The Wicker Man is a movie I've heard about for decades, but not one I much wanted to see until recently. I passed on a few dvd copies, and I've regretted that, but this morning I caught it on television in an uncut form. Actually I saw the last twenty minutes last evening and looked to see it was replaying early this morn. I awoke in the nick of time to catch it and it's a hoot.
If you've not seen it and want to, then spoilers are in order I'll tip you when they are over.
Knowing the ending didn't hurt my enjoyment at all, but rather intensified it as I was able to see how Howie was being led along. The movie looks great with fantastic landscapes and it's simply brimming with interesting looking folks, both of the eccentric type and the downright gorgeous type.
Christopher Lee is magnificent as Lord Summerisle. It's one of the best parts I've ever seen him play. He indicates in some online interviews that the part was written for him. It's a great match of talent and type. He's a charming devil for sure.
Edward Woodward as Detective Howie, the intense but ultimately hapless "copper" who seeks the missing Rowan, is great too. His compulsions are no less peculiar than the islanders, and I can only imagine his rants on morality rang hollow even in the day.
Britt Ekland looks fantastic as the alluring Willow, and the other honeys especially Ingid Pitt are right pretty too. It's the eroticism in this movie which is so commomplace in the movie that makes it click.
This movie shows well that a scary flick can take place in the daylight if the ideas behind it are creepy enough. Stumbling across an island of pagans in the modern day smacks of Lovecraft, but it has a neat modern spin to it in addition.
This movie was challenging in today's environment, so it must've been positively transgressive when it was released. This is a movie that will stand up to repeated viewings, so I must get about acquiring a copy.
If you're not familiar with the movie here's the trailer.