Director: Robin Hardy

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

WickermanThe Wicker Man (1973) was odd but it makes better stills than it made a film. It's occasionally competent, a bit slow, some okay images, predictable, & anyone who has seen more than a dozen horror films has probable seen four as good.

Though a cult favorite among many people I know (but not among many whose taste is trustworthy) I always found Wicker Man barely watchable, unintentionally comical, with a nice looking wicker man at the end but by & large one continuous cliche with a ho-hum pay-off.

I think singing while young couples leap over fires would increase its interest immeasurably, a couple of tunes reminiscent of the tone adapted for "Springtime for Hitler" would be especially suitable. It could be launched as a stage musical. With any wit there'll be a song with minimalist lyrics that refuse to answer the protagonist's questions, but answer him in song & dance: "We're not telling you anything, we're not selling you anything, you're so swell won't you stick around, we need someone to kick around..."

The climactic song should begin almost like the end of Life of Brian but become increasingly screamy-horrific until the thread of the pleasant song gurgles away into terror inside the burning wicker man. And then Jesus Christ Superstar-like or as in the tuneful ending of "Hey Jude," the worshippers continue the song very sweetly ad nauseum while the audience files out (or for the musical film remake, the song goes on & on behind the credits).

In fact the refilmed version might bring back whoever of the Python crew is still ambulatory & it would be Monty Python's Wicker Man.

In any case it could be done very badly as a musical & still mop the floor with the original. If nothing else, the next time some tiresome horror film dweeb pipes in his shrill nose-sniffy voice, "Wicker Man is an intellectual movie!", there'll be a number of snappy comebacks ready, "True, but that earlier version without the tunes & diddies, hooboy was that ever a fraud."
copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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