31 October 2014

Ben (1972)
93 min.
Directed by Phil Carlson.
With Lee H. Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Meredith Baxter, Rosemary Murphy, Arthur O'Connell, Kaz Garaz, Paul Carr, Kenneth Tobey.
Very satisfying sequel to the classic Willard (1971) brings back the leader of the rat pack. This time...Ben hooks up with Danny (Montgomery), an ill and younger boy with a heart problem. There's mayhem once again, with the best sequence taking place at the Slim 'n Trim Spa. Watching the terrified women scream and run for their lives is both frightening and funny. Baxter (in an early role) is tender and sympathetic as Danny's sister, turning in a fine performance.

And the always reliable Campanella plays the lead detective sternly and straight-faced. The action-oriented 'fire in the sewers' ending is surprisingly well done (no pun intended). The poignant and sad title song was a number one hit for Michael Jackson. Watch it...and see for yourself if you don't end up rooting for the rodents!

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