When I rented the April movie I was told I could get a second movie for just fifty cents more. So I browsed and browsed and they had zillions of old movies but they didn’t have “On The Waterfront”. Finally my eye landed on “The Wicker Man” and I snatched it up.
I probably last saw it late some Saturday night a quarter century ago on Creature Features. Second thought, it’s too good for Creature Features. But wherever it was shown, they would have heavily edited Britt Ekland’s nude erotic dance scene, so getting the DVD was a special treat.
Don’t mistake this for the movie released in 2006 starring Nicholas Cage. I’m talking about the real one, with the great actor Edward Woodward and the ever-sinister Christopher Lee, filmed in 1972 and released in various forms throughout the 70s.
There are a lot of things to like about this film beyond its charming 1970s propensity for nudity. It’s a horror film without any supernatural elements (or blood). It’s a subtle story about people in isolation, about power, and about faith. The pagan elements are well done and contrast well with Woodward’s character’s devout Christianity. Woodward’s acting is tremendous. There is some nice Celtic folk music that was written for the film, in particular “The Landlord’s Daughter”. It was shot in Scotland and has beautiful, beautiful scenery. And a story of pagan sacrifice and rebirth was a hell of a choice for Good Friday.