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anonymous maq

The Hellhounds of Alaska!

Finally, the review!

It's the peak of the Alaskin gold rush.  We've got a cranky old prospector who is digging up gold in the caves under an Inuit burial ground.  He and his son Billy are injured when a tunnel collapses.  Our hero Don Rutland rescues the kid, who needs urgent medical attention.  Don then gives his travel itinerary to the prospector:

Don: "I'll take the sled down to the trading post by the river.  I should arrive just after noon.  From there, I'll get a canoe and head downriver to the resupply hut outside of Camp Kino.  I should get there before noon tomorrow and I can borrow some horses to go the rest of the way to Paradise Creek"

Us: If a fur trapper leaves the burial ground traveling at seven miles an hour...


Don departs with Billy on his dogsled. The injured prospector stays behind, unaware of the angry natives who are watching him from the woods.  Everything is set up for a tale of cursed gold, vengeful spirits and vicious spectral huskies.

Instead, we get a kind of lame Western about a stolen gold shipment.

Don entrusts the comatose Billy to Sheriff Cotton, who is escorting a wagon load of gold from Camp Kino to Paradise Creek.  He then returns to the prospector, just in time to fail to rescue him from the cliched Angry Native War Party.  With his dying breath, the prospector entrusts Billy to Don's care.

Meanwhile the gold shipment is betrayed and ambushed.  Buffins - the scout responsible for the ambush - returns to town with a tale of his harrowing escape from the bandits on the trail.  The townfolk hail him as a hero and instantly give him the late Sheriff's job.  He immediately begins riling up the townsfolk, making them suspicious of the local tavern keeper - the only man who didn't send his gold along on the shipment.

As an aside, Camp Kino and the surrounding area don't look much like Alaska. The sagebrush made us think it might possibly be Wyoming.  Indeed, when we realized that this wasn't Alaska and that there weren't going to be any actual Hellhounds, we gave this movie an alternate title: "The Most Gullible Drunks in Wyoming!"

Don the friendly fur trapper teams up with Rose (the late Sheriff's daughter) and Ham (a wandering bare-knuckle boxer) to expose Buffins' perfidy and rescue little Billy from the vicious bandits who have adopted him and nursed him back to health.

Yeah.  And while you're trying to figure that out, chew on this: half the characters have names that are also verbs.  Don, Rose, Mark, Ham (it's what bad actors do)... One of the bandits is named "Shat" for goodness sake.

Don and his merry band of intrepid investigators win out in the end, in spite of the drunk and gullible townies switching sides and sympathies at the drop of a hat.  In gratitude, the people of Camp Kino offer Don the job of Sheriff.  Rose offers him a chance to settle down.  Ham offers him his congratulations.

Don accepts this prestigious position and appoints Ham his deputy.  Don marries Rose and settles down to raise Billy in a loving community, just like he promised Billy's dying father.

Nah, just kidding.  Don bundles Billy up on his dogsled and returns to the harsh wilderness life of a fur trapper.

Oh, Don, you lovable, rugged and independent scamp.

What a jerk.

Comments

Ham was cool, though. It's really Ham's world...we just live in it.