Willard

  • 1971
  • Movie
  • GP
  • Horror

WILLARD could have been a great horror film; instead, it just makes you want to lift your feet safely off the floor. With THE BIRDS, Alfred Hitchcock made famous this genre in which masses of creatures attack humans. Since that film movie audiences have witnessed every conceivable pestilence from frenzied bees to frogs to spiders to snakes. Rats, however,...read more

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WILLARD could have been a great horror film; instead, it just makes you want to lift your feet safely off the floor. With THE BIRDS, Alfred Hitchcock made famous this genre in which masses of creatures attack humans. Since that film movie audiences have witnessed every conceivable

pestilence from frenzied bees to frogs to spiders to snakes. Rats, however, are especially nasty, particularly when they are trained to kill by the psychotic young Willard Stiles (Bruce Davison). Fed up with his pushy, conniving boss, Al Martin (Ernest Borgnine), office boy Willard decides to make

friends with a couple of rats, whom he calls Ben and Socrates, and trains them to savagely rip the flesh from his enemies' bodies. Martin is the prime target, and in one of Borgnine's most memorable performances, he cowers in the corner of his office as the furry monsters stage a mass attack.

Willard, however, begins to neglect his rats when he falls in love with Joan (Sondra Locke). Surprisingly, hordes of filmgoers descended on WILLARD, standing in line to see their worst fears realized on film. Moe and Nora Di Sesso, WILLARD's animal trainers, deserve special mention for getting the

vermin to "act." Dozens of rats were taught specific skills (plank crawling, face chewing, etc.), and assisted by, of all creatures, the Di Sessos' pet cat.

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  • Released: 1971
  • Rating: GP
  • Review: WILLARD could have been a great horror film; instead, it just makes you want to lift your feet safely off the floor. With THE BIRDS, Alfred Hitchcock made famous this genre in which masses of creatures attack humans. Since that film movie audiences have wi… (more)

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