The Wicker Man

1973 pagan musical nightmare

Rating: 19/20 (Anonymous: 20/20; Amy: 16/20)

Plot: A policeman from the Scottish mainland flies to a mysterious island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. The island's inhabits, a bunch of heathens, aren't cooperative as they prepare for May Day festivities.

What I love most about this movie is its sense of humor. Sure, it's got an assortment of musical selections that can stack up against the soundtrack of any other movie. It's got a great scene with Britt Ekland (Mary Goodnight in the recently-reviewed The Man with the Golden Gun) dancing around naked. It's got another of those Christopher Lee performances where he plays a sophisticatedly evil and tongue-in-cheek baddie. It's got loads of weird-looking beige-teethed Scots wearing an assortment of animal masks. It's got a gradually unfolding and hypnotic mystery that builds to one of the most shocking images in the horror movie history and a jaw-dropping finale. It's got a thematic backbone, delicious irony, and a literate script. It's got a sex scene with stuffed animals. It's got some beautiful shots of this exotic and erotic locale and its people. And it's unique. There just aren't movies like this. But what I love most is that sense of humor. No, it's not as funny as the remake with Nicolas Cage (few movies are), but there's so much hilarity as the islanders dick around with the detective. This is a movie with more great moments than a movie should be allowed to have (love the hare, the dance they're all doing at the end), and it would be difficult to find a movie as unsettling as this one.

And yes, Anonymous, the gravedigger (Aubrey Morris) was the guy in A Clockwork Orange.


cory said...

Good review. This is one of the most unique films that I have ever seen. Part mystery, part horror, part soft-porn (the scene where the girl is writhing against the other side of the hotel wall is when I knew this movie might do anything), and all blackest comedy, "The Wicker Man" is wonderfully bizarre. The acting is great, the plot is totally unpredictable, and you are right that the ending is incredible. An 18.

Anonymous said...

so your back from trip? if you want to come over sunday come over.