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The Willies (1990)

  Tags: 90's, anthology, Bill Erwin, Brian Peck, campy, cheesy, Clu Gulager, James Karen, Jason Horst, Joshua Miller, kids, Michael Bower, Sean Astin, the willies, youth oriented

Your rating: None Average: 6 (2 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
5

thewillies.jpg
Rating #: 
5/10
Director: 
Brian Peck
Runtime: 
92 minutes
Cast: 
Sean Astin, Jason Horst, Joshua Miller, James Karen, Bill Erwin, Clu Gulager, Michael Bower


The Willies is a film that I've always been curious about, but never got around to watching until recently. Aimed more towards a younger genre crowed, The Willies starts off with a few young boys telling each other "scary" stories in a tent. We're told three brief tales that are more for amusement purposes than anything. First there's the woman who goes to a fried chicken restaurant and bites into a fried rat instead; next is the tale of an old man who dies in a haunted ride attraction, and lastly the ever-popular cat-in-the-microwave story. About 15-or-so minutes in we get into one of the two real tales.

The first story revolves around a young boy at an elementary school, who's constantly being picked on by the bigger kids. Taking a break from a test, the boy requests to go to the bathroom, where he encounters what appears to be some sort of creature in one of the stalls. This is a pretty silly tale with a nice little revenge twist added to it, which I'm sure you can already guess. There's one hilarious scene in the movie where the boy opens the stall door while the creature appears to be getting some fresh toilet paper to wipe itself with, haha. Such a random and unexpected scene.

The second story focuses on an obnoxious overweight kid with a strange obsession with flies. With fertilizer he steals from a local farmer, he captures flies in a jar and after killing them, pulls off their wings and uses their lil' corpses to complete his homemade fly society. Little does he know the fertilizer he's using is mixed with some chemicals created by the farmer, which caused his crops to grow at abnormal sizes. Imagine what it can do to flies... This tale started off kind of interesting, as we're witness to the boy's odd hobby, but the pacing never picks up and it just seemed to drag on for a little too long.

I had fun watching the movie, at least for the first half. The stories were harmless entertainment and the horrible acting from the young leads and the silliness and cheese presented throughout the pic caused a lot of chuckles from me. It was nice to see Sean Astin (The Goonies, Sam from the Lord of the Rings trilogy)  in the flick as one of the young boys in the tent telling the stories. There are also some cameo appearances from some familiar faces like Clu Gulager as the school principal. Michael Bower (better known as "Donkeylips" from the hilarious show Salute Your Shorts) plays the lead in the second story, as basically the same obnoxious character.

As I said before, I enjoyed the first half of the movie, but once we get into the tale of the boy with his fly obsession the pacing changes drastically and the scenes just seem to drag on forever. At this point in the film all the campiness and cheese we were introduced to in the first half is gone and we already know what's going to happen in the end, but we're still forced to spend the next 40 minutes just watching the boy play with his fly corpses. Had the pacing and fun remained until the end-credits, I would have enjoyed the movie a lot more.

A fun little youth-oriented horror anthology that proved entertaining for the most part, but loses points with its final story due to pacing issues. Worth a check if you're looking for a harmless little cheesy movie, but be warned of the drawn out second-half.

Posted on January 27, 2010 - 10:32am | FrighT MasteR

 

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