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The Wicker Man (Extended Version) (1974)

Cast: Edward Woodward, Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, more...
Director: Robin Hardy, Robin Hardy
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Rating:
Studio: Anchor Bay
Genre: Cult, Foreign, Horror, Supernatural/Occult, Cops, UK
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Synopsis
A righteous police officer investigating the disappearance of a young girl comes into conflict with the unusual residents of a secluded Scottish isle in this unsettling, intelligent chiller. Brought to the island of Summerisle by an anonymous letter, Edward Woodward's constable is surprised to discover that the island's population suspiciously denies the missing girl's very existence. Even more shocking, at least to the traditionally pious law office, the island is ruled by a libertarian society organized around pagan rituals. Repelled by the open acceptance of sexuality, nature worship, and even witchcraft, the officer takes an antagonistic attitude towards the people and their leader, an eccentric but charming English lord (Christopher Lee). The officer's unease intensifies as he continues his investigation, slowly coming to fear that the girl's disappearance may be linked in a particularly horrifying manner to an upcoming public festival. Anthony Shaffer's meticulously crafted screenplay creates a thoroughly convincing alternative society, building tension through slow discovery and indirect suggestion and making the terrifying climax all the more effective. Performances are also perfectly tuned, with Woodward suitably priggish as the investigator and horror icon Lee delivering one of his most accomplished performances as Lord Summerisle. Little noticed during its original theatrical run due to studio edits and a limited release, the film's intelligence and uncanny tone has since attracted a devoted cult following. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Bloody Sunday
Horrifying atmospheric witchcraft flick is also a cult fave

Prisoner, The - Set 1
For some reason this classic British series creeps us out in the same way


GreenCine Member Ratings

The Wicker Man (Extended Version) (1974)
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7.43 (192 votes)
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The Wicker Man (Theatrical Version) (1974)
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6.99 (204 votes)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

A unique look at pagan religion by JWhelan August 12, 2007 - 12:51 PM PDT
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2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Christianity successfully erased virtually all information about the old pagan religions, although we still have some of their obscure nursery rhymes and disguised holidays. The Wicker Man examines a group of isolated people who resurected a pagan religion more than a hundred years ago and live it in a matter-of-fact way. A visiting police officer plays a symbol for Christianity and is the focus for the inevitable clash that ensues.

Crazy heathen islanders mess uptight mainland cop's whole world up by annepants January 11, 2007 - 12:38 PM PST
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3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This is one of the freakiest movies I've seen in a long time. It has some awesome seventies hippies-going-wild scenes and a strange celtic pagan leprechaun kind of soundtrack, but I guess the moral is.... when societies lose sight of Christ they become morally bankrupt murderers. really really weird and worth watching.

It's a musical? by spegg June 23, 2004 - 1:02 AM PDT
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5 out of 13 members found this review helpful

The description on the CD sleeve said nothing about this film being a musical, yet there were a couple of musical numbers, including the nude ass-slapping one mentioned by the previous reviewer. Definitely good for a laugh.

The film itself starts a bit slow, and is predictable at times, but fans of early 70's cinema, especially some of the more bizarre films, will certainly appreciate this movie. And of course the final scene gives provides an interesting perspective on the climax of the annual Burning Man festival.

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