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Laramie Movie Scope:
Wendell & Wild

Corrupt developers, demons and other fun

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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December 2, 2022 – I was really surprised to find out that this movie was made by the same people who made “Coraline” (2009). “Coraline” was a good movie. “Wendell & Wild” is not.

“Wendell & Wild” has a number of religious overtones to it, including a Catholic Priest, Father Bests, and three nuns, one of which is a main character, Sister Helley. There are also some demons in the story, Buffalo Belzer, and his two sons, Wendell & Wild, who want to build an amusement park in Hell, no, really! Yep, this is not your ordinary vision of hell at all.

The main character is Kat, a young girl who is orphaned when a car, driven by her father, plunges into a river. After the death of her parents, Delroy and Linda, a fire burns down the brewery that Delroy and Linda owned. After the brewery burns down, the town of Rust Bank becomes a ghost town, with only a Catholic school left operating, run by Father Bests. Kat is enrolled in the school.

Kat discovers she has the power to see the future, and saves the life of a girl by pushing her out of the way of a falling piece of masonry from the crumbling school. She is able to see the danger before it happens. After an encounter with a cursed stuffed bear, conveniently kept in a classroom desk drawer at school, a strange mark appears on her hand, which means she is a “Hell Maiden.” Sister Helley, who knows about such things, tells her she has to keep the mark secret.

Two demons, Wendell and Wild, see Kat in a vision and are able to contact her mind. They promise to raise her parents from the dead if she will use her Hell Maiden power to raise them up from Hell so that they can walk among the living. In order to do this, she must have a witness, so she selects another student, Raúl, to witness the ritual.

Kat raises up Wendell and Wild. The demons want to build an amusement park, but their father won't let them. They decide to build the park in the world of the living, where their father won't notice their activities. They need money to build the park, and the only local people with money are Lane and Irmgard Klaxon, the corrupt owners of a private prison company.

The Klaxons set the fire that destroyed the brewery and turned Rust Bank into a ghost town, but somehow there are still enough people in town to oppose the Klaxons' plan to build a prison in Rust Bank. Wendell and Wild get in touch with the Klaxons. Together, they hatch an insane plan to raise enough city council members from the dead to overturn the council's vote so they can build their prison.

Wendell and Wild break their promise to Kat to raise up her parents, but Raúl manages to steal their magic death-reversing gel, and he uses it to raise Kat's parents, Delroy and Linda, from the dead. When Delroy and Linda find out about the plot by the Klaxons and demons to build a giant prison in Rust Bank, they set out to stop it, along with Kat, Raúl, Sister Helley and others from the school.

This leads to a large, almost incomprehensible showdown between the Klaxons, demons, a bunch formerly dead people, kids, Father Bests, bulldozers, Sister Helley, and Manberg, a kind of mad scientist guy who keeps demons in glass jars in the school basement.

There is only one character in all this mess I could relate to, and that is Kat, and she seems to have disdain for everyone except her parents. This ugly, stop-motion animated film fails to establish its many other characters, or give them any kind of believable motivations.

All the characters seem to be going through the motions, moving the story along for no reason. The story isn't believable and I was not invested in any of the characters, so I was not able to go along for this crazy ride. This film rates a D+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2022 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]