Search This Blog

Monday, October 30, 2017

Willard (1971)

A loner and misfit (Bruce Davison) lives alone with his invalid mother (Elsa Lanchester). He has no friends and is bullied by his boss (Ernest Borgnine) at work. But he befriends a growing bevy of rats which he trains to obey him. But the smartest rat called Ben has a mind of his own. Based on the novel RATMAN'S NOTEBOOKS by Stephen Gilbert and directed by Daniel Mann (COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA). Horror films have often had misfits at their center, CARRIE comes immediately to mind but Carrie was sympathetic, Davison's Willard is definitely not. He's unlikable and psychologically disturbed so it leaves a hole when we have no one to root for. Well, no one human anyway, the rats become the focus point of our sympathy. The film is an effective piece of pulp horror with a nice job by Davison as the film's protagonist. It was a sleeper hit at the box office and spawned a sequel BEN which came a year later. The underscore by the wonderful Alex North (SPARTACUS) adds a layer of class to the film. With Sondra Locke (wasted), Michael Dante and Joan Shawlee.

No comments:

Post a Comment