From the writer of 'Frenzy & Sleuth' Anthony Shaffer's incredible occult thriller

When this film came out, it caused a sensation. So much so that the print has not been freely avaliable for some years. Over time it assumed the cult status affored to rarely-seen films, and along with 'A Clockwoirk Orange' is considered one of the boldest and most violent horror films this century.

It all begins peacefully enough. A rather staid, repressed policemen flies out to a small island off the coast of Scotland, a place famed for its apples (these are raher more important that you think), to investigate the disappearence of a young girl. Once there he encounters a whole batch of strange locals straight from Pictoresque Countryside Weirdness (TM). They are not exactly forthcoming with their information, and he begins to get a bit upset- even more so, when, as a God-fearing, good Christian he comes face to face with the rather more Pagan beliefs of the islanders. (Look out for the lesson on the maypole in the village school- sex ed. was never that much fun!). The point is not to render Paganism horrific, but instead reminds us that our ancestors were not all about warm fuzzies and 'feelings'.

At first he thinks he might have an ally in the local Laird, but things are not always waht they seem, and fantasy and realty collide in the terrifying figure of... (dum dum dum) The Wicker Man.

It is hard to decide what is scarier- Britt Ekland nancying around her bedroom completely in the buff, or Christopher Lee with hair and a kilt. And he's *singing*. Even Saurumon isn't *that* perverse.

Building to a steady, almost inevitable climax, this film is a chilling study of helplessness, violence and the unsympathetic momentum of iron-clad tradition. The pervading feeling of horror is brought to a thumping great conclusion that is really no conclusion at all- will they get what they want? Which faith is correct? What happens next? It's this uncertainty that's so terifying.

A modern classic to whet your appitite for tonight's double bill of cinematic horrors.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller


Anthony Shaffer


Robin Hardy


Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland


Paul Giovanni


88 minutes








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