Guilty Pleasures: The Wicker Man
A million movies come out every year, and most of them (let’s face it) aren’t that great. But among those not-so-great movies are special films that sit precariously on the paper-thin line between terrible and sublime. They are movies that could not have been made that way if the creators were trying: they just happened, through some blessed series of events. These movies are called guilty pleasures, and they’re exactly what this series will explore. Welcome to the horrendous/amazing ride. Buckle up.
Nic Cage. Every day I wake up and thank God for Nic Cage. That’s right: I thank the little baby Jesus EVERY DAY for making a man who feels so good about himself that he walks on set and makes the most bizarre choices ever known to man. The tagline on the poster for The Wicker Man warns: Be Careful What You Search For. Well, I searched for The Wicker Man, and I’m ecstatic, because The Wicker Man is a bona fide Nicolas Cage CLASSIC and an amazing #GuiltyPleasure.
“Oh, God” is right, Nic. Oh. Sweet. God.
What is happening in this movie? Who let this happen? I get it, it seems like a great idea on paper – let’s remake a classic 1970s thriller and update it for 2006 – but who let Big Nic DO THESE THINGS?
How’d it get made? HOW’D IT GET MADE?!
What I really want to know is who looked at these takes and was like, “Yeah, this works.”
“Yeah, good, that’s good,” said a professional film editor upon seeing the above scenes.
So the plot (if anyone cares at all) is that Cage plays an investigator who is led to believe that his estranged wife and daughter are living on an island populated by some sort of all-female cult. Well, it turns out they are living there, and they want to kill Nic Cage because they think it’ll bring back their main commodity, honey. (This is the actual plot of the movie.)
So, yes, there are a ton of terrible why-did-this-happen moments in this movie, but the scenes that really get me are the ones where Cage repeatedly, throughout the film, BEATS UP WOMEN.
THE FUCK? HE JUST PUNCHED A CHICK IN THE FACE! NOT OKAY. I like to imagine the writer (acclaimed playwright and screenwriter/director Neil LaBute, who also directed this movie), looking at his laptop, wondering “What should happen next?” and then going “Oh I know!” and writing “HE PUNCHES HER IN THE FACE” and then smiling, satisfied, as he closes his computer, his work done for the day.
Here is Nic Cage PUNCHING A WOMAN WHILE IN A BEAR COSTUME:
WHAT WHAT WHAT IS GOING ON.
Maybe the real reason the all-female tribe kills Cage and burns him in a huge wicker man (get it?) after beating him up and putting bees in his eyes has nothing to do with honey. Maybe it was all the BEATING THEM UP.
So tonight, turn on Wicker Man. And with every insane line reading, with every bizarre plot twist, with every bear costume (really just the one, which is one too many), with every sexist (literal) punch in the face, think about the many executives that saw this in post and said, “Yeah, yeah, that’s fine.” And then wonder about the fate of the world.
Got a #guiltypleasure you want me to watch? Get at me on instagram @maggiecar or twitter @magthecar