Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey, Laura Elena Harring, and Jackie
Directed by: Glen Morgan
Crispin's musical production of "Ben"
Crispin Glover Interview
is a bonifide willy inducing creepfest extravaganza folks! Complete
with rats, ravings, and revenge. Yummy! And why shouldn't
it be? In a stroke of kismet alliance 'tween heaven and Earth,
the filmmakers cast the purrfect "Willard," to inhabit
the Hamletesque fellow, one Crispin H. Glover.
most of the viewers I too was skeptical they could pull off
revamping the quirky masterpiece of kitsch. Fear not anti-musophobics
the Willard of the new millennium exceeds expectations.
Willard Stiles (Crispin, "Hey, you wanna see
my antique wax eyeball collection? No. Okay. How about catching
the Beatle film fest down the road?" Glover) has a sad
little life. His father (seen only as a stern oil painting of
Bruce Davidson - the 1971 version of Willard), though dead as
a doorstop, still affects Wil's life via a trunk-full of tortured
memories. And saddy cakes Willard isn't much better off with
the mom part of the parental unit. In fact his loving mom (Jackie
Burroughs) is yet another cerebral section of hell for the guy.
She makes Betty Davis' "Baby Jane" look like a delicate
debutante dressed for a dandy. The output of this lifestyle
has turned Willard into an introvert with neurotic ticks and
an immediate aura of having the emotional subtly of a human
fate would have it the friendless Willard, thanks to seeing
to his frail one-foot-from-the-grave- mother's whims regarding
a possible "rat" infestation, saunters down to the
cellar and eventually befriends a little white rat he names,
Socrates. Through Socrates he meets big bad Ben; the kangaroo
of rats. Ben's a jealous sort that's instantly smitten with
Willard though Willard's heart belongs to another...it's getting
weirder by the nanosecond kids. But Willard's just happy to
have a friend...
home life at Casa d' Ratello is getting sweeter but alas he
still heads off to work with his personal Edward Gorey styled
cloud of doom looming above.
Willard work is just another plateau of misery. His boss (R.
Lee Ermey) sadistically belittles him every opportunity he can
and his coworkers don't seem to care to let him join in any
of their reindeer games. Well except Cathryn (Laura Elena Harring).
She's new and tries to no avail to befriend the slipping bloke.
starting to wonder why Willard even bothers
just sip some
lye and be done dear boy. But thanks to Socrates and his hordes
of pals in cellar, Willard's wacky world is about to change.
Not necessarily for the better but
it's now definitely
getting supercreepioupolis around the Stiles homestead
all I'm sayin'!
who's as adorable as he is aberrant is Willard in this
film. He always serves up a heaping helping of odd man out.
I bet he's really a SUV driving, latte sipping, Gap wearing,
Must See TV© type of regular Joe just disguised as a brilliant
nonconformist - NAH! Bottom line, Crispin makes the film because
director Glen Morgan lets him release that glorious inner ability
he has to simply morph with a glance from the innocent lamb
you want to coddle into a maniacal smirker with homicidal tendencies.
And even though "Willard" basically has rats eat his
enemies, Glover always keeps the guy likable. That's no easy
feat folks. Sure Crispin's the type of guy that makes a gal
wanna play doctor on stainless steel equipment...I mean look
at him he's a piñata of pure yum! But underneath the
shallow girly girl crush, I recognize his enormous
as the seducer vixen in Lynch's Mulholland
Drive Laura Elena Harring plays Willard's only human
pal, Cathryn. Harring is a tremendous beauty even in starch
rat infested surroundings.
The big bad boss, Frank Martin, as portrayed by R. Lee Ermey
is a scene-stealer; just hilarious.
Willard's enormous old school style, still-refreshing concept
and diabolical performance by our finest eccentric esoteric
dna swab, Cripin H. Glover, the film is actually beautiful.
And over all Willard is just, for lack of a better adjective,
creepy. It's fun-o-rama central kiddies!
you have an issue with hundreds of rats frolicking about? Um,
probably not a real good idea to see this immediately - go get
Crispin Glover's "Rat
Catching" book and ease into the whole idea of rodents
crawlalloverious. Apparently the book is set in that happy go
lucky time of dungeons and plagues. But I digress...
you're a sci-fi fantasy horror lover that digs macabre sets
and wacky scenarios
then what are you still doing here?
Recommendation: Peanut butter on rice crispin treats.