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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Wicker Man (1973) - Robin Hardy

The Wickerman was amazing. I really liked it. I watched it earlier and let it soak in. This was my first viewing and instantly noticed that Hot Fuzz was based on this film. Or at least in part. The movie revolves around religion pitting Christianity, Anglican Christianity against the "Old Gods." Horror movie icon Christopher Lee and veteran actor Edward Woodward star in this. They put in a great performance each. Especially Christopher Lee, his character is haunting.

The movie is about a Sergent Howie, that comes to the island of Summerisle to find a missing girl. While investigating her disappearance he begins to see the evil underlinings of the island. Suspicious inhabitants have him running in a circle. Things get even weirder when Howie meets the pagan leader of the island Lord Summerisle. The adults on the island are teaching their students about very inappropriate topics. Some children dance nude throughout the main town. However, the island is facing huge problems. Crops aren't growing. The inhabitants of the island have all been brain-washed. Lord Summerisle would eventually disclose that his great-grandfather had experimented with exotic fruits and vegetables here. However, during the recent times the ground had rejected it. Lord Summerisle believes that human sacrifice will appease the gods and bring the crops back. 

When I first started watching I wasn't expecting much. I was half-expecting to see a poorly acted b-movie and was presently surprised with the outcome. The acting is mediocre but it's nothing to hold against it. The screenplay and direction are enough to overpower the acting. It isn't horrible. It's just not the best. The religious aspect is actually fantastic. It draws faith into question. Look at what all of these people do in the name of Faith.

I had a great time watching this movie and I think you will too. It's great to watch when you can't figure out what to put in. The overall creepiness of the movie keeps it scary. No real grotesque scenes of gore and guts. No jump scares. Just a really creepy vibe that holds strong throughout. Beginning to end. Go find this movie if you haven't seen it yet and enjoy. I know you will.

"Animals are fine, but their acceptability is limited. A little child is even better, but not NEARLY as effective as the right kind of adult." 
  • The negative and the outtakes of the film were stored at the vault in Shepperton studios. When it was bought, the new owner gave the order to clear the vault to get rid of all the old stuff. Foolishly, the vault manager put the negatives, which just arrived from the lab, with the ones which were to be destroyed.
  • Christopher Lee agreed to appear in this film for free. 
  • Although the film is set in Scottish territory and all the characters are meant to be of Scottish nationality, all five of of the leading cast are not Scottish: Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward are English, Diane Cilento is Australian, Ingrid Pitt is Polish and Britt Ekland is Swedish.  

 

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