Horror Movies

Horror Remake Watch: Witchfinder General

Witchfinder General
It really doesn’t matter what you think of all these horror remakes, ’cause they’re here to stay, and there will be more – many, many more. Here’s the latest “reimagined” scarefest from the Hollywood nightmare machine.

Nicolas Cage and director Neil LaBute brought us a new kind of cinematic insanity a few years ago with their remake of The Wicker Man. A truly bizarre piece of work, Wicker Man ’06 features Cage punching and kicking several different women (while dressed up as a bear in one scene); tearing pagan masks off of children; pulling a gun on someone and demanding they hand over their bicycle; and screaming incoherently about murder, bees, honey and his eyes – sometimes in the same sentence. One wonders if LaBute knew what he was doing all along, making something so over-the-top and punch-drunk gonzo – hell, he probably did.

The Wicker Man

Now LaBute and Cage will bring on the weirdness again, reteaming for a remake of Witchfinder General, aka The Conqueror Worm.The 1968 original (which flaunted the proud tagline of “The Most Violent Film of the Year!”) starred Vincent Price as Matthew Hopkins, a rather sadistic con artist who exploited 17th-century village superstitions by presenting himself as an official persecutor of witches, performing impromptu trials, drownings and burnings in return for cash and sexual favors. When Hopkins targets a priest for persecution, he inspires the wrath of a soldier who’s engaged to the priest’s niece, and then all hell really breaks loose.

Witchfinder General

Now we can look forward to Cage with a beard and black hat, punching out witches, getting blowjobs from witches in exchange for not setting them on fire, screaming about witches and witchcraft and drowning and burning and quoting Poe’s “Conqueror Worm” poem in voice-over. No word yet on who will play his creepy sidekick John Stearne, played by Robert Russell in the original, though LaBute company man Aaron Eckhart wouldn’t be a bad choice. Or they could just do the Adaptation thing and have Cage play both parts. Or Brad Dourif.

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