Edward Malus

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Edward Malus
Edward Malus.jpg
How'd he get burned? By being a complete moron, that's how.
Gender: Male
Type: Useless Protagonist
Species: Human
Portrayed by: Nicholas Cage
Status: Deceased
Media of origin: The Wicker Man (2006)

Edward Malus is the main protagonist of the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man. He is a police officer who goes to the island of Summersisle to investigate the disappearance of his former girlfriend, Willow Woodward's young daughter, Rowan. Malus was played by Nicholas Cage. He is based on Police Sargeant Neil Howie from the 1973 film of the same name.

Why He Deserves To Burn

  1. His biggest problem is the constant stupidity he demonstrates during the storyline. This includes him coming across a bunch of villagers carrying what blatantly resembles a dead body in a bag, and him immediately accepting their explanation that it's a shark without asking any questions.
    • There's also no in-story justification as to why he keeps acting so stupid. In the original version it made sense that the lead character, Neil Howie (the character that Malus) was based on got taken in by the islanders' plan, because he was a devout Christian and preoccupied with his personal crusade against the island's pagan religion. By contrast, Malus just finds the islanders' religion a little odd and isn't really bothered too much by it.
  2. He gets involved in investigating a missing child case despite being from a different state to Summersisle, and therefore having no authority to investigate. Even if he'd found out that something bad had happened to Rowan, he wouldn't have been able to do anything about it.
    • It also takes him way longer than it should to work out what's obvious to the audience as soon as Willow sends him her letter, namely that Rowan is his daughter.
  3. Despite having a potentially lethal bee allergy, and visiting an island famed for its honey production, he doesn't bring anyone along as backup in case he gets incapacitated. He just brings along a few epipens and expects that to be enough.
    • This also begs the question of why someone with a severe bee allergy was chosen as a prospective sacrifice anyway, seeing how he needs to come to the island for the ceremony to take place, which could have resulted in him dying from a sting before he could be sacrificed.
  4. Instead of just physically wrestling a bicycle away from a woman when he needs to get to the ceremony site, he actually takes it off her at gunpoint, despite her being clearly unarmed and not resisting in any way.
  5. He displays sexist behavior towards the women on the island even before he has reason to suspect they intend to burn his daughter (let alone himself) alive.
  6. The climax of the movie has him running around dressed up in a bear suit while rescuing Rowan, which looks absolutely cringeworthy and ridiculous and doesn't even have any in-story justification beyond him just needing a disguise (unlike in the 1973 version, where the lead character's dressing up as a court jester actually had some relevance to the plot).
  7. As a result of both his failing to cotton onto his ex-girlfriend Willow's clearly suspicious behavior and not even bothering to check whether or not his gun was actually loaded before taking on a crowd of insane cultists, he ends up unwittingly allowing her to disarm him, leading directly to his death.
  8. Unlike his counterpart in the original version of The Wicker Man, who at least managed to persuade the islanders to turn on Lord Summerisle in the event of his sacrifice not solving the crop failure, Edward completely fails to stop Lady Summersisle and the islanders in any way, and the theatrical version ends by showing two more men being set up as future sacrifices.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. While he may be completely useless as a protagonist, his idiotic behavior and Nicholas Cage's ridiculously over-the-top performance at least make him extremely entertaining for all the wrong reasons, most notably in the infamous "No, Not the bees, Not the Bees aaah!" scene.
  2. Despite all his faults and his extreme idiocy, he at least cares enough about his ex-girlfriend to try finding her daughter when she apparently goes missing, and intensifies his efforts after finding out that she's actually his own daughter.


  • Malus' name is a reference to both Edward Woodward, who played the lead character Neil Howie in the original version of The Wicker Man, and the Latin word for apple.


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