During the last PKast (which you really should check out; it's better than a sackful of malt vinnegar-soaked crumblies), Kmart was quite astounded to learn that I've never seen the Ron Howard (Cocoon, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) 1988 masterpiece of cinema, Willow. It's true, I haven't. And like Bill Cosby refusing to promote Leonard Part 6, or Kobe Bryant refusing to blame his teammates, I make no excuses for such a heinous transgression.
Today, however, I am redeemed. Not only did I watch Willow, I dug the everloving fuck out of it. I've been known to toss around hyperbolic accolades like fowl innards at an anti-Japanese protest in downtown Seoul, but hear me out: Willow is to cinema what Raquel Welch is to jerking off*. I'm just glad I watched it before I die of rectal cancer in August.
I know you have all seen the film**, but please indulge an old man and read my following review of cinematic fellatio. Receiving, not giving.
One sunny summer morning, little person Willow Ufgood (played to perfection -- and with the help of some special effects wizardry -- by the underrated Muggsy Bogues) steps outside his ramshackle hut to find a baby at his doorstep. But this is no ordinary baby. Far from it. His kingdom under seige by the evil witch Nornica, King Prebonius hid his firstborn from the clutches of the witch, who seeks to extract a magical peacock feather embedded in the infant's skull -- a peacock feather that will give its bearer the power to rule over the mythical land and get 25% discounts at Eddie Bauer stores.
Willow Ufgood, unaware of the baby's plight, takes the little bugger to a market. Willow, you see, has to get some clothes and food for the child, and some lambskin condoms and Tahiti Treat for himself. That's when danger strikes. Nornica's minions descend upon the market like batteries thrown by heathen Philadelphia sports fans, and Willow Ufgood has to think quickly.
What the diminutive Willow (Ufgood) lacks in size, he more than makes up for in cleverness. Just as it appears that all hope is lost, Willow*** hides the baby under a peach basket and heads for home. After a night of steamy sex with the missus (surprising for a kids' film, but greatly welcomed), Boston Legal, and cherry tomatoes, Willow heads back to the market to reclaim the child.
Ignorant as to the whereabouts of the baby's home, a singing butterfly wearing aerial goggles makes an appearance and informs "Sir Ufgood" that the swaddling child is none other than King Prebonius's son. Then he sings cryptic, anachronistic songs. Nonplussed like a motherfuck, Willow (Ufgood, not that redhead from Buffy) heads to Prebonius's castle to figure out what in pluperfect hell is going on.
Upon meeting the king, this classic scene takes place (I'm sure you all know it well and quote it daily):
King: Why the hell did you bring him back here? Don't you know that if my kingdom falls and Nornica extracts the peacock feather from my son's head that all hell will break loose and stocks in Eddie Bauer will drastically plummet?
Willow: Hey, boss, don't shoot the messenger. I found this baby on my doorstep, some fucked-up butterfly told me he's yours, and I'm just doing my job as a tax-paying citizen, so lay off.
King: But you were to return the baby after Nornica is defeated.
Willow: I missed that memo, Comanche. Do I look like I have ESP?
King [fidgeting]: Well, thanks anyway. I'm sure it isn't easy for a midget to get a glass of water from the sink, much less carry a baby 800 kilometers.
Willow: Midget? That's "little person," asshole!
Just then, Nornica and her army of fell beasts -- including orcs, goblins, Korean policemen, and Tom Selleck without a mustache -- envelope Castle Prebonius like a goalie on a hockey puck. It appears all is lost, but at a crucial point in the epic battle that ensues, just as the bitchqueen Nornica is about to fistfuck Prebonius's kid's head, a funny thing happens. Willow Ufgood is, Rudy style, called in for the final play; and to again use a football analogy, he sacks that cow hard and causes a fumble. King Prebonius catches the kid in midair, Nornica falls into a conveniently placed pit of lava, and Willow smokes a square.
Yeah, the Lord of the Rings films were good and everything, but what they lacked was a story to jibe with all the computer-animated hocus-pocus. I know that I won't live forever (Do you really want to live forever? Forever young?), but time will surely tell that -- fuck what you heard -- the bar was raised in 1988.
PS - I'm a horse.
* Does that date me?
** and I don't use that word lightly