willy's wonderland

Willy’s Wonderland: A dumb movie with Cage love

Willy’s Wonderland is anther feather in the growing cap of Nicholas Cage. That’s not to say it’s a good cap. Or even a smart one. Willy’s Wonderland only landed on my radar because of the once critically acclaimed star’s participation as both actor and Producer. Yeah, that isn’t a good indicator now is it?

Nicholas Cage has been on a lot of shit over the past few years, but he’s usually in fringe stuff that is kindda damn fun. Mandy is a phenomenal movie that is worth a watch, as is Colo(u)r out of Space. They lean heavily into the nostalgia of 80’s movies and are all pretty low budget.

When his car breaks down, a quiet loner agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs. He soon finds himself waging war against possessed animatronic mascots while trapped inside Willy’s Wonderland.

Wiki

Baddies

  • Willy Weasel
  • Arty Alligator
  • Cammy Chameleon
  • Ozzie Ostrich
  • Tito Turtle
  • Knighty Knight
  • Gus Gorilla
  • Siren Sara

Directed by Kevin Lewis, Willy’s Wonderland ticks all the above. It has the 80’s horror and gore element, it looks cheap as all hell, and it is quite a bit of fun. I mean, you need to turn your brain off and know what you are heading into, but I laughed quite a bit.

Cage plays… Erm… A janitor? I pause there because he doesn’t get a name… He also doesn’t get any lines, at all. I am not kidding, he says bugger all in the entire film. And it works. He’s the quiet hero who drinks loads of soda pop. In fact, it’s his THING. He even has a watch that goes off periodically that tells him to go drink his fizzy goodness. We are not told why, he just does it. Perhaps it serves as his Gummy Bear juice because he certainly manages to kick the crap out of some robotic animals. And that is why he is there, to kick the crap out of animatronics that have been possessed by rather bad people.

Cage is a delight in this, he really is. His quiet revenge-like character is a joy to watch. He plays pinball, and dances while doing it, for no reason at all. He also gets to beat up an animatronic animals with brooms which leads to lots of black blood spraying over his t-shirt, which he keeps having to change! There is also lots of blood. A bunch of kids arrive who serve the only purpose of dying.

Sadly that is when the movie dips in my opinion. The characters are not only about as one dimensional as they come, but do some of the dumbest things just for the sake of humour. Like two having sex in a room while they are supposed to be saving their friend. But hey, they are only there for fodder and their deaths are quite fun!

That said, it’s quite a bit of fun. Cage does all the heavy lifting as the story is thin, as is the character development.

Cast

  • Nicolas Cage as the Janitor
  • Emily Tosta as Liv Hawthorne
  • Kamia Arrington as Little Liv
  • Beth Grant as Sheriff Eloise Lund
  • David Sheftell as Deputy Evan Olson
  • Ric Reitz as Tex Macadoo
  • Chris Warner as Jed Love
  • Kai Kadlec as Chris Muley
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All the series and all the movies couldn't put society back together again.