Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wicker Man--Unintentional Hilariousness

Last night I saw the re-make of the Wicker Man--I had enjoyed the Edward Woodward-starring original, which also featured Britt Eckland who was sort of the Megan Fox of her day but with real boobs. And of course the original had Christopher Lee who was one of the all-time British film greats and played about three separate heavies on the '60s TV series "The Avengers". Side note--who was the hottest chick to work with John Steed on that show? Generally people give it to Diana Rigg who played Emma Peel, and while I wouldn't take anything from her I have to say Linda Thorson's Tara King edged her out, though that's just my taste. Anyway, where were we?

Ah yes, 1973's Wicker Man was pretty terrific. SPOILERS AHEAD! The story involved a police investigator (Edward Woodward) staying on a small island off the Scottish coast, investigating a young girl's disappearance and finding very little help from the islanders and being wigged out by Britt Eckland's tits. now, granted these were those weird 1970s tits (a topic for another discussion) but it turns out he's a virgin saving himself for marriage to the woman he's engaged to back on the mainland, so rather than have sex with Rod Stewart's wife he says "no thanks, Britt" and goes back to his investigation. The islanders are no help--he gradually realizes they're very strange, giving him very cryptic information and he also realizes that they're pagans which pisses him off as he's a devout Christian. His meeting with the Lord of the island (Christopher Lee) only confirms his unease, and the climax of the film is him learning that there was no missing girl, the whole thing was a ruse to lure a pure virgin to the island to sacrifice him to the god of the harvest (that's what pagans do, apparently! And this is why I can't go to Burning Man). They put him in this giant wicker sculpture of a man, and burn him alive--good and creepy!

Well, the re-make with Nicholas Cage was a bit different, by which I mean unintentionally hilarious. The island this time is off the coast of Washington State, Cage is a California cop who investigates a missing girl (he's out of his jurisdiction because the request to find the girl came from his ex fiancee) and the island is dominated by women. Cage doesn't seem to be particularly Christian, but is no fan of paganism, no fan of women running the show, and no fan of people not telling him where the missing girl is. He gets attacked by bees and somehow makes this extremely funny, and of course he is wearing a bear suit at one point when he punches out one of the women. Really, this has to be seen to be believed. Hell, the whole thing should have been repackaged as a comedy.

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