“Willard”! Shocktober Day #12 Smells A Rat! “Ben” Gnaws At Your Horror Bone!

Willard 1971 film

“Tear him up!”

And with that command, Shocktober 2016 introduces you to “Willard”, who turns his band of ravenous rats on all of his enemies!

Even more shocking, the movie’s sequel “Ben” had a theme song sung by Michael Jackson, that was a love song to a rat – and was Oscar-nominated!

michael-jackson-ben_song

Time For The Wacky Animal Vengeance Horror Of “Willard!”

Let’s celebrate Halloween 2016 by looking at one of the great cult horror film of the early 70’s.

This 1971 film starred Bruce Davison and Ernest Borgnine, and was a surprise hit! Check out the classic trailer:

willard

“Willard” was based on the novel “The Ratman’s Notebooks”, and was a surprise box office hit in 1971! A young Bruce Davison stars as Willard, a shy boy who befriends a rat named Ben…

Bruce Davison rat movie Willard

Ernest Borgnine Bets Against “Ben!”

Ernest Borgnine co-stars in “Willard”, and as you can see, it doesn’t end well for him. According to Borgnine’s autobiography, they offered the legendary character Actor a choice of a higher salary or a percentage of the box office. Borgnine chose to take the money right away – probably costing him plenty, because the movie was a surprise hit!

willard `1971 horror film ernest borgnine

Michael Jackson’s Love Song To A Rat!

One of the most interesting aspects of the film is that the main rat, Ben, was the star of a sequel the very next year called “Ben” – and the theme song is sung by a young Michael Jackson…and it was nominated for best original song of 1972!

%22Ben%22 horror film

That’s right – “Ben” was oscar-nominated! And why not? After all, it’s not every movie that offers a loving tribute to a killer rat!

“Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I’ll never be alone
And you my friend will see
You’ve got a friend in me
(You’ve got a friend in me)”

Yes, you’ve got a friend in “Ben!”

Michael Jackson academy Awards 1972 Ben

Michael Jackson At The Oscars!

Here is a clip of Michael Jackson performing the song on the 1973 Academy Awards show – he is introduced by legendary Actor Charlton Heston!

Willard 1971 film blu-ray

If you need to know, “Ben” lost the best original song Oscar to “The Morning After” from “The Poseidon Adventure!”

BEN 1972 film

Thanks to Shout Factory, you will soon be able to enjoy both cult classics “Willard” and “Ben”, which are getting a much-deserved blu-ray release – so bite down on these campy cult classics, which led to a avalanche of “killer animal” films in the 1970’s!

frogs horror film

Killer “Frogs!”

It is simply one of the all-time greatest movie posters – for a campy cult 70’s horror film called “Frogs”….one of a number of campy animal horror films that followed “Willard” – check it out here:

https://johnrieber.com/2014/10/24/wackiest-halloween-horror-frogs-vincent-price-helldrivers-old-ladies/

And if you want your killer animals more modern, I’ve got you covered:

Zombeavers-Trailer

“Zombeavers” Are Here!

Yes, “zombie beavers” terrorize teenagers in various stages of undress! This new movie is cap fun! Check out the trailer here:

https://johnrieber.com/2014/02/18/zombeavers-the-latest-in-killer-animal-movies-frogs-ants-and-more-campy-horror/

What a great way to celebrate Shocktober 2016! If you need more proof, I have a few “PIECES” of information to share:

pieces-movie-poster-1981

Yes, this classic 80’s shocker will fill your Shocktober nicely – see the original shocking trailer here:


https://johnrieber.com/2016/10/07/shocktober-day-7-pieces-of-cult-80s-bloody-halloween-2016-horror/

And guess who’s back – for the 31st time – to celebrate Shocktober?

godzilla-resurgence-image

“Oh No, There Goes Tokyo – Go Go Godzilla!”

Yes, the latest “Godzilla” film from Japan is here – check out the terrific “Godzilla Resurgence” trailer here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/10/11/shocktober-day-11-godzilla-is-back-with-a-resurgence-new-monster-go-go-godzilla/

If you like your Halloween full of great scares, check this out:

thechangeling

This great “haunted house” film stars the iconic George C. Scott – you can see the trailer here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/10/02/shocktober-2016-haunted-house-the-changeling-spooks-day-2/

And recently, America has been “spooked” by the appearance of real evil clowns:

clown_sightings_around_kern_county

Wow! There are a few great Halloween “evil clown” films to check out, and you can see them here:


https://johnrieber.com/2016/10/06/real-shocking-creepy-clowns-killer-klowns-shocktober-day-6-is-it-pennywise-is-torn-from-todays-headlines/

Let me know what you think of the “Ben” love song – and if you enjoy “Shocktober” day 12!

michael-jackson-ben_song



Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Grindhouse, Halloween, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities

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5 replies

  1. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Day 12 of #31daysofhorror visits Willard – and the oscar-nominated Michael Jackson theme song!

  2. I enjoyed the book of ‘Willard’ and the film was OK too. I never got around to seeing ‘Ben’ though.
    Best wishes, Pete.

Trackbacks

  1. “Friday The 13th!” Shocktober Day #13 Goes To Bloody Crystal Lake! “Friday The 13th” Monster Jason Voorhees! – johnrieber
  2. Shocktober 2016! Ten More Horror Classics For Halloween! – johnrieber

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