The bad movies we can’t help but to love
The term ‘so bad it’s good’ is often thrown around to describe some of the most horrible movies in existence. However, most of the time these ‘so bad it’s good’ branded movies are a letdown. Usually they’re just plain bad. But every now and then, on a night when the moon turns to blood and the earth spins on just the right axis, a certain kind of bad movie is born. A bad movie that is indeed, somehow good. A movie like The Wicker Man. Now I’m not going to try and pretend that The Wicker Man even resembles a good movie. It’s quite the opposite. I just don’t feel it’s as bad as it’s made out to be. It’s frequently labelled as a complete failure, a horrible viewing experience, just plain awful etc. But if people would only give it a chance, they would discover the potential awesomeness it contains. The ‘so bad it’s good’ variety of awesomeness.
So in case you haven’t realised, The Wicker Man is a remake of the 1973 classic horror film of the same name. The original Wicker Man had a creepy setting, slow-burn suspense, and a surprise ending that would have blown everyone’s minds back in the day. The new Wicker Man has Nicolas Cage acting absolutely insane, unintentional comedy galore, and a watered down version of the original’s ending. So in other words, this isn’t quite the remake people were hoping for. In fact, there are those individuals out there in the world who are convinced that The Wicker Man is actually the worlds best inside joke. That it’s secretly a comedy disguised as a thriller. I have to say, I’m starting to agree…
Nicolas Cage plays Edward Malus, a Seattle police officer, summoned to the mysterious island of Summerisle by his ex-wife, in the hope that he can locate her missing daughter. Upon arrival to said island, Edward discovers that the island’s inhabitants are mainly comprised of women who appear to be part of some sort of pagan cult. It’s clear from the outset that these overly suspicious individuals occupying the island have alterior intentions in store for Malus. Not that he notices though, he’s too busy trying to track down the missing girl the only way he knows how – by abusing every woman he comes in contact with, verbally and physically. Seriously, there’s an amazing drinking game to be played here. Every time Nic Cage insults or yells at a woman, you drink. If he yells at a child, take a double shot. When he physically attacks a woman, treat yourself to a triple shot. But be warned, you will most probably die if you try this… Also just for the record, all these women happen to be super evil. So don’t feel too bad for them.
There are two reasons why I’m a huge Nic Cage fan. Primarily, I love the dude as an actor, when he’s given the right role, he can give an amazing performance. The second reason is that even when he’s cast in a horrible movie, like The Wicker Man, he can elevate a film. This isn’t due to his stellar performance, not by a long shot; it comes down to the fact that he’s such an entertaining actor to watch, no matter how bad his performance may be. His performance in The Wicker Man is probably his worst to date, but that doesn’t matter since he’s at his bug-eyed, absolutely off-the-wall craziest here. It’s like the best of the worst of Nic Cage. And I love it! It’s impossible not to be entertained by the guy, he even makes the most sombre and routine moments of the movie seem fun somehow. It must be those crazy eyes.
The plot makes little to no sense throughout, and just seems to be an excuse for Cage to run rampant across the island while abusing the locals. Along the way, we get to lay witness to Cage robbing a woman at gunpoint… for her bike! He also manages to punch out a couple more women (one while dressed as a bear), and even kung fu kicks another in the head. In an attempt to add depth to the script, a subplot is added that revolves around a young girl whom Cage failed to rescue from a fiery car wreck. Sounds like some serious and morbid stuff, right? Well, you would be surprised at the amount of unintentional comedy that results from this scene later on. The number of nightmarish dream sequences he has involving the aforementioned girl throughout the film is unbelievable. It’s as if to pad the film out, the filmmakers decided to add a dream/hallucination sequence every ten minutes or so. Nic Cage sums up exactly what the audience is feeling in regards to this at one point, after waking up from a dream within a dream for umpteenth time; he looks around in a confused manner, then at the top of his voice yells, ‘GOD DAMN IT’! We know how you feel, Nic…
At this point it probably sounds like I despise The Wicker Man. The truth is, I really don’t. It fails on almost every level as a successful film, but what saves it is that it’s so damn much fun to watch. It’s ridiculous entertainment from start to finish, and Nic Cage’s craziness is off the chart, which only adds the overall fun factor. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the worst movies ever made, however it does fit nicely into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. It’s the kind of movie that if I happen to catch a glimpse of it playing on TV, I just have to stay up and watch the remainder of it. So grab yourself a copy of The Wicker Man, gather round the TV with some likeminded individuals, and get ready for a night of appallingly enjoyable entertainment. You won’t regret it.
Guiltiest Moment: There’s so many to choose from, but it’s hard to go past Nic Cage’s knockout punch while garbed out in a bear costume. It’s awesome!
Guiltiest Dialogue: [Edward Malus holding Rowan's doll] Is this hers? How’d it get burned? How’d it get burned? HOW’D IT GET BURNED, HOW’D IT GET BURNED?
Guiltiest Performance: As if this isn’t obvious by now. Nic Cage cranks up the crazy and never looks back.
For your viewing pleasure (Contains spoilers):
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