Sex and Naps: Lessons from the Wicker Man

On the surface, The Wicker Man is the story of how one police constable’s attempt to scrooge up a town’s May Day revelries fails miserably when the community comes together to celebrate the reason for the season. But The Wicker Man is a film with complex depth, and delving into those murky waters is aided considerably by a few of the key texts that went into crafting the film’s story.

We Are Still Here

If horror films have taught us anything, it’s that you should always be suspicious of a really good real estate deal. is that house a gorgeous vision of Victorian craftsmanship on the market for peanuts? Don’t buy it, unless you plan to use it as a place to which you invite a group of apparent strangers with the promise that if they can survive spending one night in it, you’ll give them a million dollars.

The Girl from Rio

Anyway, this leads to a lot of scenes of people walking down hallways and through vaguely futurist architecture, all while women in skimpy black uniforms of leather and… umm… is that cardboard?… stand at attention.

Stoner

I had to watch this movie more than once to verify that George Lazenby actually has more dialog than just, “Hmm? Hmmmmm,” mumbled with that smug chin-in-the-air look as if to say he has discovered something important and must now jut forth his chin and stroke it slyly. Who the hell does he think he…

Masque of the Red Death

Francesca he intends to press against her will into decadent royal society, which in classic style involves lots of cavorting, eating of turkey legs, mild orgies, and devil worship

Naked Fist

Kung fu, boobs, romance, more kung fu, more boobs, and some sweaty Filipinos. Yes, it’s a Cirio Santiago joint. Naked Fist is a terribly silly film, but for some reason I love it. Even after watching it about 5 times, I still find it ludicrously entertaining.

Naked Killer

Now I should say here that Naked Killer definitely exists on the tamer end of the Cat III spectrum. In terms of sex and violence, its content doesn’t go far beyond what you’d see in the kind of direct to cable erotic thrillers that Cinemax was showing at the time.

Curse of the Crimson Altar

If you don’t mind creaky, old fashioned horror movies who don’t live up their potential, that aren’t really scary, and aren’t particularly impressive, then you might appreciate Curse of the Crimson Altar

Dagon

Dagon walks the line between horror and comedy more deftly than did Re-Animator, which tended to give in with youthful exuberance to its more outlandish tendencies

Hare Rama Hare Krishna

A serviceable if somewhat awkward masala adventure, very much in the spirit of old exploitation films that seek to teach us the perils of assorted alternative lifestyles even as they indulge in endless scenes of said lifestyle.

Manos: The Hands of Fate

The out-of-focus camera work, the terrible editing, the silent scenes of people standing around waiting for their queues…these things never would have happened with a real editor on the crew, and Manos would have been worse off because of it.

Devils of Darkness

If you like the AIP Poe films or don’t mind lots of dialog, this is a good old-fashioned occult thriller that winds up being a great way to spend midnight, provided you don’t have any decadent rich parties that devolve into an orgiastic ritual lorded over by a vampire to attend at midnight.