Release Date: November 16th, 1944 (first chapter)
Directed by: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Wallace Grissel
Written by: Basil Dickey, Jesse Duffy, Grant Nelson, Joseph Poland, Johnston McxCulley (original Zorro novel)
Cast: Linda Stirling, George J. Lewis, Lucien Littlefield, Francis McDonald
Republic Pictures, 182 Minutes (total over 12 chapters)
Zorro’s Black Whip is pretty unusual, as Republic Pictures didn’t have the rights to use the Zorro character in a film but they could still use the name. So with that, they created this serial where the Zorro-esque hero is named The Black Whip and is, in fact, a dame!
The story also takes place in Idaho, a far departure from southern California, even though that’s where this would’ve been filmed.
I like the heroine and thought that Linda Stirling did a pretty decent job as a female version of Zorro with a different name.
The rest of the cast was about as good as film serial casts go. No one really stood out other than the lead.
The story was a bit all over the place and I thought that the chapter cliffhangers were fairly weak and mundane. Honestly, in a lot of ways, the writing and the situations were incredibly derivative for the genre style.
Still, this did have some spirit for something that was a gender-swapped generic ripoff of a popular hero.
In the end, this is very far from being the best representation of “Zorro” but it’s also not dreadful. I doubt I’ll ever watch it again, though.