The Wickerman

                                                                       

 

       "To think that Rowan Morrison was murdered under the circumstances

             of pagan barbarity, I can scarcely bring myself to believe."

 

A letter addressed to Sergeant Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) regarding a missing child results in him visiting a remote Scottish island, Summerisle, to investigate this strange disappearance. However upon arrival it seems that none of the residents have even heard of, let alone seen this missing girl, Rowan Morrison. His investigation leads him to the home of this girl and the local public house, but it is strange that noľone recognises her picture. Unable to make any progress Howie decides to remain on the island and takes up board at the local Inn, with the Landlord's daughter Willow undertaking a bizzare ritualised dance inviting the officer into her room for more than just coffee.....however he resists, informing her the next day that he is engaged and does not believe in sex before marriage.....

The next day his investigations lead him to a school, and whilst the register reveals this missing girls name it seems the teachings witnessed are more about sex than maths and English. He learns from the teacher that this girl is dead, but their religious beliefs infer that she has simply been 'returned to the earth.' Howie is obviously struggling to make sense of this, believing the residents to be raving mad. Bizzare rituals and naked women dancing around the island trouble him further, yet the viewer becomes more informed upon his meeting with the sinister Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), who explains that these inhabitants live by another religion which runs along pagan lines.

It is easy to lose the fact that the policeman is looking for a lost girl, and when he eventually finds the grave and exhumes the body he makes a startling discovery. These are people who believe in sacrifice, and when Howie learns of the recent crop failures and the up an coming Mayday festivities he believes that the disappearance of this girl is linked to this prestigious day. With his transport means back to the mainland sabotaged it seems that the 'Christian copper' will have to stay for the festivities...yet be prepared for a sinister twist and very clever, yet disturbing ending that awaits not only the viewer...but also the policeman.

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Directed by Robin Hardy
Produced by Peter Snell
Written by Anthony Shaffer
Starring Edward Woodward
Christopher Lee
Diane Cilento
Ingrid Pitt
Britt Ekland
Distributed by British Lion Films Ltd.
Warner Bros. (USA)
Release date(s) June 1975 (USA)
Running time 88 min.(theatrical release)
99 min. (extended version)
Language English

 

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