10 September 2006, 19:37 by mark hoekstra

The Wicker Man

It’s funny what one can remember and what sticks to the mind sometimes.

click to enlarge

“Citizen Kane of horror movies”

‘The Wicker Man’ on imdb.com

‘The Wicker Man’ on wikipedia.org

I must’ve seen this movie somewhere around 1988 I guess… You could argue I was too young to see this movie back then (I must’ve been 14 years old or such) but maybe, next to the fact that it’s an unforgettable movie on it’s own, it’ll be the reason it made such a big impression on me back then and it has sticked to the mind to the present day.

Of that first time I saw it, I only know I was alone at home and I should’ve gone to bed already when I fell right in to this movie. Reconstructing that moment later, it must’ve been the airing on the BBC (I just found out it’s been the first movie of the excellent moviedrome-series, which was this late-night cult-film program on BBC2, with very obscure films and with great introductions of Alex Cox) which I saw. Anyway, at that moment, I know I watched it till the end (I fell in the film right after the beginning, not knowing what it was called) to be able to spot the title of the movie, so I could see it some other time.

...and even if you’re not into cult-movies, if you watch the original, you get to see Britt Ekland in the flesh, a fact to impress your dad with! ^_^

It has made such a big impression on me back then, that I even remember talking about it with roommates, when I attended University in Rotterdam, quite some years later and not having seen it since or knowing anything more about it. It was a couple of years ago when my sister gave me a rough guide to cult movies as a very nice present, I found out that it actually is a highly rated (among some people) movie. (from the rough guide: “a horror fantasy classic that plays on what we’ve always feared about people living on remote islands” ... “atmospheric and unforgettable”). As far as I knew, this could’ve been the worst rated movie ever (as if I would care), I personally just liked to see it again, because in some mysterious ways every now and then it kept popping back into my mind. Luckily, after some searching (it must’ve been 2002) I was able to download a copy by the means of eMule/eDonkey… (psst… don’t tell anyone). So 14 years later I was able to see this movie again and I wasn’t disappointed, it still was an excellent movie. I did however lose that copy because of some harddisk crash, but after seeing it twice or maybe three times, my quest for the Wicker Man was fulfilled…

...until two days ago when I browsed imdb.com, spotted the title somewhere on the page and found out there has been made a remake of this movie. You can watch a trailer here if you want, but after reading some reviews on this new Wicker Man, with Nicolas Cage, I guess I have a better suggestion…

I’ve seen many ill-advised horror remakes in my time. “The Wicker Man” may be the worst ever. It’s like a “Psycho” remake without the shower scene; a “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake without the chainsaw; an “Amityville Horror” remake without the house. You get the idea.

My suggestion, either if you’re going to see the remake or not, is to watch the original in all it’s glory… It’s worth it. Because of this renewed interest in this movie, I did a search for it on this very well known Swedish network and the version I was able to download is 97 minutes long (what’s this link doing here?). I missed some scenes somehow. Not that strange if you know that there have been several versions of this movie. I guess the one seeded right now is a cut-up version as well, but this DivX-version is your chance to see what this is all about. I personally will go look for a longer version on DVD (there’s this limited edition on Amazon, but that’s a little steep… $147.95!). Any way, this is one movie to remember!

Christopher Lee shouts at you:

“Come, it is time to keep your appointment with The Wicker man!”


some screenshots:

click to enlarge

Don’t forget to check out the soundtrack as well! (which has a story attached to it on it’s own…)

One last thing, once you’re into this movie like I am, you can easily spend a sunday-afternoon reading stories/reviews/strange facts and such online which at all isn’t an annoying way to spend some time… I can highly recommend the original Wicker Man and all that comes with it…

related (or not)

www.wicker-man.com a homepage for the original film… which says enough on it’s own. A fairly fresh site dedicated to a film made in 1973…

The Wickerman Festival (in Scotland of course)

The Wicker Man on Scotland: the Movie Location Guide

Media Myth: Burning Man (Festival) is based on ‘the Wicker Man’
fun fact: next years Burning Man theme is ‘The Green Man’ which is also the name of the Pub in the movie… but of course, no connection whatsoever with ‘The Wicker Man’ :-)

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