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The Wicker Man [Import]
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on September 21, 2015
This movie was not that scary, but it was interesting. The strangely present musical sections are one of the most bizarre components I have ever witnessed in a horror movie. This mysterious village was really crazy as they intended, so I have to give them credit for putting that across.
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on May 11, 2015
I saw the Nicholas Cage version of this movie first but this is by far a superior movie with great atmosphere and build up of suspense. Great acting all around and the Scottish Island setting is breathtaking. Great horror without the blood and gore. Horror should some from atmosphere not from guts spilling out and this movie does it real well.
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on October 22, 2017
love them all
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on November 4, 2016
Speedy delivery and as described.
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on May 10, 2017
The DVD was in German! I don't speak German. Was sure that I ordered an English version. Thanks for nothing ...
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon July 22, 2015
This info relates to the original version from 1973 with Christopher Lee. It is in the must see category . A constable is sent to an island off the coast of The United Kingdom ( probably Scotland by the accents ) to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young girl. The inhabitants are nice , but weird , with even weirder customs. The island benefits from the gulf stream and many crops not normally grown that far north are able to survive. The deeper the constable looks the more he becomes certain that the girl was murdered. Not film noir , but , spooky and surreal and un- worldly . You will not anticipate , nor believe , the ending. One of a kind story that is mind blowing.
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on May 31, 2004
I have just seen this movie end five minutes ago and will proclaim that this is the shortest period of time before I wrote a review of a movie after watching it.
The plot has been reiterated over 100 times, just scroll down and you can find it.
The movie begins as a mystery with a police officer coming to the town and beginning the investigation of a missing girl. As night falls the movie starts to turn into a campy 70s-80s style horror/gore/porno style flick with the weird singing, gratuitous nudity, and dark and haunting imagery of the graveyard. From this point the viewer will assume that they know the direction in which the movie is headed; headed into a vat of gratuitous nudity and possibly some gory scenes. These images subside rather quickly and we are returned to the mystery imagery. We then see children learning about pagan sex symbols and singing songs about rituals and whatever else. The mystery begins to unfold with an empty desk in the middle of a class in a town with a total of a few hundred residents.
Officer Howie begins to discover more clues and a web of mendacity and conspiracy in the strange town. Soon he is lead down the path to the true nature of the town. I will not divulge the ending to those that have not yet seen it but it is rather dramatic.
The movie's imagery is thoroughly interesting and even if you are not captivated by the exhilerating plot you are sure to be impressed by the interesting surroundings and some of the outright bizarre rituals. Though it may seem that the plot moves a little slowly, everything has relevance to the story.
The movie I beleive is wrongly referred to as a horror movie as there is not a single scene where you will jump up out of your seat, there are however some rather dramatic and powerful images that might disturb you but none that will genuinely frighten. Furthermore the movie does not create the same mood as a horror film partly because the first time director did not know much about creating mood or atmosphere, however this is all ok as I love unconventional movies.
Furthermore the music in the movie is truly unique and every one of the actors has a powerful voice and the instrumentals are also very good, all played on celtic folk instruments of sorts. The movie has enough music to be called a musical however this is the farthest thing in the world from broadway.
Overall this movie could not be more recommended, and as you can of course see i am not the only person to hold such an opinion about this movie.
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on September 6, 2003
In THE WICKER MAN, an English police officer visits a Scottish island, to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. The island is home to a fertility-based religious cult. Rampant & picturesque paganism - of the "Old Age," not "New Age" variety - deeply offends the devout Christian police officer.
A lot of viewers react the same way as Sgt. Howie when confronted with seemingly gratuitous nudity and musical interludes. Apparently, people should always wear clothes and only sing on stage, in a studio, or in the shower... not to mention public love-making. Much of what seems silly in THE WICKER MAN is a natural outgrowth of the subject matter. The islanders sing and dance and couple with one another, without shame or modesty. Whereas the viewer can stop the DVD and find something more "serious" to watch, Sgt. Howie must solve his case by dealing with these strangely uncooperative people.
The most interesting character is Lord Summerisle, the cult's leader and heir to the island. As he informs Howie, the Lord's grandfather banished Christianity and resurrected the "old religion" to make the people happy. The present Lord Summerisle speaks as though he knows better than to believe in Grandpa's homespun paganism, but one can not be sure that he does (or doesn't). People raised on small islands, without radio or television, are bound to develop attitudes and lifestyles that we cannot easily explain! Such may be the case on Summerisle.
THE WICKER MAN is a most intriguing film that becomes even more interesting with repeated viewings. It's not a study of paganism, but rather a depiction of the conflict between modern and ancient views of the world. Obviously, we're accustomed to seeing the ancient view defeated - that's why it's not the modern view, after all... which makes THE WICKER MAN all the more disturbing.
This 88-minute version isn't the best one, but it's not incoherent either, and it looks great thanks to Anchor Bay's restoration work. The 100-minute videotape (only available on DVD in the double-disc box set) includes some expository scenes that help to explain Sgt. Howie's motivations, but with the videotape you don't get the extras included with this DVD version.
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on June 24, 2004
Last week I had the chance to sit down and watch this truly excellent movie. The Wicker Man stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland. I was expecting a sort-of cheap gothic horror film (after all, Christopher Lee is in it) but I got something much better.
Edward Woodward plays a policeman from the Highland Police who has flown to the island of Summerisle to investigate a report of a missing girl. After discovering that just setting foot on the island is an adventure, Woodward is unable to find anyone who knows the girl who is missing. Even the girl's mother doesn't know who she is. A right puzzler. Forced to stay on the island, Woodward takes a room at the local tavern. Amidst the bawdy songs and lively music he begins to realize that the island folk are not quite what he is used to.
As his investigation takes him further along Woodward begins to suspect that the island is populated by sinners. By his definition he is right. The local population reverted back to their old religion during the early Victorian Era. They are now firmly entrenched in their old beliefs. To top it off it just happens to be May Day. Unable to drop the case, Woodward finds traces of the girl. He suspects that she is alive but captive and a soon-to-be sacrifice to restore the harvest. Woodward infiltrates the May Day celebration disguised as Punch. Then, at a crucial moment, he manages to grab the girl and flee. Then he learns the real truth.
From the opening credits showing the Scottish Isles and their sapphire waters and the accompanying Celtic music this movie is anything but a cheap horror film. Woodward plays the epitome of the Christian and the Authoritarian. Armored only with his belief in his god he must face a setting that, to him, is completely evil. Young girls being taught the significance of the maypole, naked women jumping through fire to help fertility, march hares in caskets and dozens of other examples. But it is Woodward who is the strange one. The people look at him as they would a simpleton. But Woodward, knowing that god and country are behind him, manages to keep going right to the conclusion of the film.
This classic confrontation of Christian against Pagan is so well done, framed by modern settings and Celtic music, that I can hardly say how good it is. Woodward's performance rivals his role in Breaker Morant and the young Christopher Lee's talent shows through so clearly that it is obvious why he was cast in so many roles. The story was written by the same man who brought us Hitchcock's Frenzy as well as the mystery Sleuth. If you have not seen this 1973 film, I urge you to do so.
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on March 6, 2004
It helps to go into "The Wicker Man" with only the barest plot details: a prim Scottish policeman investigates a girl's disappearance in a remote island community. The film begins with a title card thanking the "Lord Summerisle" for his assistance, so you know this, like "Fargo" and "Blair Witch", is based on real life. After a panoramic look at the islands off the west coast of Scotland, accompanied by Scottish folk music, Sergeant Howie arrives at Summerisle, and is instantly told by about ten grizzled islanders that he's arrived at "private property". For this is an island where those with Biblical names (Rachel and Benjamin) have long since died, and all the adults and children are named after trees: Myrtle, Willow, Ash, Oak, Rowan. Christians like Howie no longer have a place here.
This setup is evocative of dozens of Hammer Horror movies and other British television horror (several "Avengers" and "Doctor Who" episodes spring to mind), all of which begin with the suspicious villagers who clearly have something to hide. So it's a credit to Anthony Shaffer's script that, as Howie's investigation unfolds, his own sense of revulsion soars right past the usual level of "disgusted" and goes all the way to "mortal fear".
The theme of the movie is "hunted leading the hunter". It helps to keep an eye out for all the clues Howie misses along the way (at one point, Christopher Lee wearily asks, "Aren't you supposed to be the detective?"). When Howie finally finds his objective, that's when the real trap unfolds about him. I love the staging of the penultimate sequence high on the cliffs, almost as much as I love the staging of the final scene.
Also of note is that the Wicker Man himself, the title character, is not even alluded to until those final moments. I'm not sure if it helps or hurts that I didn't know what a Wicker Man was until I watched the making-of documentary on the DVD ("The Wicker Man Enigma") after I'd seen the feature itself. Maybe I haven't seen enough British pagan horror. What's undeniable, though, is the effect his appearance has on Howie, and that's where the movie generates its real power.
Look carefully for the DVD's easter egg, what appears to be a 1970's film discussion program from Louisiana. An overweight American in a powder-blue suit gushes his love for the film to studio guests Lee and director Robin Hardy. One of the film sequences played on the program is a scene deleted from the theatrical release, and only restored for the DVD limited edition: Christopher Lee and the amorous snails. The most fun part of this show is when the host enthusiastically compares Hardy to a young American director whose TV-movie debut, "Duel", recently found theatrical success on the Continent. He calls that man "Steven Shpielberg".
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