Houston They Have a Problem
When Rowan Houston (Leslie Nielsen) and his family ride in to Cimarron City looking to cross the river to get in to the strip Marshal Crown (Stuart Whitman) knows they will be trouble as he has to warn them that no one is allowed over until the government give their say so. And they are trouble leading Jim to arrest Rowan and give Stacey Houston (Lola Albright) a warning. But when the Houston family go to leave they are found massacred with rumours that Joshua Broom (Simon Oakland), a man rumoured of being a beast, is behind the massacre leading Jim to have track down and confront Broom even if he is a beast.
So to give you the facts "The Beast That Walks Like a Man" is episode 11 of 60s western series "Cimarron Strip" which featured Stuart Whitman as Marshall Jim Crown alongside regulars Percy Herbert, Randy Boone and Jill Townsend. There were only 23 episodes made and almost each episode worked as a standalone story which is why the series is often now shown as movies in the UK rather than as part of the series.
"The Beast That Walks Like a Man" starts like a seemingly normal western where we have this boisterous family of law breakers arriving in Cimarron and kicking things up with their disregard for the law and a plan to enter settler country before it is officially open to those who come to settle. And you sort of get lulled in to it being familiar especially with Jim being distracted by Stacey Houston who is flirty and tomboyish. But then it evolves with this legend of Joshua Broom who lives in the hills of Mocane Valley and who due to being a recluse has lots of rumours about him being a beast especially when anyone who enters Mocane Valley usually ends up massacred. It leads to the classic hunter becoming the hunted as Crown decides to track down this Joshua Broom too try and get to the bottom of things which is entertaining.
Now "The Beast That Walks Like a Man" features are usual foursome of Whitman, Herbert, Boone and Townsend but it also features Leslie Nielsen who made a few decent western appearances in his time and this is one of them giving his character both a cockiness as well as a sense of anger. And there is also Lolo Albright who at times delivers a performance which makes her come across like Honor Blackman which works really well.
What this all boils down to is that "The Beast That Walks Like a Man" is not only another good episode of "Cimarron Strip" which works as a standalone movie but also makes you wonder why the series was capped at just 23 episodes.