Wild Winter Nights: The Wicker Man
Let’s get one thing straight – this is not to be confused with The Wicker Man starring Nicolas Cage and a swarm of murderous bees. This is the cherished original from 1973, a veritable British cult classic recently restored to its original glory. Pious policeman Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) makes his way to Summerisle looking for a missing girl named Rowan. On the remote Hebridean island known for its delicious apples and ruled by Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), Howie’s conservative viewpoint is rattled by the locals’ pagan sensibilities – and their claim that Rowan never existed. Bearing horrified witness to hares in graves, beetles in desks and frogs in mouths, Howie is convinced that he is Rowan’s only hope as the island’s curious preparations for May Day begin. Often described as “the Citizen Kane of horror movies”, The Wicker Man (and its creepy folk soundtrack by Paul Giovanni) remains unforgettable some 40 years on.
Why You Should See This Film
The ideal thematic companion to Ari Aster’s festive Scandinavian horror Midsommar, this is The Wicker Man like you've never seen it before. Quite literally. Thought to be lost forever, the 'Abraxus' US cut was found in the Harvard archives and sent to the UK where some of director Robin Hardy’s excised scenes were added and fully restored to a 2K print. Hardy has said that this version represents the film as he intended it to be. Interestingly, this spooky picture was first released as the “B-feature” playing after Nicolas Roeg’s Venetian shocker Don’t Look Now.
Wild Winter Nights: A Gin & Film Festival
To celebrate the launch of 2021 Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, join us this winter for Wild Winter Nights: A Gin & Film Festival. Paying homage to the darker side of the season, we’re hosting a wild program of revelatory cult favourites across the themes of Love Hurts (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Lobster), Wild Things (Under the Skin, Climax), Mad World (Donnie Darko, Get Out) and Occult Classics (The Wicker Man, Midsommar).
Every week there’ll be a wintery Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin cocktail to match, available at the Golden Age Bar.
- Year: 1973
- Rating: M
- Director: Robin Hardy
- Cast: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland
- Duration: 94 minutes
- Language: English