14 Nicolas Cage GIFs That Prove ‘Mom and Dad’ Is the Greatest Film Ever Made
According to Wikipedia, the GIF was created in 1987 by programmers at CompuServe “to provide a color image format for their file downloading areas.” I don’t buy it. I’m 100 percent certain the GIF was created to make animated images of Nicolas Cage. What could be more important than that?
I previously made GIFs of Cage from one of his 2000s masterpieces, Next, which is a movie about Nicolas Cage romancing a woman 20 years his junior, using his brain to dodge bullets, and then splitting himself into multiple Nicolas Cages. (Like I said, it’s a masterpiece.) Today, I present to you a dozen GIFs from Cage’s newest opus, the sublime horror comedy Mom and Dad, which premiered last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival and is now streaming on Hulu.
The film, written and directed by Brian Taylor, is a riff on the classic zombie movie formula. Instead of dead people coming back to life, an unexplained sickness causes all the parents in the world to kill their children. The title characters are played by Cage and an also-great Selma Blair.
Now Cage will indulge his inner lunatic whether a film requires it or not. He could be playing a celibate monk in a 16th century Slavic monastery and he’d still find a way to thrust his pelvis while screaming the words to the Doobie Brothers’ “China Grove.” Basically you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him. So Cage works best in movies that motivate the madness — like Mom and Dad, where everyone suddenly goes crazy and launches into a deranged homicidal frenzy — or, as Nicolas Cage calls it, “Tuesday.”
As the film begins, Cage’s Brent is your average miserable suburban dad. He’s got two kids, a house that looks like all the other houses on his block, and a job he can’t stand. This GIF sums it all up.
Then parents everywhere begin to go insane and target their children. For Cage, that means when he comes home from work and finds his daughter’s boyfriend (Robert T. Cunningham), he slaps him. Naturally, Cage does this with the grandest of flourishes.
From there, the children (Zackary Arthur and Anne Winters) barricade themselves in the basement, where the find the broken remains of a pool table. That triggers a flashback to a few weeks earlier where we see the pool table delivered and then assembled by Cage in a delightful montage of construction, headbanging, and air punches.
His reverie is interrupted by Blair, who questions his decision to spend lavishly on a man cave when the family’s expenses are tight. His response? To go full Cage. And I mean Full. Cage. He grabs a nearby sledgehammer (thankfully, he has one nearby just in case he wants to have a psychotic meltdown) and begins smashing the pool table while singing the “Hokey Pokey.”
Once the job is done, Cage unleashes a rambling monologue where he unloads all of his mid-life insecurities about the loser he has become. He grabs his belly and jiggles what he describes as his “Blue Bonnet butter waistline!”
He also utters what is immediately one of the greatest lines Cage or any actor, living or dead, has ever uttered, about his teenage virility:
The flashback ends (unfortunately) and we return to the present, where Blair’s character returns home and the parents begin to scheme. How can they kill their kids which they so desperately want to do, when they’re locked in the basement?
As you can see, Cage gets antsy:
Eventually, Mom and Dad do figure out a way to open the basement door but it does not, uh, go well.
Did I mention Nicolas Cage gets a saw at one point? Nicolas Cage gets a saw at one point.
In the midst of the chaos there’s another flashback, to a father and son heart-to-heart. There should be entire acting school classes devoted to Cage’s beer drinking in this scene.
I won’t reveal how the movie ends, and I haven’t even GIFed the best scene in the film, which is an amazing third-act surprise. I encourage you to watch Mom and Dad for yourself (Hulu, people!) and then make your own GIFs. That’s why CompuServe created them in the first place.
I leave you with one more slice of Cage perfection, ideal for sharing on social media to describe any moment someone interrupts your me time — like when you’re watching a Nicolas Cage movie and your partner wants you to take out the trash.