The Willies has a cast that makes you keep into the movie. I mean, Sean Astin is one of three kids gathered around the campfire — Jason Horst and Joshua John Miller from Near Dark are the other two — telling urban legends like the old woman who microwaved her dog, a rat in fried chicken and death in an amusement park. Michael then says that he has a story that will give them all…The Willies.
In “Bad Apples,” Kathleen Freeman plays to type as the mean teacher and James Karen shows up as a kindly custodian, the only person who really cares about Danny, a bullied child. As things happen, Karen ends up being an alien who loves to eat bad kids. This segment as actually a short that writer and director Brian Peck (Victor from The Last American Virgin and Scuz from Return of the Living Dead) made in 1985.
In “Flyboy,” Gordy Belcher plays insect pranks on other kids before running into Farmer Spivey, who has super manure that can grow things faster. Of course, this all ends up with Gordy getting his arms torn off by super flies.
At the end, Kyle and Josh claim that their uncle can prove the stories are true. Well, he ends up being James Karen and he reveals the monster face from the first story.
The Willies also has cameos from Kirk Cameron, his wife Chelsea Noble, Tracey Gold and Jeremy Miller which almost makes this an episode of Growing Pains. Perhaps more exciting are appearances by Clu Gulager, Dana Ashbrook and even comedian Doug Benson.
This movie was for kids and is dark in ways that modern horror is not. I think 1990 was the last gasp of things getting to be this weird. The poster is super high quality and really feels like the style of art that slip cases and Fright Rags use today.
You can watch this on Tubi.