VIDEO: The Wicker Man (2006)

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Nicolas Cage famously goes apeshit in 2006’s The Wicker Man, the godawful remake of the 1973 horror classic. Cage is a cop who travels to Summersisle, an island with a matriarchal society that worships bees. He investigates the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, and somehow ends up wearing a bear suit and punching women out.

This is one of the worst remakes of all time, and one of the funniest movies Cecil has ever seen. This is one of those rare magical films that crosses the line from bad, to unbelievably bad, all the way back to good. This is lightning in a bottle, folks.

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  • Arcadiassx999

    Great Review. Was very funny, Cage as the bear punching out a woman, i just lost it. Between the laughs in this review and Fullofquestions review of Get a Clue i had a fun time! Thanks! I needed it.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! I’ll never get tired of Nic Cage in the Bear suit.

      • Russell Brin (Facebook sux)

        Why does it seem like Nic Cage movies are either really good (Con Air, National Treasure) or really bad (Ghost Rider, Bangkok Dangerous) with few that are middle of the road or just “OK.”  I think he’s a decent enough actor just some really oddball movie choices.

        • Monterey Jack

          You’re using Con Air and National Treasure as examples of “good” Nicolas Cage movies?!

          • edharris1178

             In terms of his post-Oscar stuff, they kinda are, scarily enough.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            Also, people often forget just how great 8MM is. I just watched it again about a month ago and man that movie packs a punch.

          • edharris1178

             Snake Eyes is also fairly decent up until the ending.  Season of the Witch is also worth seeing, just because the idea of Nicolas Cage as a knight in the Crusades is so out there.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            Snake Eyes opening tracking shot is incredible. The movie does lose steam at the end but it is great for about 3/4 of the way. I very much enjoyed Season of the Witch! I put it on one night out of the blue and thought it was very well done.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            I enjoyed National Treasure but I wasn’t crazy about Con Air. The Rock on the other hand was f’ing awesome.

          • edharris1178

             I love Con Air, it’s just so amazingly stupid that it ends up being a blast.  Agree about the Rock, it’s the only truly good movie Michael Bay has done so far.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            The Rock is great and it depresses me that the guy who made one of the best action movies of all time is also the guy behind the horrendous Transformers trilogy. I like Armageddon (although it gets a bit too long towards the end) and even enjoyed The Island despite it blatantly ripping off Clonus the parts horror. Tea Leoni was awesome in Bad Boys.

          • Monterey Jack

            The Rock is “one of the best action movies of all time”?

            Oy.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            Definitely in my top 100 action films for the car chase alone.

          • Monterey Jack

            The horribly-edited, shakey-cam car chase…

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            If you say so, I enjoyed it.

            I disagree on the shakey cam. That was effective use of camera shake. It wasn’t shakey cam like the current crop of found footage movies which are borderline unwatchable.

          • The_Stig

            The Rock was good and it IS Michael Bay’s best movie, but would you really consider it one of the best action movies of all time? Top 100, maybe.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

             Yep. Although most likely in the 80s or 90s, not in the same league as, say, Die Hard. I may have to sit down and come up with this list one day.

          • edharris1178

             That’s a good idea.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            Thats going to be tough, there are some awesome action movies out there.

          • I like “Con Air”, although it loses some points for trashing a classic C-2 Corvette. And, I don’t think Cage can afford to say “No” to anything these days. Doesn’t he have so much debt he has to pay to the IRS?  

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          I think he just never says no to a role. Seriously, the guy does like 5 movies a year.

  • Leologan09

    Hmmm the girl who plays Willow (Kate Beahan), she kinda looks like a poor woman’s Vera Farmiga or Fiona Apple, making me believe she could be one of their long-lost twin sisters!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      She kind of has that Don Swayze, Frank Stallone thing going on. Like she could be their relative but looks like a weird version of them.

  • Nuclearademan

    I can see why people find this film enjoyable I will admit that I laughed at the scenes of Cage beating up women and holding up a women for her bike but I can’t stand this film, it turned my favourite horror film into a complete joke. Apparently both Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee were offered a role. I’m guessing it would just be a cameo but that would been pretty. It probably wouldn’t have made the film any better but it would’ve been kinda cool to see.

    I like Nic Cage, I think he is one of the most unique acters out there
    but for every good film he makes like Lord of War or Drive Angry he
    makes 3 that are pretty bad.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Woodward and Lee were both offered cameos but they declined after they saw what a mess it was going to be. Initially I was upset with the film but after I watched it I laughed so hard at how bad the movie was. I think if it was a box office success I would have had more of a problem with it but because it was such a massive failure it makes it even funnier.

      Cage does have a very odd track record. Like you said, he makes a good/great movie and then 2-3 bad ones.

      • The Rule of Nicolas Cage is the half and half sub-trope of Rule Of Sean Connery for crying out loud.

        Depending on your view of the actor or just their track record, they’re either awesome or painful to watch.

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          Even in his worst movies he is still great. I’ve sat through many of his trainwreck movies just to see how over the top he goes.

          • The_Stig

            Now switch! To Krypton-IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITE!

          • Nuclearademan

             His cameo in Grindhouse has to be his greatest moment.

            “THIS IS MY MECCA! AHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHA”

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            Hmmm…maybe I should compile a list of best Nic Cage freakouts?

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            I really wish they would have made the Cage/Burton Superman. I couldn’t have been nearly as bad as Superman Returns turned out. (or it could have been worse but in a wonderful way)

          • Nuclearademan

            From what I’ve heared it would’ve been the Batman & Robin of Superman films. Mind you it does sound more interesting than Man of Steel.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            Especially if you’ve ever seen the footage of the Superman “light brite” suit. It looked ridiculous/awesome. Ugh, I can’t imagine it sinking to the levels of Batman and Robin though. What a disaster.

          • edharris1178

             Me too.  Heck, it’s really the only reason to watch the Ghost Rider movies.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            That reminds me, I need to see the second one.

  • FullofQuestions1

    Teehee, those sunglasses made me crack up.

    Have you seen the Rifftrax for this? They make this movie even more funny than it already is.

    The original is one of my favorite movies of all time, so for a while, I hated this thing. Then, I lightened up and started laughing.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      🙂

      Yep, the rifftrax is hilarious. I loved the ongoing Sport coat and slacks jokes.

      The original is one of the most atmospheric films ever made and the remake is everything that is wrong with remakes. I’m sure there is a film class somewhere that studies this.

  • Jeff Bradford

    Looks like we completely agree on a movie Cecil! I thought Wickerman was hysterical! Good old Cage made it so damn entertainingly bad that I could sit through the whole movie and find flaw after flaw and be completely happy. Though usually for this movie I have to have someone there or else the whole thing just gets boring. Well I mean yeah it’s boring anyway but that’s beside the point. Great review, and good God you had to kick some movies in the nads right at the last second didn’t you?!!?

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      It had to happen sooner or later! 🙂

      Cage really went all out with this. He was the one to suggest pulling the gun on the girl with the bike and screaming in the face of Willow. (How’d it get burned!) Proving how good of an actor he is, by yelling at her (the script called for him to just ask not yell) he was able to pull a performance out of her. (the only time in the whole movie she showed any sort of emotion beyond drugged out hippie)

      Definitely a movie that improves with more people around. Beer helps too. (I don’t drink anymore but even I know the fundimental improvements that alcohol can bring to a bad movie session)

      Yeah, had to give out those guys a good quick beating. Especially Arthur. Please America, be done with Russell Brand soon?

      • Russell Brin (Facebook sux)

        I’d actually like to see you recap the original Wicker Man, that movie is one I haven’t seen but the few short clips you showed made it seem creepy, surreal and downright fabulous! 

        • Jill Bearup

          It’s on my list to compare for The Special Relationship…but now Cecil’s so thoroughly covered the new one, it’s waaaay down the list. 🙂

          Also, I am a wimp and bad at horror films.

          I’d need help. Also a sofa to hide behind. 0.0

          • The_Stig

            The true horror of the original Wicker Man? 

            Christopher Lee in drag.

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            Agreed!

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            When I was working on this Albert told me that you were looking to do a comparison between the two so I left off some stuff as to not cover everything. So there should be more than enough material for you to make a comparison whenever you decide to do your video. 🙂

            lol, yeah the original is quite creepy…I recommend watching it during the day with other people. eep

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          I don’t think I could. The original is just too good to riff on. If I do it won’t be for a while.

  • edharris1178

    Ah, the quintessential bad Nicolas Cage film.  Great review, man.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks Ed 🙂

      Its going to be tough for him to top this one. This is his scene chewing best.

      • edharris1178

         Very true.

      • Nuclearademan

        His scene chewing best has to be Deadfall.

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          How have I not seen this yet?! To Netflix!

          • Nuclearademan

             Oh you are in for a treat.
             

          • edharris1178

             I second that.  You are about to have one of the most amazing experiences in your entire life.

  • John Sco

    Remember when Nicholas Cage made a good movie?

    Pepperidge Farm remembers…

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      lol oh come on now Cage makes good movies all the time, he just peppers his credits with bad ones a bit more often. Like Nuclearademan said down a few posts for every Lord of War or Drive Angry he makes 3 that are pretty bad.

  • Liam Barrett

    I want to cover this film one day, because I think this film’s attitude to women and the director’s supposed issues are ripe for examination. Basically I think this film is a troll towards all the people who accused him is being mysoginistic.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I wouldn’t be too surprised, especially after seeing In the company of men. That movie is brutal. Although, some of the violence (according to the commentary) was spur of the moment stuff that Cage did. Like pulling the gun on Sister Rose.

  • Thomas Stockel

    A great review, thank you for your sacrifices on our behalf. 🙂

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Delawheredad

    Great review as always Cecil. The idea of even remaking the original and setting it in the United States is a special kind of daft. Europe has a pagan history. North America does not. You COULD use a colony of modern day Aztecs who practice human sacrifice and set it in Central America but Hollywood has made Native Americans the bad guy so often in the past that such a film could never be made today.   

     This movie is the textbook example of how not to do a remake. No matter how you slice it the very idea of a remake of the original is  so stupid that you have to wonder how it got funding to begin with. If any other industry wasted money and resources like Hollywood does there would be Congressional investigations into it every day!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! There was a lot they could have done but they just copied the original but changed all the points that made it the classic that it is.

      As far as how they got funding, Cage’s production company contacted the director and they fronted most of the money. He really loved the original and wanted to be the one to remake it. What I don’t understand is if he was such a huge fan of the original…why remake it? What would be the point? If it was so great then it doesn’t need to be remade in the first place.

      (although I’m glad he did because the remake is hilarious)

      Yes, I agree hollywood wastes money like there is no tomorrow then complains that they are losing money)

    • Guest

      “Europe has a pagan history. North America does not.”
      Yeah, but Summersisle was filmed on Bowen Island in BC, which… while not *quite* as hippy-neoPagan as say…. nearby SaltSpring Island! – it’s still not entirely out of the realm of possibility that there IS in fact a Capital-G Goddess-worshipping cult of organic beekeepers hiding somewhere on Bowen. I’ve seen enough Capital-G Goddess-worshipping lavender farmers in the area, to say nothing of Capital-G Goddess-worshipping winemakers.

      Ah south BC, where the hippies come to die… then, inexplicably live on for another 40 or 50 years.

  • Thranjax

    We could do with a recap of The Wicker Tree perhaps? I really don’t fancy
    watching the thing myself.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I’ll have to get back to you on that. I have it in my Netflix Q and I’ll be watching it soon. I’m cautiously optimistic.

      • Bart_Fargo

        Hate to piss all over your cautious optimism, but it’s pretty dull stuff. Even Christopher Lee in a very brief cameo doesn’t help.

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          Well, I just got it in the mail today so we’ll see. Eh, I never had high hopes for the thing so if it stinks I’m not going to be upset.

          • Thranjax

            Well, was it stinky or cheesy goodness?

  • Earthbound_X

    Funny thing about the actress playing Sister Beach, she was in an ep of Quantum Leap as a hooker in a whorehouse.

    She didn’t look at mannish as she does now, but no thanks.

    •  I’m pretty sure she is supposed to be “Sister Beech”, like the tree. Not like a beach on the coast.

      • Cecil_Trachenburg

        Yep, all the women had flower and plant related names. Sisiter Rose, Beech, Honey, etc.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I’ve only ever seen her at her current size. Although I remember when Kathleen Turner was thin and hot but not she is the size of a water buffalo.

  • John Sco

    I’m glad someone else appreciates this movie as a comedy. It truly is hilarious, and it makes for a great drinking game: take a sip of beer every time you see a reference to bees.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      A Wicker Man drinking game? Do you want everyone to die of alcohol poisoning! 😛

  • I thought there already was a remake of Rear Window… the one from 1998 with Christopher Reeve, who by that time was stuck in a wheelchair in real life. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166322/

    They made another one in 2007, with Shia LaBeouf?? That one’s for the Hipster generation, eh? *groan*

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Oh I forgot about the Christopher Reeve one, probably because it was a made for TV movie.

      Disturbia (the Shia one) is actually pretty good. They took the basic premise and went in a different direction with it. Plus, David Morse was an awesome villain. I went int expecting it to be crap but it is genuinely entertaining. (this was also before the no! no! no! Shia we have now) 

    • CDiehl

      They also did a remake of Rear Window in the 80’s, with Steve Gutenberg. I may be one of the few who remembers it exists.

      • Cecil_Trachenburg

        Yikes. I can’t imagine that being even remotely good.

  • Peter Deadman

    Fantastic reviews. Yours are consistently some of the best on this site because it gives the viewer behind the scenes info as well as making fun of the movie. Congrats!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! I appreciate it! 🙂

  • The_Unusual_Suspect

    Awesome work Cecil! 1st I’ve seen of yours, I gotta watch the rest of your reviews. I made the mistake of watching this in cinemas. Since I was younger, I didn’t realize how terrible it was til I watched it back. But violent Nic Cage in a bear suit more than makes up for it 😀

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks!

      Oh man, I can’t imagine seeing this in the theater. Although, with the right crowd it might have been a blast. Most likely it was just awkward silence and the occasional facepalm.

      Nic Cage should now be contractually bound to make every 3rd movie in a bear suit. 🙂

  • Jdurham2

    That is by far the BEST movie review I have EVER watched/heard/read (even though I didn’t read it – I mean that its better than any written reviews – I include this because you are so goddamn sharp). 

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Wow, thank you! I appreciate the high praise, you made my morning 🙂

  • Sand Ripper

     Just when I thought you weren’t going to have an Iron Maiden reference, there it was.