You’ll Be Squirmin’ with the Vermin Thanks to "Willard" -Tonight!

Posted on January 27, 2024

In our home base of Chicago, there’s been a lot of interest lately in the “Rat Hole”- the impression of what appears to be the outline of a rat in a sidewalk’s concrete - but, tonight on MeTV- a young man is tired of being under the thumb of a big cheese- and decides to fight back through an army of rats that he has learned to communicate with and control! It’s a riot of rodent revenge lead by “Willard”!

In this, the original 1971 version of the film, we meet young Willard- who is employed at the company that his father built, which, unfortunately, the crass bullying Mr. Martin has stolen away from his family. Not only is Willard pushed around by his heartless boss, but he is also plagued by his controlling mother- who has him wait on her hand and foot while whining to him about how he isn’t being assertive and suggesting how she thinks he should be doing business.

When his mom throws him a surprise birthday party that he wants no part of, full of her obnoxious friends, he heads outside the house for some peace and quiet- where he encounters a friendly rat to which he feeds a little birthday cake- an indication of what’s to come!

At work, big boss Martin feels Willard is not getting enough done, and has hired a temporary employee to help handle the workload- Joan, a cute blonde young woman who seems to be the only one sympathetic to the shy young man.

Upon Willard’s return home, his mother demands that he get rid of the rats that she has seen lurking around their garden! He sets out to do so, but feels pity for the poor creatures. He secretly makes friends with them, and learns to communicate with the rodents, favoring a white rat he names Socrates. Before long, he notices a new visitor- a larger rat that he names Ben. He begins to train the rats to do what he says and considers them his real friends.

Willard finally gets up the nerve to ask Martin for a raise- only to be made fun of and belittled by him. This convinces Willard to sneak his rats into a big dinner party at Martin’s place- with disastrous results!

When sad things occur in Willard’s life, he is pressured to sell his family house, but he resists. He also has seen his rat army grow in proportions, and realizes he can’t afford to feed his furry friends. He is driven to start using his “pets” to commit crimes that will take care of his financial plight- but things take a dark turn, as he continues to deal with Martin- and Ben starts to exert his own influence on his fellow vermin!

This is a memorable early ‘70s horror movie, and sure to put viewers who find rats creepy on edge. Bruce Davison stars as Willard, with his mother played by none other than the one-time Bride of Frankenstein- Elsa Lanchester! The cast also includes Sondra Locke as the sweet co-worker Joan- and Ernest Borgnine as that baron of bad bosses Martin. We’ll talk about the cast, and give some behind-the-scenes info about the production, as well as a variety of rat-based commercials that may seem familiar, get another visit from the beloved Nostalgiaferatoo ( this time working as an agent for rat actors?!),a new song and more.

“Willard” begins tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time. We won’t rat on you if you join in on all the live-Tweeting during the show on Twitter ( should it become Squeaker tonight?!)- just make sure to add the hashtag #svengoolie to your Tweets. Our local Chicago area viewers get the chance to enjoy the visit of our friend Gina Schock and the masterful acting of Peter Cushing in “Evil of Frankenstein” this morning on CW26 at 11 am.

With the way the weather has been all around the country- it looks like the MeTV Mall has come up with the perfect items- the new Sven Squad blankets! Check them out, as well as other Sven headgear to help keep you warm!

Tonight- be ready for some fur coats- on an infestation of invading vermin on MeTV!

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3809 Comments

 during show

Cloverfield 20 days ago
This movie looks like a great one for commentary….. (Had to watch the NASCAR race before storms take out the west coast) will view on DVR and review comments which I’m sure will be creative as usual. Wish all a great weekend and week! Goodnight!
Cartoondave 21 days ago
Phone. Battery is low so I won't be partaking in the race for 1st but I do have faith in Mikeyyy
PARANORMA 21 days ago
Risking the corn, want to note that Those Other Guys will be doing a marathon of Cushing on Monday.
Jack PARANORMA 21 days ago
The CBC?
PARANORMA Jack 21 days ago
Uh, no. (looks around furtively). 'M!ovies'.
PARANORMA PARANORMA 21 days ago
Okay, verified they're half Weigel, so... Will be one of their Icon-a-Thons, starting at I believe 10am eastern.
Drang 21 days ago
So I may be home by 9 PM PST, but even if I am, I'll probably be slipping into a frosty adult beverage, so congratulations to Mikeyyy for being first blogger yet again.
Jack 21 days ago
With all the Groundhog [and similar prognosticating animals’] Day festivities, I thought you all’d find this entertaining:

A certain Texas politician—who shall remain nameless—thought to boost his Texas bona fides among voters and posted this...The problem is that is NOT the Texas Small Mammal, the nine-banded armadillo (_Dasypus novemcintus_) but rather the South American six-banded armadillo (_Euphractus sexcinctus_). C’mon! The nine-banded ’dillo can be seen in postcard racks all over the state, as well as on Lone Star beer posters, belt buckles, bumper stickers, and boot scrapes. Since the Lege named it our official State Small Mammal, I’m fairly confident that most Texas six-graders could pick the nine-banded ’dillo out of a line-up of armadillos.
Klaatu Jack 21 days ago
I’m racist 🤣. They all look the same to me.
Jack Klaatu 21 days ago
Trust me, they look different. The nine-banded ’dillo has a longer snout and ears like a rabbit (the Aztecs word for them āyōtōchtli, means “turtle-rabbit”). The six-banded ’dillo has a blunter snout and ears like a rat.
NoPersonalChicks Jack 21 days ago
Lest we not forget our state bird, the Yellow-backed Cuckoo [Fleeafreezium Cancunius], whose migratory path ranges from Cuba to Canada.
Drang Jack 21 days ago
As long as it's not a Carpathian Armadillo!
Jack Drang 21 days ago
I could almost forgive a Carpathian armadillo, since they are practically identical to our Texas species.
abc123 21 days ago
I always like to have fish sticks during any of the Creature from the Black Lagoon movies, but this time, while searching for the giant gummy rat I had last week, I found Gummy Sushi. I hope someone out there is going to have real sushi to counter me!
Klaatu abc123 21 days ago
Earlier today I posted a picture of a deadly puffer fish that a Brazilian guy cooked, ate and died😳😵. Don’t accept any puffer fish if the Creature offers any.
Katink abc123 21 days ago
I like fish sticks, abc! I didn't think of that!
DrSerizawa abc123 21 days ago
I have a box of sticks that will definitely be on tomorrow's menu!
abc123 Klaatu 21 days ago
I saw that. Colombo episode came to mind...
Cartoondave 21 days ago
I can't see new comments coming in I refresh and I still can't see anything what gives?
Klaatu Cartoondave 21 days ago
AI has taken over. The Blog is now its own intelligent being, and now controls everything😵
Cartoondave Klaatu 21 days ago
I see you now
Klaatu Drang 21 days ago
Sorry Dave. I can’t do that.🤣
Cartoondave 21 days ago
I forgot to ask did we break another record last weekend?
abc123 Cartoondave 21 days ago
Last week (Willard) East plus West was about 2100 posts. Old Dark House was just over 2400.
Cartoondave 21 days ago
Julie Adams was a real hottie in TICKLE ME starring Elvis Presley
Cartoondave 21 days ago
Rocky: you wanna ring the bell?
Apollo Creed: Ding ding!
Rest in peace Carl Wethers
Klaatu 21 days ago
For those of us who have streaming services, have you realized how much junky movies have been produced? It’s mind boggling.
Drang Klaatu 21 days ago
Yep
I mostly turn on the Chip and Joanne channel, to vicariously enjoy a beach front retirement home.
Mrs Drang streams a lot of British murder mysteries.
One thing I learned is that no matter how much I enjoy a show, binge watching is not for me. I get bored after 2 hours or so of any series.
Klaatu Drang 21 days ago
I don’t traditionally binge watch either, but it’s the huge amount of feature films that are just pure dreck. Of course , many TV shows fall into the same sewage category. Just unbelievable.
PARANORMA Klaatu 21 days ago
Been bingeing old sf & noir lately, and you are so right. Well, 99.5%. Also interesting to be reminded that it's far from new for movie franchises to be squeezed far beyond their last justifiable breath. Am to where I'm expecting to run across like, "Charlie Chan Checks the Mail'...
Drang Klaatu 21 days ago
Sturgeon's Law..
VanGooliac 21 days ago
Carl Weathers, a.k.a. Apollo Creed, has passed away at age 76.
RIP Carl 😞
Darn, He could be really funny.
CountCurt 21 days ago

The lovely Diana Dors was on Alfred Hitchcock Presents the other night. Truely a dark story. Diana uses a simple-minded boy to do her dirty work and has him kill her carnival magician husband. The carnage does not stop there.
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CountCurt VanGooliac 21 days ago
It is very true!
CountCurt daDoctah 21 days ago
I am trying to visualize her with Richard Dawson. Not sure if it was a good fit.
Cartoondave daDoctah 21 days ago
And I thought Tim Allen's real first name was bad enough?
LmerFudd 21 days ago
The CBC comments posted earlier today reminded me about a cheapie sci-fi series from the 1970s, The Starlost. It aired on US stations and I remember the info kiosks on the ship with the monotone dude.
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CountCurt PARANORMA 21 days ago
Doesn’t sound worse than some of the Multi-verse that gets churned or goes through the thrashing machine.
Drang LmerFudd 21 days ago
The astonishing thing about the pulsating ball of suck and fail that was Starlost is that it was a concept by none other than Harlan Ellison. He conceived of it as a low budget show to be recorded on video tape, but he failed to realize just how ignorant of science, let alone science fiction, and incompetent CBC production staff were.
It was awful.
PARANORMA Drang 21 days ago
"Pulsating ball of suck and fail"...You are a god, yo.
Drang PARANORMA 21 days ago
I'll pass that sentiment on to the friend I stole the phrase from. 😂
NoPersonalChicks 21 days ago
A couple of years ago my grandson said he liked this day because it's when all the groundhogs come out of the ground. Not sure if that's cute or the makings of a cheesy Ray Kellogg horror movie.
Future director!
Isn’t there an arcade game where you bong them on the had. Sven sound bite “So mean”
Now how does that story go again...?

Seems there was this missionary sent among the primitive tribes in some remote part of the world. The locals were cordial enough to him, but they didn't seem interested in converting to his religion. So one day when one of the locals stopped by his hut for a visit and said he wanted to join up, the missionary was cautiously optimistic. "Still", he told the native, "I'm more or less obliged to confirm that you understand what you're signing up for, so I should probably make sure how much you've learned from my sermons. For instance, can you describe in your own words the reason we celebrate Easter?"

The tribesman shows his cheeriest smile and begins, "It's about this fella, see. And he comes up out of the ground...."

The missionary is thrilled. "Yes, yes...and what else?"

"...and then, if this fella sees his shadow...."
Drang CountCurt 21 days ago
In the South Korean version of whack a mole, they wear little helmets and North Korean uniforms.
PARANORMA CountCurt 21 days ago
Whack-a-Mole...?
CountCurt Drang 21 days ago
Love to see a pic of that
NoPersonalChicks 21 days ago
Happy 82nd to Graham Nash
Teach Your Children
Really liked that song. The days when songs had messages.
Jack CountCurt 21 days ago
I still like it, and its pedal steel intro, solo, and outro by “Country Jerry” Garcia.
CountCurt Jack 21 days ago
Jack I did know that. Love this stufff.
CountCurt 21 days ago

Well our Canadian Groundhog results are in. Basically a late spring for Western Canada and an early spring for Eastern Canada which concurs with Phil. Oh yes, in the maritimes, Halifax uses a lobster instead.
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CountCurt 1MikeM 21 days ago
Balzac Billy now that’s a good name.
CountCurt Drang 21 days ago
Wow the Royal Canadian Air Farce! That brings back memories. I think it ran for over 20 years. This Hour Has 22 Minutes basically took its niche. A Halifax based comedy that pokes fun at Canadian and International politics.
Jack CountCurt 21 days ago
Welly, well, well, well!
RobBarnes Drang 21 days ago
Drang, R U near the Grunge Rock capital of Seattle?
Klaatu 22 days ago
Be careful of the restaurant you enter🤣
Jack Klaatu 22 days ago
I s’pose they could’ve miscalculated the delivery date and/or misidentified the sex on a sonogram….
RobBarnes Klaatu 21 days ago
I asked a rabbi once if he enjoyed doing circumcises and he said that it doesn't pay much, but that the tips were good.
daleuhlmann 22 days ago
Let's forget about whether the groundhog saw his shadow or not. More importantly, will Sventoonie be back in 2024?
Jack daleuhlmann 22 days ago
…in a spin-off with Imp?
CountCurt daleuhlmann 21 days ago
I only thing we have to worry about is if groundhogs start wearing face make-up and top hats. In that case all hell will break loose.
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