Ignorant focus groups are the Villain of good DVD releases.
phimseto | Chestnut Hill, MA United States | 04/09/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
""The Villain" is a fun little guilty pleasure, a Looney Toons cartoon disguised as a live-action Western and featuring some major names. The comedy is so slapstick and the dialogue so screwball, one cannot help but wonder what the heck Kirk Douglas is doing in a film like this! Perhaps he was cleansing himself of the debacle that was "The Fury". That being said, all the actors in the film play it with the earnestness all good comedy needs to succeed. Hal Needham, in the middle hour of his directing heyday, acquits himself well without his usual lead actor Burt Reynolds. Needham plays up the material for all it is worth, achieving the same type of real world/cartoon symmetry "Roger Rabbit" is famed for. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a hilarous splash against type as a noble cowboy whose name constitutes one of the best gags in the film. In fact, it is the three leads that make "The Villain" a worthwhile and easy watch, as their "for keeps" performances eliminate the self-mocking mail-in performances that doom many mediocre projects. Therefore, either for the cult film enthusiast or casual viewer, this would be an easy recommendation for purchase or rental. HOWEVER, the DVD release of this film gets the glaring 1 (wish it was zero) rating for the increasingly emerging cardinal sin of DVD's - a pan & scan only release with minimal to no extras. According to reports, various consumer focus groups and studies have led studios to believe people are intimidated by the letterboxing black bars and want the safety, familiarity, and cropped comfort of full-screen. Why they wouldn't offer both (especially with no extras) is beyond me. Why they would think a film with a small, but dedicated following would accept this is equally beyond me. Sorry, Hal, Kirk, Ann, and Arnold, until Columbia ponies up a more worthy version of your film, "The Villain" won't be hiding out in my collection anytime soon."
Alas, pan -n- scan
S. Rider | Chicago area | 07/10/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw the movie years ago and thought it was hysterical. Sadly this release crops the movie -- if it were widescreen I would buy it in a heartbeat.5 stars for the movie, -2 for poor DVD."
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What fun! I stumbled onto this movie in progress on a program called "Golden Age of Comedy Movies." I paused when I saw Arnold and Ann-Margret in an old western, curious as to what this was. When Ann-Margret leaned out of the train and handed Arnold her bags, nearly falling out of her low-cut dress in the process and saying, "Take hold of these," I knew this wasn't a serious drama I was watching. When Kirk Douglas showed up, I was hooked. It's impossible not to make comparisons with The Roadrunner cartoons as Kirk Douglas performs impossible leaps and survives intact after being crushed by a giant boulder and hit by a train. His trusty sidekick, Whiskey the horse, is a pure delight. It's odd to see Arnold in cowboy garb. His job is mostly to look studly and his lines mostly consist of, "I really don't know!" delivered with a bewildered look. Definitely a one-of-a-kind movie. Don't watch it if you're expecting great acting and writing, but if you just want to get in on the fun of big name stars acting very silly, you'll love it."
The Villain 1979
John W . Ford | Los Angeles , California . U.S.A | 04/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hes dressed in black from boots to hat and and his twirling double iron . His name is "Cactus Jack" slater and hes THE VILLAIN . Kirk Douglas (1916- ) stars as the neer-do-well highwayman in this screwball gunslinger comedy co-starring Arnold Schwartznegger (1947 - )as handsome stranger and swedish actress Ann-Margret (Ann-Margret Olsson 1941 - ) as a lusty Miss Charming Jones . Charming father Parody ( Strother Martin 1919-1980) has sent her on a risky overland errand , providing crooked banker Avery Simpson ( Jack Elam 1918-2003) with the perfect chance to double-cross Parody out of a silver fortune and when Simpson offers to buy Cactus Jack out out of the Snakes End Jail if hi hell do the dirty work , Cactus Jack schemes to double-cross the double-crosser . But his plans are foiled when Arnold Schwarzenegger weigh in as Handsome stranger . He owes Parody Jones his life , and the payback is pure pistol-poppimg laughter as the blue-eyed do-gooder does his duty : Protecting the loot and the lady with a white-hatted paladins good luck . Ride along with a horse named Whisky and an allstar cast featuring Paul Lynde (1926-1982) as THE VILLAIN plots to outsmart handsome with slapstick determination . A raucous western spoof that proves you cant judge a cowboy by the color of his hat . High Quality Transfer . Recommended"
Enjoyable and Fun
M-Taliesin | Aurora, Co USA | 04/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is highly entertaining and just plain fun. It isn't intended to be an epic, like Spartacus or Cleopatra. It's simply fun. In many ways, this movie is reminiscent of Coyote and Road Runner, but with Kirk Douglas and Arnie Swartzenegger in the lead character roles. It is very camp, and if you enjoy comic camp, this is a really entertaining film. It does not allow itself to fret over such trivialities as political correctness. It just sets out to be loony fun. And for the purpose it seeks to achieve, it does so wonderfully. If you want good, hearty laughter, you could do far worse than this modest little film. Good clean fun and sappy slapstick all the way. Certainly you will agree, if you see this movie, that the outlaw's horse is much smarter than his master. The purpose of film is to entertain, and this little sleeper can deliver. This is not a movie for everybody, but those who appreciate camp should enjoy it."