Saturday, 11 October 2008

The Wicker Man

Directed by Robin Hardy and released in 1973, The Wicker Man is arguably the greatest British horror film to emerge from the 1970's. Filmed in Scotland, it features some of the most iconic and scary scenes put on film. It stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Diane Cilento plus horror queen Ingrid Pitt and a decidedly saucy but badly dubbed Britt Eckland.

Edward Woodward plays a devoutly religious Scottish police officer, Sergeant Neil Howie who visits the isolated island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a local girl. Howie soon discovers that the inhabitants of Summerisle are Paganists and as such are at odds with his devoutly Christian beliefs. Eventually Howie encounters the charismatic Lord Summerisle played by Christopher Lee, where amid the sexual shenanigins, Howie discovers more disturbing facts about the island and its beliefs to his own personal cost.

The Wicker Man is no schlocky horror movie with some T&A thrown in for good measure (though there is a bit of that c/o Ms Eckland). It delves deeper into something more primeval and sinister. The film has been analysed to death and I am sure I can add no new insights. Therefore I heartily recommend that you check out the excellent Wicker Man site to get the lowdown on this great movie.

The soundtrack for The Wicker Man was composed, arranged and recorded by Paul Giovanni and Magnet. It comprises folk songs performed by members of the cast including Christopher Lee and Lesley Mackie who sings the opening song. The overall vibe is slightly disturbing with songs arranged to reflect pre-Christian pagan European culture and the island environment. Amongst the bawdy folk songs nestle many beautiful cues such as the previously mentioned opening song and the sensual Willow's song 'performed' in the movie by Brit Eckland in a scene that over the years has set many an adolescent boy's pulse pounding!

1 comment:

ib said...

Great post on a great film, Crispy32.

I gather director, Robin Hardy has a film out this year,"Cowboys For Christ", also starring Christopher Lee and dealing with much the same theme.

I for one am interested to see how it shapes up.