Season of the Witch

The Season of the Witch (2011) movie poster

(2011) director Dominic Sena
viewed: 08/17/2011

This may indeed be the worst Nicolas Cage film to date.  And that is saying something.

It’s Uwe Boll bad.

The film I kept thinking of during it was Boll’s In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), which also featured actor Ron Perlman, who is Cage’s burly side-kick in this Dark Ages adventure.  Perlman is no stranger to super-low-budget, direct-to-video fantasy/sci-fi garbage.  He’s also appeared in Mutant Chronicles (2008) and I Sell the Dead (2008).  He’s good and grizzled-looking and buff enough to fit into these types of films as the older, cynical, seen-it-all kind of grouse.  He’s cast to type.  And he apparently has no shame about appearing in bad movies.  But that might have been a sign to Cage that he’s seriously verging on direct-to-video films himself at this point.

The effects are cheap and crappy, creating this Dark Ages scenery and battle sequences, grand scopes with the quality of no budget.

Cage and Perlman are two crusading knights, trouncing happily into battle in the name of the Lord and drinking and merry-making in the many afterglows.  That is, until one raid on a castle begets only women and children as their victims, and they up and quit to Crusades to wander aimlessly abroad.

Little are they aware that the Plague has swept Europe and women everywhere are being denounced as witches and killed.  They are given the quest of taking one particular witch to a monastery for trial and probable death.  They accept because they feel she may not be a real witch (and she reminds Cage of the accusing look of one of the women that he had slain.)  The zealous priest makes them even more suspicious as she tries to curry favor with everyone and accuse the priest of villainies.

Cage as a 14th Century knight is hard enough to swallow, but there are other similarly mis-cast characters who suck any potential realism from this nonsense.  And for a Cage fan, there are no great moments of flair, uniqueness, whimsy, or insanity, only noble duties and broadsword swinging.

I posit that this film ranks right up against The Wicker Man (2006) as the worst Nicolas Cage film.  The Wicker Man, however, has some real weirdness to it that offers more potential at camp and comedy.  Season of the Witch is the kind of film that is amazing to have seen a theatrical release.  It’s cheap and worst-off, it’s pretty uninteresting.

I’ll be waiting for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) for more of the bad/good Cage films.  That one looks to be pretty hilarious.

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