Genre Grandeur – Evil Roy Slade (1972) – Rhyme and Reason

1970gg For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Movies of the 70’s, here’s a review of Evil Roy Slade (1972) by SG of Rhyme and Reason.

Thanks again to Sherise of The Girl That Loved to Review. for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by me.  In honor of the month when Marty McFly came to visit us here in 2015, I have decided that we will be reviewing our favorite movies featuring time travel.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of October by sending them to  Try to think out of the box!

Let’s see what SG thought of this movie:



Out on the prairies where buzzards fly free
Is Evil Roy Slade, who sums up villainy,

The sneakiest, cheekiest, vilest, guilest son of a mother you ever did see.

Some people say he is too bad to redeem,

Including himself, but his girl has a dream

That the dirtiest, flirtiest, wickedest, thick-headest outlaw might not be as bad as he seems.


Rating: When a TV movie is this old, it’s as good as G

I honestly don’t remember where I heard of this movie since it’s been sitting in my Netflix queue for so long with “Very long wait” next to it. At last, I decided to try elsewhere and found it on YouTube, where I finally got to see this obscure TV movie from 1972. As indicated by the comments under the video, this is one of those films that people remember seeing long ago as a kid, the kind they search out again because they recall how it put them into hysterics. I’m obviously not of that demographic, but as someone simply seeking a silly comedy from yesteryear, I found it in Evil Roy Slade.

Eight years before Airplane!, two years before Blazing Saddles, Evil Roy Slade (John Astin) terrorized the West. Orphaned and not having the privilege of being raised by Indians or wolves, he grows up alone without a few minor things (like a moral compass, for example). His name SLADE is even an acronym for Sneaking, Lying, Arrogance, Dirtiness, and Evil. He saunters through town wreaking his cartoonish wickedness, like Gru from Despicable Me, and makes a habit of robbing banks and kissing damsels, even though he can’t count the money or the damsels. When a pretty but virtuous schoolteacher (Pamela Austin) falls for his kiss and resolves to get him on the straight and narrow, Roy—sorry, I mean Evil Roy struggles with adapting to boring civilian life. Plus, there’s a stubby-fingered tycoon (Mickey Rooney) out for Slade’s blood and a self-centered showy singing cowboy (Dick Shawn) intent on proving his superiority (as well as minor roles for Henry Gibson, Pat Morita, and Dom DeLuise).

Throughout the storyline are rapid-fire gags and quotes that foreshadowed the Zucker brothers’ brand of humor, such as “I’ve worked hard; it took me years to work my way to the bottom” or “Never trust a pretty girl or a lonely midget” or “I can’t read, you dumb love of my life!” My VC unfortunately did not find all the jokes funny, and while it’s certainly not Airplane!’s level of hilarity, I was amused throughout with periodic doses of well-earned laughter. Like many westerns, quite a few gunshots are fired, but only one character actually gets shot, resulting in one of the funniest death scenes I’ve seen in a while. According to iMDB, the characters were based on an unproduced pilot from 1969; I rather wish a spinoff show had followed since it would probably be a comedy classic by now, just like this film might be if it had wider exposure.

Best line: (one of Slade’s henchmen) “Someone’s comin’!”

(Slade) “Kill him!”

(Henchman) “It’s a woman!”

(Slade) “Wound her!”

Rank: List Runner-Up

© 2015 S. G. Liput

2 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Evil Roy Slade (1972) – Rhyme and Reason

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur September Finale – Chinatown (1974) – The Girl That Loved to Review |

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