If you thought that Banana Splits movie was macabre, behold Willy’s Wonderland. It’s about a man who needs some cash fast after his car breaks down, so he agrees to clean a Chuck E. Cheese-style restaurant overnight. The twist: the animatronics are killers. The other twist: the man is played by Nicolas Cage.
That’s pretty much the entire premise, though the trailer also reveals that Cage’s character is unwittingly being offered up as part of a human sacrifice ritual (Wicker Man meets Cabin in the Woods vibes) and that a group of locals (including teens and cops) try to intervene or at least help the guy. But it’s Nic Cage. He may not know karate, but he knows ka-razy!
Cage has made a lot of interesting choices during this campy-violent career phase he’s been occupying for a while now (though it’s worth noting that even during his indie-darling, Oscar-winning, and blockbuster action-hero eras, he was never one for subtlety). It’s given us instant cult gems like Mandy, but an awful lot of forgettable titles too.
So where will this one fall? Willy’s Wonderland has a fun, wacky yet stripped-down premise and it looks like all of its energy will be propelled by Cage’s particular brand of…Cage-ness, which is definitely promising. Also, while we’ve seen the actor dive into nutty battles many, many times before, he’s never fought an entire fleet of demonic animatronics. Has anyone else? Could anyone else?
Willy’s Wonderland hits select theatres, digital and on-demand starting February 13 in the US. It does not currently have an Australian release date.