Evil Roy Slade
For the majority of his life nobody showed any love or affection towards the outlaw, Evil Roy Slade (John Astin). Now I say this not only because was he abandoned by his parents as a very small child. Oh no! But also because the head of the
Western Union railway
company, Nelson L. Stool (Mickey Rooney), wants' to capture him for ruining his
Don't fret though, folks. Evil does eventually find true love when he kisses the adorable Betsy Potter (Pamela Austin) whilst robbing a bank with his gang. In fact, this romantic liaison drives Evil so crazy, that he is willing to give up his wicked ways and become a righteous man for the first time ever.
Granted, Evil being evil, this doesn't happen to him straight away. No. Of course not. First he gets arrested by Nelson's son, Clifford Stool (Henry Gibson). Then he breaks out of jail thanks to Nelson's dog, whatever his name is. And finally both he and Betsy travel all the way to
to start a new life together in pastures new.
However, once they arrive at this urban lo-cal, Evil is none too sure if he can change his mean streak! Well, will Betsy's cousin, Dr. Logan Delp (Dom DeLuise), be able to cure him with physiotherapy? Furthermore, when Betsy's uncle, Harry Fern (Milton Berle), offers him a job working at his shoe store, with this work out or not?
Ouch! Those are some pretty darn good questions, aren't they? Still. That's most probably why what next transpires all begins when Evil runs true to form. As Marshal Bing Bell (Dick Shawn) comes a knocking - the adorable Betsy goes a courting - a wedding comes a crashing - and at the end of the day everyone starts a shooting. BANG! BANG!
The End. For Now.
Now believe it or not, 'Evil Roy Slade' made me find my humorous streak whilst I was a small lad at school. Picture the scene. Me. About seven years of age. Sitting in a Maths lesson at primary school. Waiting for my teacher to ask me a question about this numerical subject. "Now if you had ten apples" she said to me "How many apples would you have left if your neighbour took two of them?" she continued. Then suddenly -- SHAZAM! -- in a moment of lunacy, I replied back to her by gleefully stating "All ten apples and one dead neighbour".
Ha! Yep. This is the type of stuff you'll remember if you watch this classic made for television film. Granted, it's not one hundred percent perfect. As in places the overall narrative is slightly predictable, and it does flimflam all over the shop in that rather overt seventies manner. Moreover, here and there, you may miss a couple of quick one liner's, because of the frantic and phonetic pacing of this flick.
Woody Allen's, 'Take the Money and Run', and Mel Brooks', 'Blazing Saddles'; thinking of it as a mixture of these two great movies combined into one. Here, let me tell you why. (1) Stylistically this wild-west comedy is very much like a live action cartoon. The characters are all bold. The pretext is a romance about a bad-guy trying to become good. And the simplistic nature of this piece is both easy and a joy to follow. Act one: Set-up the cast. Act two: See if Evil can change his ways. Act three: DING-DONG! Game over. (2) Dick Shawn plays one of the most flamboyant Marshals ever seen on screen. Honestly. It's as though he's channelling a hippy 'Beach Boy' vibe, plus has the exuberance of someone like Liberace to boot. Hands down. You have to see it to believe it. Dick's performance is out of this world. (3) I do not have the words within me to tell you how I feel about John Astin's role in this movie. Not only because he was so amazing in it, but because he might shoot me if I said anything wrong, ha! John's a comedic star. More than a lot of people have given him credit for. (4) Although I enjoyed the first and last parts of this film a great deal, the winner for me has to be the middle section where the likes of Dom DeLuise and Milton Berle's characters, attempts to make 'Evil' good. Trust me. This section was a blast to watch. I couldn't stop laughing all the way throughout it because of its quick witted and funny tone. (5) Without a shadow of a doubt, all of the supporting actors really did support this movie. Mickey was his mannered best. Henry played the comedic foil to a tea. And Pamela was as lovely as lovely can be. (6) Now if I had one slight gripe with this film, it would have to be that 'tele-visual' faux-par of guns shooting and constantly missing their target. Nah! This gaff wasn't really to my own tastes. And came across as very... errr... unneeded.
Overall 'Evil Roy Slade' is a must watch film. It's funny. It's very of its time. Plus it's definitely for all those comedy fans who might be interested in a TV movie that inspired the best of them. Go ahead. Make Evils day. Ha!
THE RATING: A