Daniel Mann, USA, 1971, Shout! Factory, Horror

A pioneering animal disaster tale, WILLARD stands head-and-paws amongst the vast number of early-‘70s critter flicks.  It’s like if a young Tim Burton resurrected Hitchcock’s ghost to help him make a horror movie!

Bruce Davison is an emotionally stunted, down-on-his-luck introvert worn down from a humiliating relationship with his boss (Ernest Borgnine in joyously blustery sleazeball mode.) Befriending a pair of intelligent rats, Willard discovers he can destroy his enemies by telling his new friends to “tear ‘em up!” But revenge never comes without a price — in this case, the price is a temperamental rat named Ben who’s the size of a Smart car.

Anchored by Davison’s affecting portrayal of a nerd on the edge, WILLARD at times plays more like a gonzo story of empowerment — a darkly tinged entry into the triumphant catalogue of enduring underdog stories.

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  • 95 min.
  • Color
  • 1.85:1


  • DCP