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The Villian

The Villian

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Published by Abandoned Towers

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Published by: Abandoned Towers on May 31, 2009
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06/15/2009

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ODD REVIEWS BY ODDCUBEOpinions on the Obscure, Off-Beat, and Outdated
THE VILLAINHi kids, guess what time it is? That's right, time once again for Oddcube toelucidate about the unremembered, unknown, underappreciated, and downrightunpopular! Hey, it was more interesting than just saying "welcome back to the column"again!Anyway, everybody's buddy, Oddcube, here. In the off chance that you're new tomy little patch of monthly weirdness, my goal is to heighten the general public'sawareness of nifty stuff! What kind of stuff? Well, it depends on how I feel at the time.This month's article is about a movie.Here, let me tell ya how I picked the subject, cuz I hear that some people dig thatstuff. So, I'm probably not as different from other people as I like to think I am. I watchmovies and TV shows and pick up the good lines, which eventually work their way intomy "normal" conversation. You've done that, right? Sure ya have, everybody does that!So as I was saying, I'm having a conversation a few weeks back and manage towork in one of my stock lines. And did my creative conversing accredit me withaccolades? No, just crickets cuz my clever quip wasn't caught by my colleague. And thesimple, sad certainty of it is that the cleverness of a clever quip doesn't keep whencommentary is required. So to make a long story short (yeah, I know, it's too late) theline was from an old movie called "
The Villain
" and I thought, "What a shame more people don't remember (or even know about) that movie". So I'm telling you about it!So, what is "
The Villain
"? Well, it's a movie, released in 1979. In the UK andAustralia it was released under the title "
Cactus Jack 
". Why? I don't know! They dothat crap a lot, though! It was written by Robert G. Kane, who only has one other creditlisted at IMDb and that's a Fred MacMurray film called "
 Kisses for My President 
", whichI've never seen.It was directed by Hal Needham. Who's Hal Needham? Well, he started off as astunt man who doubled for Burt Reynolds and Richard Boone (among others). He alsodirected some of the coolest flicks you'd ever wanna see. Like what, I hear you plaintively inquire? Well, like "
Smokey and the Bandit I&II",
AND (as if that wasn'tenough) "
Cannonball Run I&II 
", AND…some other stuff, too.The movie stars legendary great Kirk Douglas as the titular villain, Cactus Jack Slade. The damsel-in-distress is none other than the beautiful Ann-Margret. The dubioushero is played by none other than a pre-Conan Arnold Schwarzenegger (no lie!). I trustthat this trio of stars is sufficiently stellar enough that I don't have remind you of whothey are. I mean, they're Kirk Douglas, Ann-Margret, and Arnold, for crying out loud!These three stars really take up the bulk of the movie. Coming in fourth place isPaul Lynde, uh Uncle Arthur on
 Bewitched 
or the unaccredited voice of the PhantomClaw on Hanna-Barbera's
 Perils of Penelope Pitstop
, gets to play—now get this—anIndian Chief! Also appearing (for about five minutes each) is comedian Foster Brooks(known best as the Loveable Lush), veteran character actor Strother Martin, Jack Elam (astock villain in westerns and gangster flicks), Mel Tillis (the country star who stutterswhen he talks, but not when he sings), and the fabulously funny Ruth Buzzi (best known,
 
I'm sure, as the sexually-harassed spinster, Gladys Ormphby, on
 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
)!'Kay, now here's the sitch:Strother Martin plays Parody Jones, a homesteader with a mine. In the mine hehad finally found a rich vein of gold. Now the problem is that he borrowed money fromAvery Simpson, the greedy banker played by Jack Elam, to buy the mine in the first placeand if he doesn't get the gold out he can't pay off the loan and the banker will own hismine—and all the gold in it! So he sends his step-daughter, Charming Jones to withdrawthe last of his money to fund the mining operation.Well, Charming has a one-track mind, and all she's really interested in is men.Lucky for her, she's played by Anne-Margret, who is amply endowed with talent and acouple of other things, so all the men are really interested in her, too!Parody Jones, fearful for the safety of his money…and his step-daughter too, callsin an old favor. He sends a telegram to Handsome Stranger (no lie), played by—now getthis—Arnold Schwarzenegger and asked him to accompany Charming home. NowHandsome is a big ol' boy scout always trying to do the right thing. Problem is, he'skinda dumb. He stops a team of dangerously "out-of-control" horses (he's a hero!) butdoesn't seem to understand that they were pulling the fire wagon to put out a fire! Hehelps a little old lady (Ruth Buzzi, hooray!) across the street…but she didn't wanna crossthe street and she gets hurt when she tries to cross back alone!Handsome is big and strong and Charming likes the look of him so she spends thewhole movie trying to seduce him. Unfortunately for her, he's too dumb to realize it. Now this is all very nice, but the main character here is Cactus Jack Slade. CactusJack is the WORST badman in the west! Uh, I don't mean that he is the most evil; I meanthat he's not very good at it.When we first see him, he is riding along on his horse to intercept a train. Heclimbs up on a bluff and watches the train pass. He tries to jump onto the caboose, butwaits just a li-i-ittle too long, and misses the train entirely. He picks himself up off thetracks, brushes himself off, and snarls at the departing train.So he goes to the nearest town and tries to hold up the bank. The drunk teller (Foster Brooks) cannot open the safe. So Cactus Jack tries to blast it open with dynamite.The blast makes a big mess out of the bank, but when the smoke clears, the safe doesn'teven have a scratch on it. Voices outside tell him that someone's coming to investigatethe explosion. Jack tries to jump out of the window only to find it covered with iron bars.He gets caught. Avery Simpson, the greedy banker, comes to see him in jail.Simpson explains that he could own the mine if Charming gets robbed of the money she'staking home. Avery Simpson offers to drop the charges if Jack will steal that money. If he refuses, he promises that Jack will get hanged.So Jack accepts, and chases Charming and Handsome across the rugged westernlandscape. He tries many different techniques to trap them—all of them inspired by WileE. Coyote! The movie, basically, is a live action cartoon! He even paints a tunnel on theside of the cliff! He gets blown up, he crashes into things, and he falls of cliffs (once herealizes there is nothing holding him up). They really channeled the essence of classicLooney Tunes cartoons to make this one!Most of these disasters are witnessed by a group of Indians that the banker hiredto watch him and prevent him from running off with the money. The leader of these

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