When 4 escaped convicts lead by Crip (Vic Morrow) ride in to Paradise they cause death and destruction as they rob the bank, kill innocent men and take Helen Caldwell (Zohra Lampert) hostage. With his friend the sheriff murdered, deputy Banner Cole (Audie Murphy - Seven Ways from Sundown) leads a posse on the hunt for the convicts and Helen. Amongst the posse is bank worker Seymour Kern (John Saxon - Wes Craven's New Nightmare) whose interest is only in reclaiming the stolen money but as the number in the posse falls off especially when they find Helen having been raped it is Seymour who stays by Banner's side.
On paper "Posse from Hell" sounds like just another western with Audie Murphy in the lead role and in truth it is just another western with Audie Murphy in the lead role. But it is a nicely put together western with solid direction, decent action, vibrant colouring and a good collection of actors to play the various stereotypes who crop up through out the movie.
Now "Posse from Hell" could have been a hell of a lot better because it serves up this posse of characters all with issues and conflicts. We have a former gunfighter, an Indian, a business man, a father and so on and of course as they head across country looking for the robbers their ego's clash especially when it comes to a former colonel who feels it is his place to lead not Cole. But it does slowly build towards a "High Noon" style situation where the numbers drop off and eventually Cole is going to have to be prepared to die to complete his job.
Now I would never call "Posse from Hell" a dark western but with those conflicts, a subject matter which includes rape and how men react to a woman who has been raped it certainly isn't a bright and bubbly western. And to accompany that it has plenty of action, not necessarily exceptional action but solid and in some ways blood thirsty enough to sustain those looking for a western with an edge of some sort. Sadly that edge doesn't come from the acting as whilst Audie Murphy leads a band of competent actors the fact they are all playing stereotypes means that their performances are little more than familiar.
What this all boils down to is that "Posse from Hell" is certainly a solid and entertaining western. But in the big scale of things that is all it is although it certainly had the basis to be a lot more.