September 1, 2006, - 9:55 am
By Debbie Schlussel
In Hollywood’s continuing decline in creativity, Remake-opia has set in as a fact of life. This weekend, two remakes of ’70s films debut: “Lassie“– which I did not see, but is getting all-around good reviews–and “The Wicker Man.”
“The Wicker Man” is a creepy thriller with one of the two worst types of societies we could imagine. It’s not an Islamofascist society, but a feminist, matriarchal one. Imagine an island ruled by women uglier than feminist activists Betty Friedan and Eleanor Smeal and far more wicked. Imagine a society where men don’t speak, but while largely mute, they are there only as slaves–for manual labor and reproduction. No football, no electronic gadgets, complete darkness.
“The Wicker Man” envisions what must be the feminist paradise–but is a weird nightmare to the rest of us. Welcome to Feminazi Hell.
As with most remakes, the originals are always better. And the same goes for the latest incarnation of “The Wicker Man.” The original 1973 version (which just came out on DVD) is far scarier, far weirder, and far more thrilling. (We had the same reaction to this one as we had to the remake of “When a Stranger Calls,” earlier this year.)
There were some things we liked about this remake, though–one being the demonstration of what a weird horror show a feminist society would be. The other is Nicolas Cage–satisfactory as the police officer who goes to the bizarre, secluded island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl–who inserts his own brand of humor to the story. We’re usually not fans of his, but in this case, watching his reaction and disbelief in the face of Gloria Steinem’s utopia is simply priceless.
In the original, the island was a patriarchy, run by men for men. In this one, director Neil Labute (who is known for his work making statements on the “gender wars”) wrote his own version of the movie, with the twist we noted: The island colony, Summersisle, is a feminist matriarchy, where men are slaves and women rulers are ugly man-haters. (Also, the nudity and “naked dance” of the original are not present in this one.)
Again, the original is far creepier–the aim of the story. But this one is okay. While not a “great” movie, it is entertaining enough. But seeing what life in Hillary Clinton’s “village” would be like, makes it worth seeing and laughing about.
Tags: Betty Friedan, Debbie Schlussel In Hollywood, director, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Islamofascist, Lassie, Neil Labute, Nicolas Cage, police officer, The Wicker Man, When a Stranger Calls