For example: in her obituary for feminism in pop culture, Lynn Crosbie does note one bright spot for feminist film: Obsessed, starring Beyonce, Idris Elba, and that one chick from Heroes. Obsessed, in case you are unaware, is a film which features its two leading ladies both engaged in making the timeless feminist argument that the other should STAY AWAY FROM HER MAN, BITCH, because, as we all know, when YOUR MAN screws someone else it is merely a terrible accident caused by his proximity to a lady who would not STAY AWAY. He cannot be held accountable! I’m not opposed to STAYING AWAY FROM MY MAN, BITCH on principle, but I do not think I am out of line here when I suggest that perhaps the spectacle of two ladies beating the custard out of each other (one is a woman of color! One is white! This makes it all the more delightful!) in order to secure the hot, sexy approval of a dude is not going to automatically bring about the Womyn Sister Queendom in the manner that Lynn Crosbie suggests.
“But, Sady,” you are saying, “why are you such a downer? If I cannot see Obsessed – for truly, I had planned to see it! And I have no other alternatives! And I construct my opinions on no other basis than that of your hastily typed blog posts! – then, truly, there are no entertainment options left in the world for me.”
To you, I say: have you seen Neil LaBute’s The Wicker Man?
Oh, dude. You need to see Neil LaBute’s The Wicker Man. It always strikes me as innately hilarious when people are like, “are you aware that feminists are constitutionally incapable of telling jokes, or laughing at them? This is a true thing I have said,” because I have always operated on the principle that stupid + absurd = funny and misogynists = stupid + absurd. For a demonstration of these advanced mathematics, I recommend that you view Neil LaBute’s The Wicker Man, which is a comedy goldmine! A goldmine of comedy AT NEIL LABUTE’S EXPENSE, that is: truly, the best goldmine of all.
So, Neil LaBute used to be one of those all-too-common guys about whom people asked, “but is he really misogynist? Or is he, perhaps, commenting on misogyny by presenting us with it over and over and over, all the time?” Then he re-made The Wicker Man, and people were like, “oh, well, that answers my question, then!” Truly, it is a fever dream of lady-hatred; it is also one of the most hugely incompetent films ever made, which means that even dudes and ladies who are suckered in or charmed by the sexism of other movies (the “but some women really are bitches” contingency) are likely to look at it and be like, WHOA.
So, in The Wicker Man, also known as Women Terrify Me: The Motion Picture Event, Nicolas Cage, in full-on “I Do Not Even Have To Try; I Am Just This Ridiculous” mode, plays a cop. Some terrible bratty female child throws her doll out the window of a moving car, and then he has to pick it up! Can you believe it? Furthermore, just to make his day worse, while he is retrieving her doll, she and her terrible mother go and get themselves hit by a truck! This is bad for them, but far worse for Nicolas Cage, who now has various flashbacks about women getting hit by trucks that cause him to overact wildly.
While he is in this vulnerable state, he is contacted by an ex-girlfriend. (In the original Wicker Man, the plot of the movie hinged on the idea that the male protagonist was a virgin. This cannot be allowed in Neil LaBute’s version! Nope, Nicolas Cage has totally sexed before – with sexy ladies, for sex purposes! He’s a sexually active dude, all right!) Her daughter is missing, much like that girl from the first scene, who is also “missing,” in that she was hit by a truck, FLASHBACK FLASHBACK FLASHBACK. Nicolas Cage’s ex-girlfriend, who he has because he is totally sexually active, with women, needs his help!
But wait! There’s more! In order to help this woman, he must go to her home, which is located in the Mists of Avalon, er, “Summersisle.” Summersisle is a mysterious and forbidding island where, you will not believe it, all of the people in charge are chicks. I know, right? The psychological terror: it is intense! Some of these chicks are large, and speak in deep voices. Some of these chicks are older than fifty. Some of them do not respond well to Nicolas Cage bursting into their classrooms while they are in session and screaming at them and saying things such as, “I’m a POLICEMAAAAAAAAAN. See my BAAAAAAAAAAAADGE?” Yes, in the terrifying nightmare realm of Summersisle, it is not the badge, but the vadge, that rules!
So, the first half of The Wicker Man is a little slow, seeing as how it is almost entirely composed of women being ominous and/or unimpressed with the fact that Nicolas Cage has a penis. (NOTE: In this movie – and in the mind of LaBute – they are more or less the same thing.) Stay with it – for, as the movie builds to its climax, it gets much harder and faster and louder and makes much sillier faces. Wait, what? ANYWAY: the last twenty minutes of The Wicker Man are the most sublimely, supremely un-self-aware example of Unintentional Comedy at Sexism’s Expense that I have ever seen, composed as they are of Nicolas Cage running around in a a hysterical violent rage and screaming “BITCHES! BITCHESSSSSSSSSSSS” at the top of his voice and oh, fuck it, LET’S GO TO YOUTUBE:
I’m sorry, I need to emphasize something here:
(Note: the YouTube comments on these videos, like all YouTube comments, will depress the shit out of you. This is because some people think that hitting women is inherently funny. They are incorrect. THE FACT THAT NEIL LABUTE THOUGHT HE COULD SERIOUSLY SELL A SCENE OF NICOLAS CAGE GETTING INTO A BEAR SUIT AND PUNCHING WOMEN FOR NO GOOD REASON as a scene of SUSPENSE AND TERROR because he is AFRAID OF WOMEN AND ANGRY ABOUT THAT is funny. For the rest, chalk it up to the fact that sexists have no sense of humor.)
Anyway, the Monstrous Regiment of Women finally, after much delay, reveal their master plan, which is: to accomplish the Most Ridiculous Movie Death Scene of All Time. It involves THE BEEEEEEEEES, THE BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS, which are a metaphor for people having vaginas, and also something getting BURRRNNNNED, and oh, here you go:
Do you see what happens when you have the right to vote, ladies? Do you see? This is why we can’t have nice things!
Anyway, for a woman of my sort – the sort who thinks that hating women is inherently really stupid, and also enjoys laughing at the failures of others – this movie, which demonstrates the stupidity thereof in a completely blatant and accidental manner, is much needed comic relief! Don’t pay for it, though. Neil LaBute is in need of many things – therapy, a Women’s Studies education, talent – but he does not need your money.