It must be stressed that despite the fact that it was produced in 1973 and stars both Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland, The Wicker Man
a Hammer Horror film. There is no blood, very little gore and the titular Wicker Man is not a monster made out of sticks that runs around killing people by weaving them into raffia work. Edward Woodward plays Sergeant Howie, a virginal, Christian policeman sent from the Scottish mainland to investigate the disappearance of young girl on the remote island of Summer Isle. The intelligent script by Anthony Schaffer, who also wrote the detective mystery Sleuth
(a film with which The Wicker Man
shares many traits), derives its horror from the increasing isolation, confusion and humiliation experienced by the naïve Howie as he encounters the island community's hostility and sexual pagan rituals, manifested most immediately in the enthusiastic advances of local landlord's daughter Willow (Britt Ekland). Howie's intriguing search, made all the more authentic by the film's atmospheric locations and folkish soundtrack, gradually takes us deeper and deeper into the bizarre pagan community living under the guidance of the charming Laird of Summer Isle (Lee, minus fangs) as the film builds to a terrifying climax with a twist to rival that of The Sixth Sense
or Fight Club
. --Paul Philpott
Cult horror classic in which devout Christian policeman Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) finds himself summoned to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a child. On arrival, Howie finds himself increasingly isolated and humiliated by the actions of the island's community, who belong to a bizarre pagan cult led by the charming Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). As preparations for a sinister ritual celebration reach fever pitch, Howie, whilst trying to fend off the advances of the local landlord's daughter Willow (Britt Ekland), begins to suspect what role the islanders intend him to play.