...to be a pagan!

The Wicker Man                                                                        1973
by Robin Hardy, Mystery, UK, 88'

I've seen this really good film today and I think there's not enough reference to it despite its cult classic status. (Or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.) But if it wasn't for my curiosity leading me to investigate where the dialogues in Agalloch's The White EP came from I certainly wouldn't find this intriguing piece that early.

A devout Christian police officer decides to investigate the case of a missing girl in an isolated Scottish island whose community, to his own shock, practices some sort of pagan religion based on Celtic rituals worshipping gods of nature and fertility. I found it interesting how the police officer in face of the situation and deeply rooted in his Christian belief advocates the non-existence of such divinities while he himself speaks of God and Jesus, and I quote, “the son of a virgin, impregnated – I believe – by a ghost".

Things develop with growing mystery under a veiled conspiracy enacted by the seemingly unaffected people on the island. The storyline totally grabbed my attention till the end. But associating it with a horror genre might be a bit misleading. The film is also sprinkled with occasional musical moments that slightly disturb the whole seriousness but are definitely a plus. The folk songs actually remind me of Current 93 and one of them I already knew from the Nature and Organisation album. I enjoyed these little coincidences. Also, this film features Christopher Lee in another high point of his career. Unfortunately the uncut version of the film got lost and was later reconstructed with found copies or something. Different image quality can be noticed occasionally. But overall I highly recommend this!

This is not meant to be a review, by the way. I don't write reviews because I suck at that. I give it a personal rating and just talk about it. If that's called reviewing then fine. Oh, and... when searching for this film make sure you get the 1973 version and not the awful-looking American remake from 2006 with Nicholas Cage. (Why does Hollywood have to remake everything into shit?!)

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