onsdag 5 maj 2021

Willy´s Wonderland

Children TV shows can be both educational, and fun for the kids to watch. They might learn very important stuff, such as why it is important to learn the alphabet, or perhaps the time on a clock. In some shows you learn how to bake a cake, or perhaps how to make your own milkshake. I still remember in the 80´s when i used to sit with my sister and watch Super Channel, and The Children´s Channel. The funny thing about cartoons in the 80´s ( not all of them of course, but plenty of them ) was that they could be pretty violent. Depending on what you watched, but G.I. Joe, Thundercats, Bravestarr and many others had plenty of action. And one of the shows that i did enjoy during that time was Thundercats. This cartoon TV series had some really cool characters, such as Lio-0, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara and many more, who were fighting against the evil Mumm-Ra. I used to love hearing Lion-O screaming:- Thunder, thunder, thundercats, as his sword became even bigger and more powerful. Thundercats ran from 1985 - 1989, and even if i don´t watch the cartoon series today, i still have good memories from those years. If you are curious to see the whole seasons, i suggest you pick up the UK DVD box of Thundercats. Not only will you have an 80´s nostalgic moment, but you may find out that they actually did make great cartoon TV series in the 80´s as well. Since we have several kids in my wife´s family, we have seen plenty of new children shows that are made within recent years. Animantion have definetely improved, and they are able to do more things with cartoons these days. I have noticed that there are much more educational cartoon shows to find now, than what we had in the 80´s. And that´s a good thing, because it is a good way for kids to learn new things. I would not want to be a kid now though, because the 80´s was magical in many ways. It may sound strange for some of you, but the 80´s released a lot of magical cartoons that would never be released today. Some of you might have seen the 2019 horror comedy The Banana Splits Movie, a film where characters from the 1968 children´s television series The Banana Splits are actually murdering people. This is a fun film, that managed to combine the creepiness of children shows with horror influences. Last year i read about a film that was called Willy´s Wonderland, that seemed to mix influences from children birthday parties and horror. And this film also have legendary actor Nicolas Cage in the lead role as well. I just had to pick this film up on Blu Ray, so the main question is, does this film become more entertaining than i expected, or is Willy´s Wonderland a big pile of trash?

A quiet drifter ( Nicolas Cage ) ends up stranded in Hayesville, Nevada, when his vehicle breaks down after running over a spike strip. He is picked up by mechanic Jed Love ( Chris Warner ). Since his business don´t take credit cards, just cash, Jed have an idea how to solve this problem. He takes the drifter to Willy´s Wonderland, a once-successful abandoned family entertainment center, where he get to meet owner Tex Macadoo ( Ric Reitz ). Tex offer the drifter a job as a night-shift janitor at Willy´s Wonderland in exchange for repairing his vehicle. The drifter accept the offer, not knowing what is waiting for him.

If you thought that this month of May could not start of in the right direction, i can tell you right now that you were wrong. What you need is to see Willy´s Wonderland, and i guarantee you will be singing the birthday song, all day long. This is a fun mix up of different genres that works well, especially thanks to the crazy combination of children´s birthday parties, combined with a slaughter feast. The creepy looking doll robots add some fun into this film, as they all have special powers to kill their victims. But the best part of this film is actually seeing Nicolas Cage destroying every robot doll, in many different ways, as his character Janitor. He does not say anything at all, so all he does is look serious and kick robot ass. And this works better than i expected, since we all know that Nicolas Cage is not always as good as you want him to be. But in this film he actually manage to balance his acting in a positive way, and do it effective without dialogue. I would say that the Janitor is a guy you would want to invite to Thanksgiving dinner, if you know he can help you make your cousins stop whining. But what about the plot, does it work in a strange film like this? Actually yes, and the reason for that is because this film does not take itself too seriously. And this is probably the biggest reason why Willy´s Wonderland becomes entertaining, because this film manage to balance both comedy and horror, in a clever and fun way. What about some of the other characters? I personally enjoy the performance of actress Emily Tosta ( who some of you might recognize from TV series Mayans M.C ) as the character Liv. She may seem like the ordinary young innocent girl, but she is actually much more tough than you might expect. Director Kevin Lewis shows that you can make a fun horror film with a children show theme combined. If you want to have a good time, then you should pick up Willy´s Wonderland on DVD or Blu Ray. This could be one of the more entertaining films i have seen this spring, and that is definetely a good sign.

Rating: DDD

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