What Causes Black Plague? Probably Witches
Hello friends and freakish compatriots. Slick Dungeon here back with yet another review of a film that is never going to win any kind of awards. I had planned to review Captain Sabretooth and the Treasure of Rama Lama but it apparently is not on Netflix and it’s surprisingly hard to get an Amazon Prime membership when you live in a dingy dungeon cave and are forced to read terrible books and watch awful movies.
I ended up watching Season of the Witch. The most absolutely stunning thing about this film is how many actors are in it that you will recognize. This was filmed after Nicolas Cage really needed money but before Robert Sheehan was being fantastically weird in The Umbrella Academy. It was after Ron Perlman had been Hellboy a couple of times but before Claire Foy was Lizbeth Salander or the queen of England. It was well after Christopher Lee was cool but before Rory McCann had an epic throwdown in Clegane-bowl in Game of Thrones. And yes, all those high quality actors are actually in this film. You know what? It just proves that we can’t all succeed all the time.
Set in the time of the crusades, we learn in the first scene that witches are totally real. How do we know? Because a priest kills one but then gets killed for it. Supernatural things are afoot.
We cut immediately into a series of crusade battles where a bunch of Americans sounding very American do some British style sword wielding. They go on battle after battle in location after location. Conveniently, the travel takes no time at all because, editing. Ron Perlman and Nicolas Cage ham it up so much in these battle sequences, you can smell the pork on their breath. They play Felson and Behman respectively and the names do not fit at all with these actors. I guarantee you will think of them the entire time as Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman.
The fight sequences for the crusades seem to last about as long as the actual crusades. They are repetitive and dull and full of a lot shouting about God. Finally after the eons of this happening (along with a bunch of side shouting about committing all manner sins by Cage and Perlman) Behman stabs an innocent woman to death and thinks maybe it’s time for a career change. He and Felson quit and leave the battlefield. The head of the army is like, “You cannot leave,” to which Behman says, “Who’s gonna stop us?” My thought was, maybe that whole freaking army? But nah, they just let them go.
Cage and Perlman make it to the town we saw at the opening where the witch had cursed a priest. They find the whole place is dying by plague. Cage and Perlman are exposed to this stuff in the film over and over and over and over again and not even a cough out of either one of them for the whole film. Why? Because the plague was not caused by germs or spread by rodents or anything illogical like that. Nope. It was witches. For sure, witches. Oh and guess what? This town caught another witch and if she gets taken to some random town and put on trial where there is some book and some ritual is performed the plague will most definitely be over and we’ll all be good to go on and invent cheeseburgers in the future or whatever.
But there’s a problem see? They need some good ol’ deserters who can either choose jail time or go escort this witch somewhere. Cage and Perlman choose jail. Yep, you got that right. They were not afraid to fight off an entire army of crusaders but when a priest in a plague infested town tells them to leave, they are like, yeah jail sounds good. Behman has a heart though because he feels guilty for getting all stabby on a woman earlier in the movie so when this witch is in the jail cell across from him and she cries, he decides he will escort her, as long as he gets a pardon. Were there pardons back then? I dunno.
The witch begs Behman to make sure she gets a “fair trial”. Never mind that at that time a fair trial might very well have been checking to see if she burned to death by fire. They pick up a guy from the stockade who can apparently lead them to the town where this ritual is supposed to happen and they set off.
Pretty quick they end up in a spooky set location where one dude ends up dead in no time at all. Some of them think it was the woman causing the death some don’t know.
We go on a bit and the woman shows more strength than reasonable without ingesting a ton of steroids. They cross a rickety bridge, another dude dies soon after that and they’re all pretty sure the witchy woman is a witch.
But guess what? At that town, the plague has hit. We get to see Christopher Lee have a death scene and they find that book that would do that ritual thing. Next thing you know, almost everyone is dead except our heroes and the woman. They start up the ritual but it doesn’t seem to be working. The priest figures out that this is not a witch! It’s a demon. Now I want my money back for the film being mistitled. It should be called Season of the Plague Demon instead.
There’s a big battle, they have to do some reading in Latin, we see a CGI demon throw people around, Hellboy and the guy from National Treasure both die. Klaus from The Umbrella Academy and Lisbeth Salander live. She lives because apparently she was just possessed? I dunno. Anyway, we all survive the plague! Cheeseburgers are now in our future!
So yeah, that’s the film for ya. It was really bad. But sadly, it’s not the worst Nicolas Cage movie I have ever seen. The best part of Season of the Witch was one jump scare way early on and, um, yeah that’s it.
Next time you are stuck in history class and you have to talk about the black plague or the crusades, just mention how a hell-spawned demon took possession of a young woman, pretended to be a witch and got it’s butt kicked by a few Americans. You’ll get an A for sure!
Next week I will be back to review Life After Beth. It’s gotta be better than life before Beth right?