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Cactus Jack Slade

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Cactus Jack

They do this kind of thing to him all through the picture, folks.

Cactus Jack Slade was the titular antagonist and actual main character of the 1979 comedy, The Villain, played by film legend Kirk Douglas. Set in a parody version of the Old West, the film is also an homage to classic Looney Tunes' characters and situations, with Slade fulfilling the role typically played by Wile E. Coyote in the old cartoon shorts.

Hired by a wealthy man to target the beautiful Charming Jones (played by another film veteran, Ann-Margaret), his intent is to rob her - and then 'ravish' her, though given his and the film's general goofiness, this seems to be removed from the more sinister implications of the word. His opponent, Handsome Stranger, is played by no less than Arnold Schwarzeneggar in a role long before he was a household name. In keeping with other Looney Tunes tropes, Charming is constantly trying to arouse Handsome's interest, to no avail with the purehearted and at times just plain dumb hero.

Slade is portrayed as tough-looking, though really not all that much brighter than Stranger. Bad as his intelligence is, his luck is even worse. Dynamite he intends to use on the couple blows him up instead, albeit leaving him with cartoonish wounds that heal by the next scene. An avalanche he tries to bury them in fails to trigger until he goes to check it, culminating in the ultimate Coyote fail, the painting of a false tunnel opening that the couple simply goes through--only to flatten him and his horse a few moments later. Worst of all for Slade, they never even seem to notice his efforts.

Finally cornering them, Slade is confronted by Charming as to who in blazes he is. To the surprise of both men, Charming takes his intent to 'ravish' her very well--to the point of dumping Handsome for Jack. One kiss from her sends Slade on an over-the-top cartoon jumping spree, showing that perhaps his own romantic experience is somewhat lacking--for the present.

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