At one point during my viewing of "Willard," I considered whipping out my cell phone, calling Roto-Rooter and paying them to come to the theater and force those sharp, spinning blades of death into the end of my penis as though it were a clogged pipe, thereby masking the sick feeling I was having watching this disaster of a horror film and actually reducing my pain.
But for whatever reason I reveled in my pain. I laughed in the face of danger. Really, it's bad enough that I'm forced to watch Crispin Glover in anything, he of a tortured delivery that would make William Shatner sob. However, director Glen Morgan, helming his first movie like a kid riding a bike for the first time, seems absolutely obsessed with the idea that it would be creepy to focus on the mundane. It is, in fact, little more than deathly boring.
This is a movie about a neglected and unloved man named Willard (Crispin Glover) whose frustrations with life boil over when he befriends and trains the rats in his basement to do bad things. Ultimately, the object of Willard's vengeful feelings turns out to be his boss, Mr. Martin (R. Lee Ermey), and he lets the rats have their way. Sadly (and I'm talking about the sort of sadness that makes one want to drive a stake into their face), Morgan doesn't understand that the audience wants to see the rats devour things and people. They want to see time move forward. They don't want to see Willard turning his head in every conceivable direction like an incompetent thief in a convenience store as he mumbles something completely unintelligible. Morgan is incapable of cutting. Every step Willard takes, every movement, every facial expression, is documented in excruciatingly slow detail. Every scene conveys the sense that it is too long by a factor of 10.
As if this weren't enough, Willard is being pursued by a real, live woman. He ignores her to focus on his favorite rat. Okay, that would be fine if said woman was some snot-dripping Frankenstein. In this case, the woman is Laura Elena Harring, the woman from "Mulholland Drive" whose sex scene has done more to advance the cause of lesbianism than Ellen Degeneres. Undoubtedly, had Willard realized the potential here, he would have expelled ejaculate at such a profound rate of speed that it would have ripped through his pants, broken the sound barrier, entered orbit and reversed the Earth's rotation, sending us all back in time. Personally, I would have been satisfied traveling only a few hours back, to just before I entered the theater, knowing that turning away might be the most profoundly satisfying experience of my life.
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