Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wicker

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.

5 comments:

Jeff K said...

That movie disturbed the crap out of me. When Woodward realizes what's happening and starts yelling, "Oh, Jesus Christ, no!" from inside the wicker man my skin was crawling. And yeah, awesome 70s-style nudity.

Joe the Troll said...

I saw it for the first time a few months ago - great stuff. Evidently, the dance scene wasn't entirely Britt, The director like her front view, but felt the rear view could be improved upon.

The skin-crawling at the end is, I think, because of the divergence from what movies usually deliver.... that is, the last minute rescuer. This time, the rescuer was the victim, and the victim he was looking for sprung the trap. Such a simple, yet brilliant, turnabout.

O' Tim said...

Um, could we make it standard practice to properly label SPOILER posts/comments here at FFC?

Thanks,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Film Freak

Jeff K said...

Ack! Good point, O'Tim! Sorry!

Joe the Troll said...

Nah- we should find out what movie O'Tim wants to see next, and do a scene analysis of the ending! :-)