September 1, 2006, - 9:55 am

Weekend Box Office: Feminist Hell in Creepy “Wicker Man” Remake

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.

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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.

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3 Responses

from the Company of Women, Friends and Neighbors, etc women against men and men against women has pretty much been La Bute’s theme. but I guess if this movie ends the same way as the original, that brings a whole new meaning to feminazism
YES, THAT IS HIS GENRE.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

sultan_knish on September 1, 2006 at 10:43 am

The original also had, if I am not mistaken, a kind of anti-European Union theme, with the islanders claiming that their life was being destroyed by what was then known as the Common Market. Ironic, given that Scotland has been among the largest beneficiaries of the EU in the years since.

barnej on September 1, 2006 at 4:27 pm

“In the Company of Men,” I think you meant to say, Sultan (you wrote Women). And Debbie, the Greeks did a lot of remakes too.

AbuNudnik on September 5, 2006 at 11:32 am

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