Director Robin Hardy has endorsed a worldwide appeal launched by StudioCanal to locate original film materials relating to the 1973 cult horror classic The Wicker Man.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the film about a policeman (Edward Woodward) sent to a remote island village in search of a missing girl, whom the townsfolk claim never existed. It also stars Christopher Lee.
StudioCanal intends to mark the occasion by releasing the “most complete version of the film possible”.
The Wicker Man was originally released with minimal promotion as the second feature in a double bill with Don’t Look Now.
The version exhibited to audiences was significantly shorter (88mins) than Hardy’s original vision (102mins)!
The negatives disappeared from storage at Shepperton Studios and were allegedly used as landfill in the construction of the nearby M4 motorway. READ MORE
I am a huge fan of 60′s and 70′s progressive rock and I also have a special place in my heart for experimental folk. Something about these styles of music captures my imagination and interest. Perhaps it’s the sense of total and utter creative freedom that these artists seem to exude. Perhaps it’s the wealth of instruments and tones used. In the end, however, it doesn’t really matter as I can just sit back and truly enjoy this music.
So imagine my utter delight upon sitting back with Rhys Marsh And The Autumn Ghost‘s The Blue Hour and realizing that I was entering an album that sounded like it was directly transported from 1970′s UK. With elements of King Crimson‘s In The Court Of The Crimson King and Red as well as Pink Floyd, this album seemed poised to play directly to my tastes. But did that delight linger on throughout or fade as one track ended and the next began? Read on to find out. READ MORE
Whether you consider it ‘The Citizen Kane of Horror Films’ or something that is a genre unto itself, The Wicker Man is an undeniably unique folk tale with dark humor, songs, sex, and an ending that completely bypassed being just “great” and dives headfirst into legendary status. Kickstarting a renewed fascination with pagan festivals – Burning Man and Beltane, among others – and old world charms, Robin Hardy and Anthony Shaffer’s occult mystery is more about the power of religion as a means for brainwashing and manipulation rather than its cinematic portrayal of beliefs, rituals and sacrifices. Plagued with distribution, editing, and production problems, the film persevered and gathered acclaim thanks to career-defining performances by Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward, and an incredible amount of support from the Hammer actor.
In 2006, an unintentionally hilarious American remake came and went, along with a companion novel to the original film written by Hardy, entitled Cowboys for Christ. The book’s name is more suited for the adaptation, now named The Wicker Tree, because it hints at the playful and often ridiculous nature of the cult classic’s spiritual successor. READ MORE
In 1973, Anthony Shaffer and Robin Hardy unleashed The Wicker Man on an unsuspecting world and in mixing folklore, paganism, and some strange music numbers, created what is now referred to as ‘The Wicker Man genre.’ When I discovered the film around a decade ago, it was one of most distinct films I had seen and there’s still nothing really like it. Well, unless you count its spiritual successor, The Wicker Tree. It’s not quite a sequel or a remake, but rather a reinterpretation of the original as a comedy. If The Wicker Man was quirky, then The Wicker Tree is pure exaggeration. I recently got to chat with writer/director Robin Hardy about the legacy of one of my favorite films of all time and his satirical approach to reframing it. READ MORE
On April 24th Anchor Bay Entertainment releases the Wicker Man companion piece, The Wicker Tree, on both Blu-ray and DVD. Set in the same universe as the 1973 cult classic The Wicker Man starring Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward, the film is written and directed by the original helmer, Robin Hardy, who also reunited with the original producer Peter Snell and venerable UK production company British Lion to bring a chilling new vision of this classic story to 21st century audiences, after a theatrical run.
Now we have a clip from the behind-the-scenes featurette that features the performers, including Christopher Lee, talking about working with the film’s director Robin Hardy, who is no spring chicken himself.
Based on Hardy’s acclaimed 2006 novel “Cowboys for Christ,” “‘The Wicker Tree’ tells the story of Texas-based singer Beth Boothby (newcomer Brittania Nicol) and her friend Steve Thomson (Henry Garrett, “The Bill,” “Skins” ), two born-again Christians who come to Scotland to spread the gospel. When their initial efforts are met with disdain and disinterest, they find comfort in an invitation to sing in Tressock, the border fiefdom owned by Sir Lachlan Morrison (Graham McTavish, Rambo, the upcoming The Hobbit films). However, Beth’s and Steve’s message of personal chastity quickly comes into direct conflict with Tressock’s sexual and religious practices, drawing upon ancient Celtic beliefs and rituals. Temptations begin to challenge Beth and Steve with the stakes no less than their very lives and souls…” READ MORE
One of the most anticipated films of the year is The Wicker Tree, a companion piece to The Wicker Man that promises that “HE” will return this January. That’s right, we received word that Anchor Bay will be releasing Robin Hardy’s flick in theaters in January 27. In addition, Bloody got the exclusive first look at the symbolic official teaser one sheet that infuses some incredibly satanic imagery such as the hidden face of Baphomet.
“When two young missionaries (Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett) head to Scotland, they are initially charmed by the locals in the town of Tressock, and agree to become the local Queen of the May and Laddie for the annual town festival. But the couple is not prepared for the frightening consequences of their decision, and the very disturbing secrets they are about to discover about Tressock’s seemingly friendly townspeople.”
Written and Directed by Robin Hardy, The Wicker Tree also features Graham McTavish, Jacqueline Leonard, Honeysuckle Weeks, Clive Russell with Christopher Lee, star of the original The Wicker Man.
In case you missed the news, Hammer Films mainstay, Sir Christopher Lee is deep in the throes of creating an epic Metal concept album based on the life of Charlemagne. You know Lee as playing Dracula in a host of Hammer Horror Films, Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man and as Saruman in the Lord of The Rings Trilogy. What you may have been unaware of is the fact that Lee is a descendant of Charlemagne who is best revered as the founding father of both the French and German monarchies. And you may have also been unaware that Lee is a classically trained singer who loves epic Metal.
Lee’s voice has been exlated before. Let us not forget his work for The Wicker Man soundtrack (it should be mentioned that in 2010, the film The Wicker Tree, will be released. Lee reprises his role as Lord Summerisle in Robin Hardy’s remaining of his own 1973 film). He also has released a solo album (2006’s Revelation), and appeared on albums with Italian symphonic Metal band Rhapsody. It’s been a natural progression for Lee. The album “Charlemagne: By The Sword and the Cross” has a slated release date for the Ides of March (March 15,2010). READ MORE
When a young girl mysteriously disappears Police Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward of THE EQUALIZER) travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate. But this pastoral community led by the strange Lord Summerisle (a brilliant performance by the legendary Christopher Lee) is not what it seems as the devout Christian detective soon uncovers a secret society of wanton lust and pagan blasphemy. Can Howie now stop the cult s ultimate sacrifice before he himself comes face-to-face with the horror of THE WICKER MAN?