Willy’s Wonderland

This one is Nicolas Cage at his schlocky-best.

Willy’s Wonderland is a strangely odd horror/comedy with Nic Cage playing a character who does not speak and is only known as “The Janitor.” He is fighting monstrous animatronic possessed by the demon spirits of some of the worst serial killer of all time. These animatronics are in the form of Chunk E. Cheese-like mascots.

Yes, that is what I said.

These animatronic monsters are kept inside a rundown restaurant called Willy’s Wonderland and the people of the town are feeding them by tricking strangers and visitors to stay at the restaurant and be killed by the monsters.

Nic Cage’s car has tire troubles and he makes a deal to clean the interior of the restaurant in exchange for his tires being fixed. Little did he know that he was being set up.

There was a group of kids here too, who had been trying to burn the restaurant to the ground. These kids are as disposable as possible. None of them were given much anything of a character and are the typical victims arriving in a slasher movie.

Cage’s character had all kinds of quirks, masquerading as character development. He did not speak at all in the movie and there was no indication as to why. That was not the only thing that was never explained. Cage had an alarm on his watch that went off on a regular basis, and, no matter what he was doing at the time, he would stop and go drink a soda that he had brought with him. He would break until his alarm went off again. There was no explanation for this either (outside of the guy who set up Nic telling him to take breaks, although I believe he had done this before that comment anyway).

Once inside, Cage was locked in, and the animatronics would come to life and try to kill him. Unfortunately for them, Cage seemed to be the real slasher in this slasher movie, and he went about systematically killing these creatures.

And this is the key to this movie. It is silly, B-level film (at best) but, if you watch this with the expectation that this film is just Nicolas Cage out killing weird monsters, then you’ll probably enjoy it. There is zero character depth or development. The story is silly. The local residents are horrific and caricatures. There were no surprises.

And yet, Willy’s Wonderland was fun. It was stupid, but engaging. The special effects fit the type of movie we had. I’d be lying if I said that I did not enjoy watching this. So, while this movie can not be considered good, it can be considered amusing. It is lively and entertaining. It might fall into that cult classic category eventually.

3 stars

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