This is the story of Willard Stiles who is a social misfit taking care of his ill and fragile but verbally abusive mother Henrietta in a musty old mansion that is also home to a colony of rats. Willard then finds himself constantly humiliated in front of his co-workers and is eventually fired by his cruel and uncaring boss, Mr. Frank Martin, a vicious man whose professional interest in Willard extends to a personal financial one. Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Willard's mother tells him she should have given him a better name. The meaning of Willard is "Will Brave", the opposite of Willard's skittish demeanor. The name she tries to give him, Clark (i.e. Clerk) is Willard's occupation at Martin-Stiles. See more »
The same box of Christmas ornaments appears both in the Stileses' master bedroom closet and in the office storeroom. See more »
Gloriously weird, Crispin Glover's performance seems to boil out of the rage-fueled emotionalism of an era before Botox: think Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster, blended with the latter-day fragility and introspection of Sean Penn. This role gives him the room to show off some astonishing gifts.
Glover is the best but far from the only reason to recommend this remake, superior in most ways to the 70s original. (There's some homage along the way, including a tongue-in-cheek set piece done to Michael Jackson's famous warble, "Ben". How time has made that hymn to interspecies love sound creepy!) Writer-director Glen Morgan has crafted a chewy little parable about capitalism, and his sardonic depiction of the real rat race, with a reliably savage Lee Ermey flogging his office employees behind a motivational sign reading "Prudent Aggression," gives the film more than the usual B horror subtext. The production design is sweet, too.
A terribly nice 100 minutes, and one of the best B horrors since Reanimator.
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