The Wicker Man


Directed by Neil LaBute

Time hasn’t been kind to Nicholas Cage. His recent films range from dull to laughably stupid, his toupees are getting more blatant with age, and his acting dial is currently set to Shatner.

Time’s not going to be kind to Neil LaBute, either. Remaking the excellent 1973 thriller of the same name and bringing nothing more to it than his usual misogynistic characterization, The Wicker Man takes fear of women into surreal, fever dream territory. It also rivals any movie for unintended laughs this side of Robot Monster.

In the film, a cop (Cage) travels to an island dominated by women to find a missing child. There he uncovers a ludicrous conspiracy where the women, who may or may not be giant bees in disguise, lure men to their doom in a harvesting ritual.

The joke’s on them: “killing me won’t bring back any of your goddamned honey!” Cage taunts.

I did not make up any of the above. Nor am I fibbing when I tell you the climax consists of Cage trying to sneak out of the island disguised as a bear, and punching multiple women in the face.

The DVD features a delusional commentary and an alternate version of the film. Though that version has an added scene where a helmet full of bees is placed on Cage’s head, the theatrical cut is recommended if only for its extended ending and Cage’s inimitable off-screen yelp of “Ow, my leg!”

— Adam Clarke