Rewatching the 1988 movie Willow scene-by-scene. Why? Because it’s freakin’ Willow! Time to hit pause on the Blu-ray for a sec to discuss one of the movie’s most elaborate deleted scenes.
In the previous scene, I mentioned the deleted scene featuring a mysterious figure known only as the “Fish Boy,” who warned Willow against traveling to Fin Raziel’s island. Now, as Willow returns from the island with Raziel, a hand emerges from the water, and we see the Fish Boy again, this time climbing on board the boat. In the deleted scene, the Fish Boy is bald with fangs, and a big fin briefly seen on his back. In the graphic novel, he has gold skin and long greyish-brown hair. Willow whops the Fish Boy on the head with an oar. The Fish Boy goes under the water and reemerges a huge sharklike monster. The Fish Boy grabs a fishing net on board the boat and pulls it off. Willow gets tangled up in the net and fall under the water.
Underwater, Willow uses a knife which I don’t recall seeming his use before this, to cut himself free from the net. He also stabs at the Fish Boy a few times He swims back to the boat, and takes out one of the High Aldwin’s magic acorns. Before he can use it, the Fish Boy reemerges and smashes the side of the boat, causing Willow to drop the acorn next to Raziel. He scrambles, picks it up, and tosses it at the Fish Boy. Here we see that the acorns work. First, when Willow initially drops it, it turns part of the boat to stone. Then when he throws that same acorn at the Fish Boy, the Fish Boy turns to stone and promptly sinks.
The Willow graphic novel features some additional dialogue during this. Before leaving the island, Raziel tells Willow to hide the magic wand, saying “Bavmorda knows you’re here.” She then tells him to get back to the boat and get them out of there. Once the fight begins, Raziel tells Willow, “Kill it!” He says no and she repeats “Kill it!” We all assume Willow is not a killer because he’s a nice guy and not a hardened soldier, but this is the only mention we get of him having a Batman-like “no killing” rule. And then this is undone mere seconds later by having him go ahead and kill the Fish Boy.
So why isn’t this in the actual movie? In an interview on the Blu-ray, director Ron Howard says that despite everyone’s best efforts, the effects just weren’t as good as the rest of the movie. The animatronic used for the monster does look pretty clunky. Later in the movie, we’ll meet a giant monster (or two) who shows a lot more personality than this thing. The tie-in books and the wiki, however, all insist that the Fish Boy is canon, so here he is.
Next: Laugh it up, fuzzball.
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.