What is most bizarre about Willy’s Wonderland, aside from its premise, is the fact that its star doesn’t utter a single word throughout. A wooden and burly Nicolas Cage plays The Janitor, merely called that because he spends the night scrubbing the floors and toilets of an abandoned children’s themed restaurant, which is conveniently infested by demonic animatronics – all in a bid to pay off his mechanic’s bill.

It’s further comprised of muddled subplots such as serial killers re-incarnated into inanimate objects – think Chucky or Annabelle but not remotely as scary – or a group of meddling teens who get butchered one by one, or the obligatory presence of an incompetent local sheriff (Beth Grant) and her simpleton sidekick – all of which are pointless and play up to hackneyed slasher tropes.

Everything is very much on the nose in Willy’s Wonderland, there is literally no parody or nuance here. You hope that things will change once Cage finally speaks, but he never does (perhaps the film’s budget didn’t stretch enough for dialogue). You hear only his grunts and slurps, either when he’s annihilating these human-sized animatronics – whose overly familiar guises range from The Muppets to Tinkerbell to Barney & Friends – or when he’s perpetually downing cans of Punch. The drink is an ambiguous product placement; is it a beer, an energy drink or actual punch?

It’s all offered in such an overtly masculine deadpan fashion that one wonders how a film like this ever got made. You would guess that the filmmakers were hoping to capitalise on Cage’s poker-faced appearances in recent cult-ish movies such as Mandy or Color Out of Space, but this film isn’t even close to being on par with either of those.

You’re likely to feel puzzled and frustrated after watching, left with the question of whether this ill-conceived film is a genuine spoof or a cult classic – but that’s only if you care enough to find out.



CAST: Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz 

DIRECTOR: Kevin Lewis

WRITER:  G.O. Parsons 

SYNOPSIS: A quiet drifter is tricked into a janitorial job at the disused Willy’s Wonderland restaurant only for it to be infested with demonic animatronics.