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Film / The Rawhide Terror

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The Rawhide Terror is a 1934 American western horror film directed by Bruce M. Mitchell and Jack Nelson. The project started life as Film Serial, but when production was pulled, the existing footage was edited together to create a B-Movie feature.

A gang of white renegades disguised as Indians murder the parents of two brothers. As a result, the brothers separate. Ten years later, a stranger known as the Rawhide Terror begins murdering the renegades, who have now become citizens of the local town called Red Dog. As the town frantically attempts to track down the killer, the destinies of the two brothers draw closer together and the identity of the killer is soon revealed.

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The Rawhide Terror contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Brent beats his stepson Jimmy hard enough that he requires serious medical attention.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: The Sheriff arrives in time to shoot Brent's gun out of his hand and prevent him from killing Tom.
  • Calling Card: The killer leaves behind a strip of rawhide on his victims. On it is written "Remember ten years ago", followed by a countdown of how many he has left to kill.
  • Distinguishing Mark: The two boys orphaned in the renegade attack have identical birthmarks, which will allow them to recognize each other should they ever be separated.
  • Evil Laugh: The killer has a very eerie high-pitched laugh that he tends to emit just before he kills someone.
  • False Flag Operation: The renegades conduct their raids disguised as Indians.
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  • Gotta Kill Em All: The killer is determined to kill all of the renegades, and leaves a countdown of how many are left on his rawhide Calling Card.
  • High-Speed Hijack: The Sheriff leaps from his horse onto the killer's speeding wagon.
  • Laughing Mad: After his parents are murdered by the renegades, the older son's mind snaps, and he starts laughing uncontrollably and wanders off into the desert.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: The Rawhide Killer is shot and killed by two random members of the posse, with the sheriff only arriving in time to hear his dying words. Narratively, this allows the killer (who is a mass murderer) to die without the hero being forced to kill his own brother.
  • Pit Trap: Jimmy falls in one while trying to rescue Tom.
  • Posse: The sheriff organizes multiple posses in an attempt to catch the Rawhide Killer, all of which fail because he is too adept at hiding his tracks. Only the last one, where they catch him in the act, succeeds.
  • Serial Killer: The Rawhide Killer, who is picking off citizens of Red Dog one by one.
  • The Sheriff: The hero of the film is the sheriff of Red Dog, who is attempting to capture the serial killer plaguing the town.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Brent beats his stepson Jimmy hard enough that he requires serious medical attention.
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