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Movie Review: Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

A man, let’s just call him The Janitor (Nicholas Cage)… since that’s about it as far as names go for this fella, gets stranded in a rural town after a set of misplaced spike bars, owned by the towns rather intense Sheriff (Beth Grant), blows out the tires of his super-charged sports car.

This poses a problem as the silent stranger is low on the dough, so the town’s “cash only” mechanic takes our hero to meet Tex Macadoo (Ric Reitz), the proprietor of the soon-to-re-open Chuckie Cheese surrogate, Willy’s Wonderland, and he has a proposition for ol’ “Jan”; namely if he spends the night cleaning up the place he can have the tires free of charge.

Small problem with that particular task; Tex fails to mention that Willy Weasel and all of his putrid pals come to life and these arcane automatons are out for blood! Credit where credit is due; The Janitor can definitely take care of himself, and when these furry fuckers begin their revoltin’ rampage he begins to beat some mascot ass with the quickness!

Soon our hero is joined by the Sheriff’s step-daughter, the rebellious Liv (Emily Tosta), and her gang of troubled teens… all of whom have an axe to grind with Willy et. al…. and he’ll need the help as these kid-friendly spawns of Satan are hellbent on sating their unholy bloodlust at any cost!

To say I LOVED Willy’s Wonderland would be a massive under-statement boils n’ ghouls!

Nic Cage absolutely owns the role of The Janitor; a man that’s equal parts Elvis sneer, Snake Plissken cool, and absolute energy-drink chuggin’ ass-kickin’ mother-fucker through-and-through! He nary utters a single word, but he’s the type of dude that keeps workin’ as hard as he can even though vicious creatures are afoot… and he even manages to squeeze in a game of pinball or two, because he’s totally too cool to get riled up by the deviltry at hand… plus he simply can not miss his intricately planned energy drink consumption schedule…

Speaking of said “deviltry”, the monstrous menagerie that plagues our heroes is a sight to behold, and answers that age old question of “What if a Showbiz Pizza opened a location in the ninth circle of Hell?”! Seriously though, these are truly some nightmare fuel igniting mother fuckers through and through, and I loved every one of those bitey bastards to the max!

If there’s a negative here it’s that Willy’s Wonderland is the latest entry in a rather niche horror biz sub-genre of “animatronic creatures from a kiddie property comes to life to wreck shit” made famous by the video game franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s and the reboot of The Banana Splits… but to that I give a hale n’ hearty “Fuck that noise!”, as this particular type of narrative always manages to entertain (at least as far as yours cruelly is concerned)… plus the predecessors sure-as-shit don’t have the ass-kickin’ bizarreness of Cage’s character that graces this piece!

Bottom line; Willy’s Wonderland is a fast-paced fever-dream filled to the brim with revoltin’ robots and that trademarked Nic Cage magic that makes his every genre performance so damn memorable!

 

 

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