“Come. It is time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man.”

It’s been a year since the death of Robin Hardy.

Not many people know who the man was. But nearly every cinephile will be quick to remember his masterpiece.

There are many tales of terror told in cinema. Some of them are great, the other ones, well, not so much. “The Wicker Man” is, beyond any doubt, one of the great ones. This horror/mystery British film was released in 1973, but it had its USA premiere in June 1975. The main roles were given to Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee.

The story was inspired by David Pinner’s 1967 horror novel Ritual, and the plot of the film is centred around police Sergeant Neil Howie, a devoted Christian, who comes to the island of Summerisle, searching for a missing girl. The Summerisle is isolated, and its inhabitants are practising some form of paganism. The battle between the old Gods and a new God may begin. Could you guess who the winner was?

There are several versions of “The Wicker Man”. In the absence of the 99 minutes long, full-length, uncut version, the best choice is “the final cut”, approved by Robin Hardy himself.

It would be unfair to talk about this film and not to mention its absolutely brilliant music. It was composed and arranged by Paul Giovanni, and this soundtrack is extremely important part of the film’s narrative. Some of the more memorable tracks are “Corn Rigs”, “Maypole”, “Willow’s Song”, “Festival” / “Mirie It Is” / “Sumer Is A-Cumen In”…

“The Wicker Man” has a cult status nowadays, and that being so, it inspired a remake. With Nicholas Cage. Enough said. We shall stick to the original.

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