Nicolas Cage returns to the big screen this week in Color Out Of Space. Cult director Richard Stanley’s film, based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, sees a family affected by an alien presence after a meteorite crashes on their farm.
As we’ve come to expect from Cage, he’s not afraid to push beyond the line of batshit crazy, with a performance described by Sara Stewart in the New York Post as “cranked up to 11, spattered with gore and bellowing about alpacas”.
With that glorious image in mind, read on as Daniel Rutledge takes us through ten of the craziest Cage moments, a tough job given a career full of them.
Nicolas Cage delivers serious head trauma then smokes a durry in the opening scene of WILD AT HEART
What a way to start a movie! In the opening minutes of Wild at Heart, Nicolas Cage is walking down the steps of some fancy place with Laura Dern when a gentleman approaches him and makes some derogatory comments before pulling out a knife. Big mistake.
The pleasant big band jazz of Glenn Miller is overpowered by some huge, chunky metal riffs by Powermad as Nicolas Cage brutally beats the shit out of the bloke. He busts his head open on the staircase’s handrail, throws him down the steps and then delivers more vicious skull damage by pounding his head repeatedly into the floor.
Powermad cuts off, Glenn Miller comes back in, Nicolas Cage huffs and puffs, lights up a ciggy and then pulls a spectacular facial expression that’s just kind of perfect. Here we go!
A long-haired Nicolas Cage enjoys his long hair in CON AIR’s wind
Look at this. Just look at it! OK now keep looking.
Nicolas Cage smokes crack, talks crazy, laughs weird and does police business in BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS
A masterstroke of casting saw Nicolas Cage step into the shoes of Harvey Keitel in Werner Herzog’s version of Bad Lieutenant. And it ended up nuttier than anyone could’ve really hoped. This scene, which centres around Nicolas Cage’s favourite crack pipe and ends with the dancing soul of a recently deceased chap being shot, is just pure, 100% Nicolas Cage.
A concerned Nicolas Cage knows things in KNOWING
Remember this movie? I’d forgotten about Knowing, thankfully, until I came to write this feature. Nicolas Cage plays one of the main knowers and the shit he knows is troubling. Y’know, intergalactic beings are coming to save kids with massive transportation arks as Earth and its adults are wiped out. That sort of thing. Like all of his more serious, less crazy roles, Nicolas Cage has to look extremely concerned for most of this and it’s silly and wonderful.
Nicolas Cage defines ‘bug-eyed’ with bug-eyed speech in VAMPIRE’S KISS
Vampire’s Kiss is probably the most Nicolas Cage of all Nicolas Cage’s movies. People could’ve stopped using the term “scenery-chewing” for any other performance as this one is so extreme and such a perfect example of it. There’s plenty of bonkers bits in this film, but the bug-eyed speech he gives to an employee he considers lesser spawned a thousand memes due to the terrible power of his bug-eyes.
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Nicolas Cage calms plane passengers after Jesus turns their loved ones into empty clothes in bizarre Christian movie LEFT BEHIND
Despite him graphically opening skulls and having lucky crack pipes etc in other movies, some rich fundamentalist evangelical types in America thought Nicolas Cage was the right choice for this remake of a modern bible-basher classic. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but the results are pretty hilarious. It’s curious seeing him running around during the rapture attempting gravitas as empty clothes are left everywhere. It’s maybe the funniest use of Nicolas Cage ever, but Left Behind is still an absolute pile of shit.
Nicolas Cage pulls an extremely Nicolas Cage face while touching a girl’s bottom and dressed as a priest in FACE/OFF
For many fans, the greatest Nicolas Cage film, Face/Off, has a scene close to its start that is just a brilliant example of his unique face being put to awesome use. This man’s face is kind of like Owen Wilson’s, but in a good way. Like, he’s had this face his whole career, and it does what it does, but all along filmmakers and studios were like “yeah that’s fine, that’s not a problem”. Here he’s pretending to be a priest while being a sex pest and psychotically loving the shit out of it.
Nicolas Cage’s face reacts to watching snuff in 8MM
Another serious role means, of course, lots of concerned Nicolas Cage face, never more so than this scene in 8mm. He’s pushing the concern levels to their absolute maximum here, which is appropriate as he pretends to see real footage of a woman being actually murdered. This movie is genuinely good—so good, in fact, that despite it being Nicolas Cage’s face being all horrified in this scene it still works. Bravo!
Nicolas Cage grunts, screams and sculls booze in MANDY toilet
If you haven’t seen Mandy and you’re reading this, you really should see it, like tonight. It’s a full-on, trippy as hell doom metal movie and Nicolas Cage Nicolas Cages in it arguably harder than he’s ever Nicolas Caged before. He slaughters evil cultists with chainsaws and battle axes, gets completely drenched in blood multiple times, takes LSD and cocaine… it’s a lot.
But this scene takes the cake. It’s an extended, extraordinary expression of grief and rage by a man with little more than a bottle of vodka, some bandages and a toilet. Fuck it’s mint.
Every single bloody glorious moment in that THE WICKER MAN highlights clip
Nobody thought Vampire’s Kiss could be beat. Then Nicolas Cage went and did this insane The Wicker Man remake and nothing mattered anymore. Seriously. Game over. You don’t need to watch the whole stinking film, just watch this highlights clip and laugh your arse off while wondering how in the hell it ever got made.
How did most of these movies get made? What the fuck? Embrace the madness, I guess. Enjoy it, laugh at it, it’s all we can do, eh. Fuck it.