Ambush At Tomahawk Gap tells the story of four outlaws, McCord (John Hodiak), Egan (David Bryan), Doc (Ray Teal) & Kid (John Derek), who after being released from a five year sentence for robbery at Yuma Territorial Prison, implode from within as they yearn to find the hidden loot from their ill gotten gains. Not only that, but they are in the middle of Indian territory and Apache attacks are frequent and savage in their execution.
Bloody & brutal Western programmer out of Columbia Pictures that’s produced by Wallace MacDonald and directed by Fred Sears. Written by David Lang, the principal location shoot is at Corriganville, Simi Valley, California. With Technicolor enhanced cinematography coming from Henry Freulich. Though featuring a pretty weak, and at times nutty story, the film has a high viewing factor on account of its adherence to Western action staples, it helps, too, that Sears directs with an absolutely no nonsense approach.
Running at just shy of 80 minutes, it just doesn’t have time to dwell on intricacies, instead choosing more to embrace that this isn’t really about redemptive qualities – which since there’s barely any on show is a rather good thing! Sears movie is grim and potent enough to warrant a recommendation to the serious Western fan, and it’s also very easy on the eye. Bonus plot wise comes with two lovely kickers during the pulsating finale. The cast man up and give it gusto and brawn, with Hodiak particularly standing out, while even the inevitable lady character plot strand (Maria Elena Marques) doesn’t cloy or hinder the pace and mood of the piece.
You will not want to ponder too much about it afterwards, but hopefully you will go away thinking that you have been royally entertained by the guns, arrows and fists that have flown and been thrown throughout the movie.