As you all know. I have been the president of the I hate Nicolas Cage fan club for a very long time. But something has happened. Somewhere along the line, my opinion on him swung in a different direction. I used to be like an angry parent at Nicolas Cages little league game. Shouting taunts until my throat is raw and I get thrown out of the game by the rest of the parents. But now I’m like a proud parent nodding approvingly with a little smile at Nicolas Cage as he struggles in vain to hit a home run. A single tear slides down my cheek. I’m also drunk in both of these scenarios, because after all, it is a hypothetical little league game and what else are you supposed to do at those? Anyways, the point I’m trying to make here is that I somehow like Nicolas Cage. I don’t know why or how this happened, but I think my brain just gave up trying to punish him for being an annoying moron who named his kid after Superman. It just accepted him for the scenery chewing mumbling hack that he is. So to celebrate my new found admiration (???) for Nicolas Cage, I have decided to review my favourite Nicolas Cage films for your amusement. Now without further ado, a review of the cinematic masterpiece, The Wickerman
For some reason the 70’s horror film The Wickerman was remade because we are all running out of ideas and we’re circling back on ourselves. Art is dead and we killed it. Anyways, I’m glad that the bottom of the barrel is being scraped so througouhly because it brought this masterpiece into my life.
The movie begins with our main man Nicolas Cage getting a letter from his ex fiancé who lives on a mysterious island off the coast of Seattle. She’s dropping him a line because her daughter is missing. Nic is all “sure I’ve got nothing going on” and heads out. The reason he has nothing going on is because he’s on leave from police work because he saw a little girl burn to death in a car accident. Whoops. He’s also taking pills and they make him see things. Plot relevant things. also he’s very allergic to bees. This in NO WAY comes into play later in the film AT ALL.
The best line of the film occurs as soon as he gets on shore, and I feel it’s a real foreshadowing moment of the delightful things to come. He approaches a group of women holding a wriggling sack and he asks them if he can look in the bag. He then asks them “whats in the bag? a shark or something?”
“WHAT’S IN THE BAG? A SHARK OR SOMETHING?”
The women reply by letting Nicolas Cage almost look in the bag but then pull it away and laugh at him. We at no point find out whats in the bag.
What was the point of this scene you may ask? I don’t have an answer for you and I don’t think God does either.
After this rousing exchange of wits, He heads to the local pub and talks to a super mean lady who clearly hates him. This is a recurring theme in the movie and most likely Nicolas Cage’s life offscreen. The entire island is run by women and the few men that are on the island are treated like slovenly dogs. Seems legit.
He finally meets up with his ex fiancé, Willow, who seems to be messed up on horse tranquilizers the entire time and spends each scene looking extremely baffled as to how she even ended up there in the first place. They blunder around the island for awhile while she mumbles exposition at him. Apparently the Island has a shitload of apiaries, but the bees are all dying and they can’t produce the honey they depend on for their livelihood. Oh, right and the missing daughter. That too.
This summary might seem short because at least 40% of the film is Nicolas Cage wandering around the island looking for the little girl or possibly an escape pod to launch himself into the sun and as far away from this movie. All the locals are being really spooky and weird to him, but again I think this might just happen to him in general. He goes to the local schoolhouse and screams at the school kids there for a bit after he discovers they crammed a bird into a desk. This was done entirely for the bird to flap out and scare Nicolas and wake the audience up. During his top notch detective work that is equal parts yelling and flailing, he discovers the missing girls name on the class ledger. The teacher claims that she said Rowan didn’t go to the school because Rowan is dead and therefore is no longer a person. Apparently Rowan died in a fire and Willow is just crazy. Seems legit. Officer Cage is on the case!
So Nic stumbles over to the scene of the fire and finds a little burned doll. He then launches into the most confusing, upsetting outburst of all cinematic history.
Why that take made it into the final cut of the film I will never know. It was at this precise moment this movie shifted from mediocre horror film to comedy of the year. I think the people in charge were like “Well this movie is a real turd, let’s at least give them a hilarious soundbite that will be quoted for years to come” I remember seeing this movie in the theater and when that scene happened everyone started looking around at each other for some sort of confirmation that it had indeed unfolded and we weren’t all in the throes of a gas leak induced group hallucination. Also, Nic: Fire. Fire is how the doll got burned.
After Nic cinched his Oscar nomination for most fucked up outburst in a major film,Willow just kind of blinks at him for a bit before saying she doesn’t know how the doll got burned. I mean, this girl is hot but at what cost. Nicolas decides to go visit the Mayor(??) or whatever of this weird village but halfway through his bumbling sprint there he falls and gets stung by a fuckload of bees. It’s pretty hilarious. The main bitch of the island (who they at no point in the movie refer to as Queen Bee which I feel is a missed opportunity) makes him all better and then she’s like “you are a phallic symbol and we hate those, fuck you and your ill fitting suit” So after that lead dried up Nic stumbles around some more until he finds out that there’s a ceremony coming up the next day and he thinks that Willow is going to be sacrificed to the bee god of Honey nut cheerios and he needs to stop this because Willow mumbled out the earth shattering revelation that we had all kind of assumed already, that Rowan is his daughter.
In between all this rousing action there’s just odd spooky scenes put in, like this which at no point is explained:
I don’t know why, but I guess just to spook us? also at one point in the movie the same woman plays a different character and Nicolas is all “didn’t I just see you?” and she’s like “nope” this has always bugged me. Did they run out of actors? and if so, why didn’t they just have her say “oh thats my twin sister” Its just really confusing and threw me off. Anyways, back to the honeycomb hideout.
Nic is running out of time and tries to go back to the helicopter that brought him there but wouldn’t you know it. The pilot has been killed and his hands have been ripped off and replaced with sticks! talk about a case of the mondays!
With no other options left and the ceremony starting, Nic runs back to the pub, drop kicks a woman into a wall and punches another woman out to steal her bear costume. I am completely serious. This scene is absolutely hilarious.
After being cleverly disguised in the bear costume despite his entire face showing through the mask, He sets off to join the parade of people dressed like animals because I guess it’s creepier that way.
Nic finds Willow and tells her he’s here to save their daughter. Willow blinks in return. FINALLY we get to see this little twerp as she’s tied to a pole. Nic puts his years of police training to the test and driven by pure adrenaline and the kind of love only a father can have for his daughter, he executes a magnificent manoeuvre that leaves the audience speechless.
He fucking socks a chick right in the face and steals back his daughter. When this happened, everyone I was in the theater with went completely fucking insane. I remember some girl stood up and started clapping. It was breathtaking.
Anyways, after that priceless gem of a move Nic kinda wanders around for a few minutes until his daughter runs away. He chases her and wouldn’t you know it? she led him right back to the gang of ladies who are waiting to sacrifice him in a gigantic burning effigy to bring back their honey supply. Hahaha isn’t that always the way? Ex’s, am I right?
So they smash the shit out of Nic’s legs and put a cage (ho ho!) over his head and throw some bees in there. Nic responds as such:
Bravo. BRAVO I SAY. This scene. This scene man. I can’t even begin to understand what happened here. Near the end he just starts making garbling noises. Was this movie honestly supposed to be a comedy the whole way? because the original wasn’t, so why would the remake be? This movie is so confusing, it should just be a really mediocre horror movie but it’s so much more. I feel like this movie could be shown at some pretentious art gallery and then a slide that just says WHAT IS ART? would show up on the wall and everyone would clap but they would be really confused as to why they’re doing it. It’s just, so fucking weird. No ones performances could be taken seriously, and by all rights this movie should have been scrapped entirely. yet here we are.
Anyways, after that they hoist Nic up in the giant wicker man (OH I GET IT) and he burns to death.
- Do you think you would be able to see a gigantic burning effigy all the way in Seattle?
- Does this movie explain why honey is so expensive?
- How drunk was Nicolas Cage during filming?
- Why was this released into theatres instead of being thrown in a burning trash heap?
- Was there a shark in that bag?
- Is it ok to hit a woman if you’re wearing a bear suit? if so, why?
- Do you prefer Bees? or Beads?
Please reflect on the time we’ve shared here together and be sure to join me for the next instalment of Nic Cage-A-Palooza where we visit the timeless classic Face/Off