“Willy’s Wonderland” is a Bizarre, but Kind of Fun Film

by Gary Chapman

gchapman@lc.edu

 

Nicolas Cage has had a good career, I would say, with cult classics like ”Vampire’s Kiss” and big films like the “National Treasure” franchise making him a lot of cash. After starring in a bunch of movies that are…interesting, he’s had a great last few years with him starring in critically acclaimed films like “Mandy” and Richard Stanley’s adaptation of “Color out of Space”. One film that I was excited for was this bizarre film I heard about from a friend: “Willy’s Wonderland”. After watching it, I was confused.

 

The film centers around an unnamed character, played by Cage, who after getting his tires flattened by an inconspicuously placed spike strip, gets hired by the Doug Dimmadome impersonator Tex Mcadoo to work at the dilapidated and vandalized Willy’s Wonderland.

 

He soon discovers that the place was run by serial killers who killed themselves in an — of course — Satanic ritual, which causes them to inhabit the bodys of the animatronics; the town decides to sacrifice people to them. Cage’s character, named “The Janitor”, kills the animatronics in a brutal manner, while a group of kids, wanting to burn/explore the place, serve as kill fodder. 

 

The other characters, except for the female lead, are pretty much stereotypes; you got the gangsta guy with his valley girl, who decide to have sex in the room where the serial killers killed them, kinky. 

 

Nicolas Cage’s character does not say a single word during the film, he does do decent action though. The film’s plot is very generic, with it seeming as the unwanted child of “Five Nights At Freddy’s” and “Child’s Play”.

 

The music, other than a synthwave theme by the filmmakers, is surrounded with horror cues and the “Birthday Song” by Willy the Weasel.

 

The film, while cheesy, is a very fun film to watch.  The kills are good, and Nicolas Cage does do good non-verbal acting. It does not last long, only 82 mins. It was not intended to be an Oscar winning masterpiece, and it does not have to be. I do believe that I would wait for the film to come out on home video, around April, to watch it though. 

 

Like Owen Gleiberman said in his review, “We’re watching Nicolas Cage destroy a bunch of giant cuddly monsters with his bare hands! The scariest thing about the movie is that it almost pretends that it isn’t funny.”

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