Watching the 1988 movie Willow scene-by-scene. Why? Because it’s freakin’ Willow! It’s nightmare fuel time with the infamous pig scene, 1:36:33 to 1:39:21 on the Blu-ray.
It’s nighttime now, with an exterior shot of NockMaar castle, lined with torches. The Galladoorn troops march in the foreground, also with torches. Bavmorda and one of her wise men step atop one of the walls overlooking the troops. Note the guy to the far left wearing the really cool skull mask.
The reverse shot shows the Galladoorn have made camp. Apparently time has passed, because everyone looks settled in and they are just casually strolling about. Bavmorda starts to laugh. Her voice takes on an echo-y quality, and Airk and the other Galladoorn take notice. Either this is her using magic, or the castle has great acoustics from this spot. There are also reaction shots from Willow and Brownies as she continues to laugh.
“This is not an army,” Bavmorda says. Fin Raziel, in goat form, weaves through the crowd saying “Willow.” She can guess where this is going. She comes up to him and says, “Hide.” They both duck into a tent. There’s a quick shot of Madmartigan and Sorsha, then back to Raziel inside the tent, who says, “Use the septor chant. Protect yourself.” He asks, “Why?” and she says, “Just do it.” He pulls out the wand and sits down.
We then cut back to Madmartigan and Sorsha, walking to the front of the Galladoorn troops. “We’ve come for Alora Danan,” Madmartigan says. From her perch on the castle, Bavmorda says, “You dare to challenge me? You’re not warriors.” She takes a minute to grin, as if the thought of what to do next just occurs to her, and she says, “You’re pigs.”
Madmartigan immediately flinches in pain. He falls forward, and we hear Bavmorda chanting magic words in the background. In the next closeup, Madmartigan has developed underbite fangs. Then there’s a shot of his hand turning into a hoof, and there can be no doubt in the audience’s mind at this point as to what’s happening. Airk and Sorsha look on in horror. Bavmorda smiles and says, “You’re all pigs!” She waves her arms in a crazy manner, apparently doing magic. Airk then falls forward in pain, as do some of the background extras. Bavmorda repeats “Pigs!” and the Brownies fall over, from their spot next to a campfire. Bavmorda waves her hands through the air again, making comical pig-oink noises.
Inside the tent, Willow holds out the wand and chants magic words, as the wand glows with blue light. Then there’s an absolutely terrifying shot of Madmartigan in half-human half-pig form, complete with pig snout. Squealing sounds are added to the soundtrack, just to make it more nightmarish. Bavmorda laughs some more, and there are shots of other half-pig soldiers. Sorsha shouts, “Mother, no!” Bavmorda considers her daughter for a moment — her facial expression here is hard to read — but then says another magic word with a flourish and Sorsha doubles over in pain.
There’s even more body horror stuff as all the soldiers are half-pigs, now with some 100 percent pigs walking around in the background. There’s also a man who is human from the waist up and pig from the waist down. Then it’s back to Willow in the tent, who’s now struggling to keep it together as he casts the protection spell.
Inside the castle, it’s our first look at the room where Bavmorda’s big ritual will take place. I’ll have more to say about this ritual in future entries. She walks in and says, “Begin the ritual.” A wise man lights a candle as she adds, “This baby will not destroy me.” Another wide man helps Bavmorda out of her robe and into a new one, revealing the mummy-like body suit she wears underneath.
She hears a storm brewing outside, and she walks to the altar at the center of the room and says, “Come, thunder!” We see an opening in the ceiling, protected with metal bars and spikes, with lighting and thunder outside. Then there’s a wide shot of the whole room, showing all the candles the altar, and the huge opening in the ceiling. Bavmorda says, “Touch this altar with your powers!” Classic 1980s fantasy blue lightning shoots down and strikes the altar. Then a wide man approaches, carrying a crying Alora Danan.
Let’s make the cliffhanger for next time.
Next: Ritual behavior.
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