A Revenge Honey National Honey Month Review by Linnie

The Wicker Man (2006)

The only thing I love more than a horror film is a horror film that gets fucked up beyond belief and somehow becomes an unintentional comedy. The second best example of this is M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, which is only slightly less hilarious than playwright Neil LaBute's hamfisted attempt to remake The Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage. How hilariously awful is the Wicker Man remake? So hilarious that this re-cut comedy trailer is perfection...

But yet again, I am getting ahead of myself. This week, let us walk through a version of Summerisle where Nicolas Cage runs around punching bitches in a bear suit, dolls get burned with reckless abandon, and people get really frigging worked up about bees.

The Plot: Tremendously similar and yet... offensively different from the original, LaBute's Wicker Man follows a mainland sheriff as he travels to the shockingly-ignored-by-the-American Government Pacific Northwest island of Summerisle to search for his ex-fianc√©'s missing daughter. Who is also his daughter. Unlike the original Summerisle, this one is inhabited by really angry women who keep the men around them to an absolute minimum and purely for procreational purposes. And yell about phallic symbols a lot: even more so than your average women's studies major. Nic starts running around looking for the kid, punching girls, and decking himself out in a bear costume that would make even the most devoted furry jealous.

To love this version of The Wicker Man is to engage in an interesting kind of masochism. Let's begin with the director: Neil LaBute. As a theatre student, I have read most, if not of all, of his plays, and while a master of sexual politics, I have become convinced that LaBute has some serious issues with women. If you have seen his other works, including In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, and The Shape of Things, you know what I'm talking about. The Wicker Man seems like a random venue for these issues to explode like frigging Krakatoa, but explode they do. Everything that occurs on Summerisle is like some misogynist nightmare of the Feminist endgame: an island where women are in charge, teach little girls to hate men, and sacrifice "true" men to protect their livelihood. THIS version of The Wicker Man is shockingly unenlightened but at the same time... strangely hilarious. Because how could anyone be THAT clueless?

Then again, the bear looks more self-aware than Nic Cage in this scene.

Once you surrender to the ridiculously idiotic politics of the film, the only thing left is to admit that the over-acting and complete inability of LaBute to control his cast make The Wicker Man one of the best comedies in the history of film. If you are a fan of Nic Cage at a full blown, grab your precious belongings and pets and evacuate the area, Category Five like I am, then you can't get any more perfect than his performance in this movie.

You could watch this gif for an hour, and it's still less time than the actual scene went on.

And despite featuring a cast that is normally unbearably brilliant, including Ellen Burstyn, Molly Parker, and Horror Honey favorite Frances Conroy (BALENCIAGA!), there is no rhyme or reason to the behavior of the women in the movie. Some small part of me wants to believe that they were intentionally tanking the film because they all knew what a piece of sexist garbage it was.

Except her. She just wandered on set.
So how do you rate a film that makes you laugh every time you watch it based on sheer awkwardness alone? The only way you can... With black humor.

Revenge Honey Rating - 3 Acts of Violence Against Women out of 5

And of course, on our Nicolas Cage Performance Spectrum, The Wicker Man is a solid, terrifying, and unequivocal Category Five.