is by Eric Stedman of www.serialsquadron.com (buy the awesome DVD!) and music by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com).