“Willard” lacks the personality of “Ben”. That’s sad to say that Bruce Davison loses out to a kid and some rodents. But, that’s where we are now. Crispin Glover actually impressed in the 2003 remake by trying to give the titular character a personality. The problem with the original is that Davison doesn’t do anything than teach some rats how to follow commands. Hell, the film even finds a way to waste Elsa Lanchester and Ernest Borgnine.
If you’ve seen the remake, then the usual notes are there. The rat community is rising, while the humans seem repulsive and vile. The films flies by in a rather speedy manner, but it could’ve honestly been a thirty minute short film. Yet, why deprive early 70s audiences of more rat action? The film’s director (Daniel Mann) was a respectable sort who kinda slummed it with this film. Mann wasn’t making grandiose horror like Robert Aldrich, but who was at that point? There were a ton more films like Trog and less cerebral horror filling the drive-ins.
Still, I’d recommend picking up this film and Ben. You need rats in your life.
- TV Spot
- Radio Spot
- Still Gallery
- 1.85:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD MONO