HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Willow Save My ChildBuy this film here.
Year: 1988
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach, Gavan O'Herlihy, David Steinberg, Phil Fondacaro, Tony Cox, Robert Gillibrand, Mark Northover, Kevin Pollak, Rick Overton, Maria Holvoe, Julie Peters
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) has been warned of a threat to her kingdom in the form of a soon-to-be-born baby who will usurp her. Because of this, she rounds up all the pregnant women and watches that none of the children they give birth to have the special birthmark to indicate their future. However, one infant gets away thanks to the efforts of her midwife and soon is floating down a river to escape the hounds the Queen has sent after them. Presently she is found by a family of the little folk, but the father, Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) has reservations about keeping her, little knowing of the quest he must now embark on...

Practically the last gasp of the eighties fantasy cycle, Willow underperformed at the box office as one of the string of non-Star Wars flops from producer George Lucas. However, unlike, say, Howard the Duck, Willow was embraced by plenty of fantasy fans, even after Peter Jackson offered up The Lord of the Rings as a better version of similar material. That material was deliberately Tolkien-esque in its approach, as the story Bob Donlan's script was based upon was thought up by Lucas on one of his "concentrating on the mythic archetypes" days.

So echoes of legends gone by are seen in the way the baby is sought, Herod or Pharaoh-style, by the wicked monarch, and like Moses is set adrift among the bullrushes in the hope she will be adopted by a sympathetic family. Fair enough, but if even before the main plotline has begun your film is looking hackneyed, homage or not, then you see why it wasn't the success it might have been with audiences. By replacing a magic ring with a baby, Lucas might have held off strong comparisons with Tolkien but that's who you will be thinking of watching this, and how he could handle this stuff better.

When the demon dogs arrive in the little persons' village, looking like a Munchkinland we're supposed to take deadly seriously, their leader (Billy Barty) decides that the child should be escorted out of the area to safety. Pausing only to set up the point that Willow is a budding wizard (isn't Willow a girl's name, though?), the quest can begin, a journey that is meant to harken back to classic Celtic myths. In effect, this means a film that looks disappointingly drab and grey, and freezing into the bargain despite the sun shining in at least, ooh, three scenes.

There is humour to the film, but it's the humour of the humourless with lame, faux-hearty gags substituting for true wit. Perhaps the adventure will be better, then? Well, you can certainly see where the money has been spent, with Willow meeting up with brownies and faeries, and conjuring up a huge double-headed dragon more by accident than design. Along the way a smug hero in the more traditional mould joins the gang (now down to two people) in the shape of Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), but on the whole the film is lifeless. The effects may include groundbreaking morphing techniques, used here for the first time, but what use are they when everything else falls so resolutely flat? Willow is less the original Star Wars trilogy and more the mechanical prequels. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3340 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: