WILLARD & BEN
(1971 / 1972)
Special Two DVD Disc set!
DIRECTOR: Willard: Daniel Mann (Our Man Flint) / Ben: Phil Karlson (Phenix City Story, Walking Tall)
STARS: Willard: Bruce Davison, Ernest Borgnine, Elsa Lanchester, Sondra Locke / Ben: Lee Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell, Meredith Baxter, Paul Karr, Kenneth Tobey,
SYNOPSIS: A horror classic and it's rare sequel. Both films are unreleased to dvd anywhere in the world!!
Willard: Does this classic tale of a boy and his rat really need an introduction? A young Bruce Davison stars as the title wallflower, Willard. He lives with his overbearing mother (Lanchester) and works for an awful boss (Borgnine). His connections with people are a bit of mess but he accidentally finds out that he can train rats and befriend them. He has two main rats, Socrates and Ben, plus a horde of followers. When things go wrong, and he needs to teach someone a lesson, he unleashes his furry friends. This culminates in the memorable comeuppance of Borgnine's monstrous character. This is actually more of a character study than outright horror. If Norman Bates took an interest in raising rats he might have ended up a little like Willard. Above average acting for this type of fare. A classic.
Ben: This film picks up right after Willard ends. The townsfolk are up in arms about the rat problem. The police, news media, etc. are trying to find a solution and kill them off. The main survivor from Willard was head rat "Ben". The furry fiend escapes into the sewers with the rest of the pack. Ben ends up befriended a lonely sick boy named Danny. Two outcasts who make a connection. I think a lot of people who were kids in the 70's, and saw Ben on television, have found memories of the film for this reason. At it's core, a simple story of a boy and his pet. Nonetheless, whenever the rats are threaten by outsiders they strike back. Meredith Baxter (Birney) plays Danny's older sister. Michael Jackson sings the title tune.
BONUS: Original theatrical trailers for each film.
*For more see: Attack of the Beast Creatures, Massacre at Central High, and Help Me... I'm Possessed
Fullscreen / Color (both films)
Region Free NTSC dvd-R
BLACK dvd case (above image is the front cover art)
NOTE: The below clips are Low Resolution quality for YouTube
Theatrical trailer: WILLARD
Theatrical trailer: BEN
Buy "Willard / Ben"