Retro Snapshot: "The Wicker Man" (1973)
Suck it Nick Cage! There is only one “The Wicker Man”. The one shot in 1973. The one that features Britt Ekland humping walls in her birthday suit, Edward Woodward as the stodgiest puritanical git you’ll ever see, Christopher Lee as a hippie Lord in a smoking jacket and the late, great Ingrid Pitt (seen above). Though it deals with a remote pagan community prepping for an unforgettable Mayday celebration, it seems somewhat appropriate to give it a look on the heels of the vernal equinox as well.“The Wicker Man” is a slow burn by today’s standards. What makes it work is the way that director Robin Hardy contrasts the sensibilities of the ribald pagan colony with those of Woodward’s dour, sanctimonious cop. By doing so he is able to allegorically capture the culture clash that was happening throughout the western world at the time, in a way that is both profound and delightful.
Look, I don’t hate Nick Cage, but even with tax problems you don’t sign on with Neil LaBute to remake a film that is already a perfect symphony of strangeness. Although the fact that he did so at least makes for some consistency now that I’ve learned he and Tim Burton have been attached to the “Clockwork Orange” remake. A reimagining that will see Cage re-shaving his “Valley Girl” chest-vagina (unfortunately seen below) to play the part of young Alex….Kidding, Go watch “The Wicker Man”.