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. 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.
There is a moment in Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr, a relatively unimportant throw-away couple of seconds, where the nominal hero of the story catches sight of a couple of shadows — shadows with no physical source to cast them — creeping across a field. Either because of the particularly old source material or the specific intention of the director, the film is grainy, hazy, gauzy.
Hammer and Christopher Lee tackle Satan and Dennis Wheatley’s occult adventurer Duc de Richleau on one of the studio’s finest horror films, despite some shoddy special effects at the back end.
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
Let me be up front: the whole reason I wanted to watch this film in the first place was because the poster art featured a torch-wielding naked woman riding atop a tormented centaur. I knew it was probable nothing like that would ever occur in the actual movie (and I wasn’t disappointed in my pre-disappointment),…
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.
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.