It's a shame that such a wonderfully weird actor such as Crispin Glover has never achieved the success of many other, lesser actors in Hollywood. He's flat out creepy and funny at the same time. With that said, Glover is the shining star of "Willard," a tale about a man gone mad, using rats to exact revenge on those who've spurned him.
The story starts out promising enough, showing Glover taking care of the rat problem his mother says that they have. He befriends one of the rodents, who he names Socrates. This rat becomes his favorite and it draws jealous reaction from Big Ben, one of the biggest rats I've ever seen outside of a nutria. Glover is constantly mistreated at work by the owner of the company his father started years ago. R. Lee Ermey is wasted as the jerk boss in this flick. His dialogue leaves him little to work with. He's fun to watch, but I wish that he would have been given better lines. As expected, he becomes the focus of Willard's ratty rage.
Slowly, Willard loses what little sanity he has left, as well as control of the rats. At first they do his bidding, but after awhile, they turn on him. I won't say why or how, but they do. Glover does a good job as he attempts to retain control of the rats, but things get a little too silly for my tastes.
The movie drags along at a snail's pace. The idea of a man running an army of rats seems pretty good at first, but Glover looks somewhat ridiculous scolding Ben and the rest of the rats in the feature. Had he been scolding a pack of wolves or something to that effect, the picture might have been better.
This movie had potential, but it wastes its superb cast on a plot that fumbles along with no real direction. It's a good way to burn a little time on a rainy afternoon, but it's not scary enough to be considered a horror film, and too silly to even be considered a dark comedy. Recommended to fans of Glover and Ermey, but prepare to be letdown somewhat.
A curious remake of the 1971 horror B-movie, in which a born loser who lives in the miserable company of his wretched mother (Jackie Burroughs) and under the baton of a cruel boss (R. Lee Ermey) finds friendship and a means to wage revenge in the company of rats. Glover is perfectly cast in the titular lead: spineless, seething with resentment and impossibly weird. Most other character actors train for years to fake the kind of bizarre demeanor that the Hellion seems to … more
First, let me say that I think Crispin Glover was a great Willard. He played the character to the hilt even though he has probably viewed Hitchcock's Pyscho one too many times. There are many similarities between Anthony Perkin's Norman Bates and Crispin's Willard and not only the Oedipal facet either. Mr. Morgan (X-Files) delivers this movie in the way that many X-Files episodes have been filmed. I didn't know about the X-Files connection until after viewing the film but kept thinking... Man, this … more
My wife and I watched this movie a few days ago, hoping it might end up being suitable viewing for our 11 year old daughter who loves creepy movies. Except for one scene where the villian is surfing the web looking at porn sites and one "f" word...the movie meets the standard. But not close enough.Anyway, you probably don't care about that. WILLARD is really good, clean fun. The story is not exactly the most action-packed, plot-heavy you'll find. In many ways, we've got a 45 minute movie stretch … more
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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As accomplished as it is superfluous, Willard is a stylish horror film with plenty of style and precious little horror. Genre buffs will appreciate it as a visually superior sequel/remake of its popular 1971 predecessor, giving Crispin Glover a title role perfectly suited to his uniquely odd persona, in the same league as Psycho's Norman Bates. This time, Willard's the psychotically lonely son of the original film's now-deceased protagonist; a milquetoast introvert who befriends an army of obedient rats--lethal allies when Willard's pushed to his emotional breaking point by his abusive boss (R. Lee Ermey). In keeping with his memorably macabre episodes of X-Files, writer-director Glen Morgan excels with dreary atmosphere and mischievously morbid humor (including an ill-fated cat named Scully), and Glover gives his best performance since River's Edge. But even the furry villain Ben--an oversized rat with attitude--is more funny than frightful...so really, what's the point? With some justification, Glover's fans will appreciate the open door to a sequel. --Jeff Shannon