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I don't know if you young people out there can ever truly comprehend what a phenom Evel Knievel was back in the day.

If you grew up in the 70's Evel was like a Mego action figure come to life. There he was, jumping over cars and busses and fire and god knows what else. Breaking every bone in his body whenever he screwed up some stunt. Always clad in red, white and blue. Always in some souped up vehicle that was like a kids dream car, or boat, or dragster, or chopper, or rocket sled.

He was like Mick Foley, Johnny Knoxville, Liberace and Captain America combined. So hell, give him a movie right? And he can play himself. (George Hamilton played Evel in a biopic. He played Hank Williams in a biopic as well. What did George have that Satan needed so bad??) And while we're at it let's get the guy who directed SLAUGHTERS BIG RIP-OFF, THEY CALL ME MISTER TIBBS, IN LIKE FLINT, THEM! I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE FBI , and DICK TRACY VS CUEBALL to run the camera. And we need a supporting cast so heck fire, let's get Gene Kelly, Lauren Hutton, Red Buttons, Leslie Nielson, Cameron Mitchell and Dabney Coleman. Stir up all these ingredients and bake for 90 minutes and you get one hell of cinematic soufflé' right? Nope.

VIVA KNIEVEL a safe as milk lil' mildly fun exercise in "Should-have-been-made-for-TVism". Like fellow groovy curio KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK it only exists to show us that the subject of a propaganda piece like this is the greatest person in the world. In This film Evel gives loads of his own toys to orphans (a scene that had us all drooling like the geeks we are… over the toys ya perv.), Reunites his alky mechanic (Kelly, who proved he was a real actor in INHERIT THE WIND, at this point he needed money or just loved to work) with his long lost son, wins the heart of cynical Hutton. He stops a bunch of bad guys, saves a few lives, jumps over a pit of fire, and does everything short of feeding thousands of people with a single sack of Burger Queen take-out. It should be noted that Evel wasn't a bad actor by the standards of a lot of performances we've seen, (And I'm looking right at you Vanity!) but ultimately Viva Knieval exists as reminder of pre-Lucas pop culture.

See, in 1977 George released a movie that ravaged the land, stomping and burying all the previously beloved idols of kid-dom: Evel, The Six Million Dollar Man, the giants of Mego, the Famous Monsters of Filmland, the titans of Sid and Marty, and the planet of apes who talk like men. All were crushed under a titanic unstoppable Jedi hoof. Thank god we have this flick as a reminder that true giants once roamed the earth. And now he's given us his only begotten son.......Hope you accept Knievel into your life!!

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Holy Harley! It's Evel!

Here is Evel's anti-drug speech....shoot up everyone!



Lauren Hutton note: no gap between her teeth...Sell-Out!

That's Gene Kelly feeling leisurely with Evel. Great piece Gene, you cannot even tell.

Evel on the Super Cycle, now that is America!

Frank Gifford, pre-Kathy Lee, he looks happier doesn't he?

Dr. Evel, hahahhahahaha, aw shut up, that was funny.
Brains On Film 2003