Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

I’m back on my bullshit, my Nicolas Cage bullshit that is. It’s been about 2 months since I’ve watched a single movie starring Nic Cage but today I sat down with the newly released Willy’s Wonderland. It’s one I have been looking forward to for a while and I’m glad I finally get to watch it.

Willy’s Wonderland stars Nicolas Cage as a mute drifter with a sick ass ride and a penchant for caffeine who is saddled with the task of cleaning up the defunct party restaurant for children which the movie gets its name from, Willy’s Wonderland. Willy’s Wonderland is populated by killer animatronics possessed by the souls of demented serial killers. He is given this task by Tex Macadoo, the owner of the restaurant who promises to pay his debt to the local tow truck driver/mechanic when Cage’s character’s car is brought down by a spike strip right outside the shit hole town known as Hayesville. 

This film is 90 minutes of Cage being a badass and eviscerating killer animatronics pausing only when it’s break time to pound soda and play pinball. I wasn’t expecting Cage to be completely without lines the entirety of the film but its made pretty clear near the beginning that the drifter he plays is a man of few words. What I’m most impressed with by this movie is Cage’s ability to bring this character to life. This is a side of Cage that feels familiar but not at the same time. I cannot quite put my finger on what it is that made me love his performance in this film. It has that tinge of Cage induced insanity but it feels restrained since that insanity is not accompanied by Cage wildly gesticulating while doing crazy things such as smashing in an animatronic ostrich’s head in or dealing with teens who are hell bent on helping him escape what they think will be his certain death. It also happens to be great fun to see him fight the animatronics

There are plenty of other characters in this film, including the garbage people that are the sheriff, Tex, and tow truck driver as well as some teens who have the misfortune to live in a town that’s famous for serial killers who killed themselves to transfer their energy into animatronics at the kiddie restaurant but my main reason for seeing this film was Nicolas Cage. 

If you want a film that is filled with animatronics killing people you are sure to enjoy this film. I felt the atmosphere of the defunct restaurant along with the cheesy lyrics of the songs the animatronics sing brought a kind of kitschy spookiness that one may remember if they’ve ever been to Showbiz Pizza Place to its extreme conclusion. Honestly, it is just a whole lotta fun. You can check it out via Theater at Home from most popular streaming services such as Vudu, Amazon Video, Apple, Microsoft, etc.

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