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Old 06-17-2006, 07:46 PM
Minotaurus Minotaurus is offline
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I saw a really strange movie today (The Wicker Man)

A movie I ordered from UK (Amazon) came in the mailbox today and I've just seen it. It was the British cult movie "The Wicker Man" from 1973 which is some sort of mix between horror-thriller-crime and even musical

A truly strange and bizarre movie


Have anyone else seen it?
  #2  
Old 06-17-2006, 07:52 PM
DxZero DxZero is offline
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Never seen it, but from what I've heard, it's considered somewhat of a classic.

So much so that its being remade
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:53 PM
Minotaurus Minotaurus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DxZero
Never seen it, but from what I've heard, it's considered somewhat of a classic.

So much so that its being remade
I've just heard it

fans of the original must hate this
  #4  
Old 06-17-2006, 07:58 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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I remember it mostly for the ending. A remake might not be a bad idea -- at least they waited awhile. But they'd better not change the ending.
  #5  
Old 06-17-2006, 08:21 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minotaurus
I've just heard it

fans of the original must hate this
Yeah, I dunno about a remake. Nicholas Cage? Not sure that works for me - the roll seems ripe for the sort of overacting he can be prone to and that might doom the film to campiness.

I'm a big fan of the first, with its slow and studied build-up of an undertone of menace ( despite a complete lack of anything ostensibly scary ) and its rather ambiguous ending ( rather mocking of both faiths ). I believe Christoper Lee once claimed it was his favorite performance ( though he would have said this well pre-Star Wars or LotR ).

- Tamerlane
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:24 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Oh and by the way, I hope you saw the unedited version with the restored opening footage ( for example showing the officer at church and being mocked by his subordinates in his office ). Those few minutes set up his character much more completely.

- Tamerlane
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:35 PM
Arch Trout Arch Trout is offline
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A British classic.
And it has the Equaliser himself, Ewar Woowar!
It's a yearly watch in my household.
And one of my mates loves the soundtrack, especially the maypole song.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:37 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Hares don't drink tea, silly.
  #9  
Old 06-17-2006, 08:44 PM
glee glee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minotaurus
A movie I ordered from UK (Amazon) came in the mailbox today and I've just seen it. It was the British cult movie "The Wicker Man" from 1973 which is some sort of mix between horror-thriller-crime and even musical

A truly strange and bizarre movie


Have anyone else seen it?
It gets shown on UK TV every so often.

I agree it was very unusual. Sometimes when I go to remote country communities, I look at the villagers and wonder...
  #10  
Old 06-17-2006, 08:47 PM
tremorviolet tremorviolet is offline
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Yeah, that was one of those great movies I just stumbled across flipping chanels. Looked dull at first but then kept sucking me back in. Wonderfully creepy.
  #11  
Old 06-17-2006, 09:29 PM
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I have seen it and enjoyed it a lot. A strange but fun movie. I saw it almost 20 years ago, so I do not remember it real well at this point but Ed Woodward was great and Britt Ekland {Sp} was extremely sexy in it from what I recall. Another solid, performance by my favorite Hammer Film actor, Christopher Lee.

Jim
  #12  
Old 06-17-2006, 11:35 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit?
I have seen it and enjoyed it a lot. A strange but fun movie. I saw it almost 20 years ago, so I do not remember it real well at this point
Ditto. I remember liking it, and I remember the ending of course. Been meaning to see it again for quite a long time.
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Old 06-18-2006, 01:17 AM
exastris exastris is offline
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Loved it! Slow and bizarre, just the way I like it!
  #14  
Old 06-18-2006, 03:57 AM
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I love this one—I can't, for the life of me, remember where I first heard of it, though. (It might have been from the cover of one of the soundtrack's song performed by the Medieval Babes.)

Speaking of which, great soundtrack, too—though a complete, "clean" version of a lot of the tracks would have been better.

It has one of the most deliberately unlikable protagonists I've seen in a story, to boot. And he's a cop. A clean cop. Who's trying to find a missing girl. Wow.
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:45 AM
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If you hadn't already spotted it yourself, the rear view of Britt Ekland dancing provocatively in her skin in the room next to Mr Woodward is an obvious body double.
  #16  
Old 06-18-2006, 07:35 AM
Minotaurus Minotaurus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane
Oh and by the way, I hope you saw the unedited version with the restored opening footage ( for example showing the officer at church and being mocked by his subordinates in his office ). Those few minutes set up his character much more completely.

- Tamerlane

the DVD contained two versions: the original 84 min version and directors cut running 99min.
I saw directors cut
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Old 06-18-2006, 09:31 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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I love the movie- when IFC showed it last Halloween, I was trying to show it to some church friends. thinking that a judicious use of the remote to edit any offensive material might work....

it soon became obvious that was an effort to abandon, alas!

My main objection to the remake....


Christopher Lee's Lord Summerisle becomes Ellen Burstyn's Sister Summerisle!

But Leelee Sobrieski is in it- in a role I think may be comparable to *sings* The
Landlord's Daughter! And that might just make it all worthwhile! Nekkid Leelee? Yay!
  #18  
Old 06-18-2006, 09:47 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntiePam
I remember it mostly for the ending. A remake might not be a bad idea -- at least they waited awhile. But they'd better not change the ending.
If they don't change the ending, it'll be the only thing that hadn't changed. My husband (a neopagan scholar of neopaganey things - that is, he's both a practicing neopagan and studies and teaches at the college level on neopaganism) had several discussions two weeks ago with one of the technical advisors, herself a Wiccan. Turns out the director has gone all "Satanic witchcraft" and upside down pentacle happy. A far cry from an innocent (?) nature worshiping fertility cult. The ambiguity is apparantly gone, replaced with a clear Good (Christian) and Evil (Witchcraft).

I hope she's wrong and it all gets worked out in editing. But I don't have much hope.

SPOILER:
The original is simply HUGE in the neopagan community. I can sort of see why - it's actually the most realistic portrayal of modern neopaganism I've ever seen on screen. But there's that whole killing thing. People try to rationalize it, saying that the cop was warned away many times, making his sacrifice a willing self-sacrifice, to which I call bullshit. If that was informed consent, I'll go elsewhere for treatment. Yes, they warned him away. They never warned him he might die. So, philisophically, I don't like how they portray my people, but it is better than The Craft.

Last edited by SkipMagic; 06-18-2006 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Inserted spoiler tags.
  #19  
Old 06-18-2006, 10:03 AM
SkipMagic SkipMagic is offline
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Mod Note:

Since the thread title doesn't mention open spoilers, I've placed a spoiler box around the last paragraph in your post, WhyNot; I know the movie is old, but it's more of a cult favorite than a mainstream success, so the ending will be unknown to many. In addition, since a new version is coming out--whose ending might or might not be the same; I dunno--hopefully this will keep that version from being spoiled, too.
  #20  
Old 06-18-2006, 01:35 PM
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Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Wonderful movie! Our college neopagan group always wanted to get together with the Campus Crusade for Christ and have a movie night around it.

Daniel
  #21  
Old 06-18-2006, 01:44 PM
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I like that it can almost be called a musical with the number of musical numbers it has.
  #22  
Old 06-18-2006, 01:58 PM
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Ah, yes, an excellent film.
  #23  
Old 06-18-2006, 02:36 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seosamh
If you hadn't already spotted it yourself, the rear view of Britt Ekland dancing provocatively in her skin in the room next to Mr Woodward is an obvious body double.
What, you don't believe that Britt Ekland has the ability to grow her hair longer and shorter while dancing?
  #24  
Old 06-18-2006, 02:58 PM
Promethea Promethea is offline
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The Wicker Man is one of my favourite films but its one of the few instances where I prefer the original theatrical cut. The Director's Cut, showing the reactions of Howie's colleagues, the note, plus some of the other more obvious clues (like the library book) signpost the end far too clearly.

As for giving away the ending, I agree it's best not to spoil it. Shame no-one told the people who put together the UK release of the DVD - the closing scene is on the front cover. Bit of a giveaway!
  #25  
Old 06-18-2006, 03:10 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipMagic
Since the thread title doesn't mention open spoilers, I've placed a spoiler box around the last paragraph in your post, WhyNot; I know the movie is old, but it's more of a cult favorite than a mainstream success, so the ending will be unknown to many. In addition, since a new version is coming out--whose ending might or might not be the same; I dunno--hopefully this will keep that version from being spoiled, too.
No prob. I would like to unspoiler the non-spoilery bits, though, if I may:

Quote:
The original is simply HUGE in the neopagan community. I can sort of see why - it's actually the most realistic portrayal of modern neopaganism I've ever seen on screen. [However, there's stuff in the ending completely antithetical to neopaganism.] So, philisophically, I don't like how they portray my people, but it is better than The Craft.
If you think this is still too spoilery, I apologize.
  #26  
Old 06-18-2006, 03:11 PM
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The original director of The Wicker Man, Robin Hardy, is trying to make his own "reimagining" of the story, starring Christopher Lee, Sean Astin and Vanessa Redgrave. It's called, wait for it, Cowboys For Christ!

I kid you not!

Quote:

Dailyrecord.co.uk

6.15.06


Excerpt from this interview with Christopher Lee, below. He also has a lot of negative things to say about a remake of The Wicker Man that is now being made with Nicholas Cage.

Excerpt:

In November and December 2004, Christopher was in Scotland filming The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby and is hoping to get back soon to make Cowboys for Christ, which is written and directed by Wicker Man director Robin Hardy.

Christopher said: "It's not a sequel to The Wicker Man, but it has certain similarities in that it's Scottish and has certain beliefs."

Already The Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin and Vanessa Redgrave have signed up for the film which tells the story of pagans who turn the Borders' Common Ridings into fear festivals.

Christopher added: "It's funny, erotic and very frightening.

"It's about two young Americans who are very religious. He's a cowboy and she is his fiancee. They are asked to go to Scotland to spread the word of the gospel."

The actor, whose first love was singing and even sang with Rhapsody, an Italian fantasy metal band a couple of years ago, added: "I actually get to sing quite a lot in the film."

Cowboys for Christ is still waiting for the green light and Christopher moodily adds: "Although nobody has said it, the insurers are probably asking: 'how old is Christopher Lee? Is he going to live through this?'

"I don't know why it's not starting. God willing it's soon."
Lee and Hardy may not like the fact that a remake is being filmed, but I'm first in line for ANYTHING that Neil LaBute does, so I'd see it no matter what. It's going to be fascinating. Maybe even great.

I love the original too though. We even bought the special edition, which comes in a cool wooden box with the, um, "logo" burn-stamped on the front. We haven't tried to
SPOILER:
set it on fire yet.


Kate Bush trivia: The Innkeeper, whose daughter is a hypnotic wench indeed, is none other than Lindsay Kemp, who taught Kate how to dance.
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Old 06-18-2006, 04:36 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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So that's what Iron Maiden was singing about.
  #28  
Old 06-18-2006, 04:38 PM
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? I've managed to make it this far without ever hearing an Iron Maiden song, so I have no idea what you mean. What did they sing about?
  #29  
Old 06-18-2006, 04:58 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Phase42
So that's what Iron Maiden was singing about.
No, I doubt it. (Iron Maiden: The Wicker Man) That is, they prob'ly weren't singing about the movie itself, but the old tradition of The Wicker Man. (You've heard of the Burning Man festival? Same roots.)

The Wicker Man is part of many "traditional" UK fall festivals, particularly around Lammas (early August). Historically, it's a grain harvest festival. The story (which is probably false) goes that in Ye Olde Days, the king was king for a year only. At the end of his year at Lammas, he would be killed to celebrate the harvest, and his blood used to water the fields. Some stories of Druid sacrifice are similar, but involve building a large hollow man of straw and thatch (or "wicker," if you will) and shoving it full of sacrificial people (or a single person) and setting fire to it. Nowadays, we don't put people into the wicker man, but many groups still build wicker men and burn them as part of the Thanksgiving for the harvest. The general moral is that of willing sacrifice: that the king or Druid's "victims" were in fact in full knowledge of their impending sacrifice, and chose to do so in order to take messages to the spirit world and ensure plenty and a good harvest the following year. If you want to get all mundane about it, the wicker man symbolizes that part of the grain harvest that you can't eat if you want something to plant next year. Nowadays, we use it as a time to reflect on what we personally are willing to sacrifice to get what we want.

This has very little to do with the movie, of course. But it's where the "Wicker Man" concept comes from.
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Old 06-18-2006, 05:35 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Thanks, WhyNot. Burning Man is what first came to mind when I heard the song. I wasn't familiar with the original concept (and I'd never heard of the movie, though I shouldn't be surprised since Steve Harris' songs are frequently inspired by "horror" movies).
  #31  
Old 06-18-2006, 06:05 PM
Phantom Dennis Phantom Dennis is offline
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It's a classic and a must-see for any movie fan. There's some '70s camp in it, but for the most part it's a well-written mystery with a wonderfully forboding atmosphere and some excellent acting by Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee.

And it pays off at the end. Does it ever.
  #32  
Old 06-18-2006, 07:23 PM
Don Logan Don Logan is offline
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Awesome- onof the Top 5 horror films, ever- even with its flaws. And the most chilling fim ending ever.
  #33  
Old 06-18-2006, 09:15 PM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot

The Wicker Man is part of many "traditional" UK fall festivals, particularly around Lammas (early August). Historically, it's a grain harvest festival. The story (which is probably false) goes that in Ye Olde Days, the king was king for a year only. At the end of his year at Lammas, he would be killed to celebrate the harvest, and his blood used to water the fields.
And for an American-set version, check the novel Tom Tryon's HARVEST HOME,
made into a darn-good-for-70s-TV movie THE DARK SECRET OF HARVEST HOME
starring Bette Davis.

Re the COWBOYS FOR CHRIST movie- I hope to God the title changes yet again-
it's already been THE RIDING OF THE LADDIE and MAY DAY. Otherwise, I'm really looking forward to it. For a while, they were having trouble getting the financing.
Which infuriated me as THE WICKER MAN remake seemed to have no problem at
all.
  #34  
Old 06-18-2006, 09:28 PM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Originally Posted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew
What, you don't believe that Britt Ekland has the ability to grow her hair longer and shorter while dancing?
You were looking at her hair?
  #35  
Old 06-18-2006, 10:30 PM
Minotaurus Minotaurus is offline
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I will also recommend the thriller "Eye of the Devil" (1967) with David Hemmings and David Niven.
A movie which have some similarities with The Wickerman
  #36  
Old 06-19-2006, 12:27 AM
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Misnomer Misnomer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase42
So that's what Iron Maiden was singing about.
When I heard that Iron Maiden song it was the first time I'd heard of the Wicker Man -- it wasn't until years later that I learned there was a movie of the same name, and after that was when Burning Man got popular and I learned even more. I also learned all I know about Alexander the Great from them.

I tend to like offbeat and cult-y stuff, but when I finally rented the movie a couple of years ago I was horribly disappointed. Nothing scary, nothing ominous, nothing dramatic at all, and the ending made me yawn (and made very little sense, IIRC). The only reason I watched the entire thing was because I kept thinking that it just had to get better eventually ... but it didn't.

Sounds like the remake won't bear much of a resemblance to the original, but maybe it will be an ok movie in its own right. (And I like Nicolas Cage, dammit! )
  #37  
Old 06-19-2006, 06:51 AM
glee glee is offline
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And now the porn version

...

'The Whacker Man'
  #38  
Old 06-19-2006, 07:13 PM
Boulter's Canary Boulter's Canary is offline
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Originally Posted by glee
It gets shown on UK TV every so often.

I agree it was very unusual. Sometimes when I go to remote country communities, I look at the villagers and wonder...
Remote? They're like that on the Isle of Sheppey! (If anyone ever wanted to make a British version of 'Deliverance'.................)
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:18 PM
Boulter's Canary Boulter's Canary is offline
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[QUOTE=Equipoise]The original director of The Wicker Man, Robin Hardy, is trying to make his own "reimagining" of the story, starring Christopher Lee, Sean Astin and Vanessa Redgrave. It's called, wait for it, Cowboys For Christ!QUOTE]


Last I heard, it was called 'The Riding of the Laddie' (And the Sgt Howie character was somehow in it despite being dead).
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:20 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipMagic
Since the thread title doesn't mention open spoilers, I've placed a spoiler box around the last paragraph in your post,
You might want to look again.
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