Here Is “The Burning Man”!
And Now, Meet “The Wicker Man!”
Hmmm….I see a bit of a resemblance…first, a quick primer on what “Burning Man” is…
Behold “The Burning Man!”
According to wikipedia, “the annual event known as “Burning Man” began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice in 1986 when Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and a few friends met on Baker Beach in San Francisco and burned a 9-foot wooden man as well as a smaller wooden dog. Harvey has described his inspiration for burning these effigies as a spontaneous act of ‘radical self-expression’.”
This annual event is hugely popular, and combines unique artistic expression with one really big bonfire…and speaking of bonfires:
Here is perhaps the inspiration for “Burning Man”, although this image is steeped with supernatural horror….as one of the participants says:
“Do sit down, Sergeant. Shocks are so much better absorbed with the knees bent.”
The Wicker Man!
One of the most unique horror films of the 1970’s came from England, where acclaimed Writer Anthony Shaffer unveiled the story of a young girl’s disappearance, and one Detective’s efforts to find her…
“FLESH TO TOUCH! FLESH TO BURN! DON’T KEEP THE WICKER MAN WAITING!”
There are times when words simply cannot describe the “power of strange” – this cult classic is simply one of the strangest films ever made – and spawned possibly the worst remake of all time!
First, here is the trailer for the original:
Police Sergeant Howie, played by Edward Woodward, is called to an island village in search of a missing girl whom the locals claim never existed. While conducting his investigation, he uncovers so much more…
Veteran horror film Actor Christopher Lee is Lord Summerisle, and as always, Lee is in top form as the leader of this stage island…
Britt Ekland was immediately launched into movie infamy as Willow…a “free spirit” who performs one of the strangest and yes, “most naked” dances in movie history…
Britt Or No Britt?
While the Actress achieved notoriety for the naked dance, it was revealed later that the nude scene was a body double…but the dancing is all her…according to IMDB, “a body double was secretly used for the naked rear shots of Willow dancing. The scenes were filmed after Britt Ekland had left the set. The body double was used because Ekland would only agree to topless shots of her body. After shooting was over, not only was Ekland furious to learn she had been doubled in some shots but that she was also a few weeks pregnant in that scene. Director Robin Hardy says it was Ekland herself who did not want her bottom to be filmed, as she did not like it.”
“The Wicker Man” is widely regarded as one of the best horror films ever made. Not bad for a film that was disowned by its makers on release. There is a great blu-ray release that offers a “Director’s Cut” of the film along with a ton of great extras!
Sergeant Howie: Your lordship seems strangely… unconcerned.
Lord Summerisle: Well I’m confident your suspicions are wrong, Sergeant. We don’t commit murder here. We’re a deeply religious people.
Sergeant Howie: Religious? With ruined churches, no ministers, no priests… and children dancing naked!
Lord Summerisle: They do love their divinity lessons.
Sergeant Howie: [outraged] But they are… a-are NAKED!
Lord Summerisle: Naturally! It’s much too dangerous to jump through fire with their clothes on!
The Movie’s Shocking Finale!
If you want to know how this film ties into “Burning Man”, it’s in the shocking finale:
Lord Summerisle: Do sit down, Sergeant. Shocks are so much better absorbed with the knees bent.
And shocks are what you get when the secret of “The Wicker Man” is revealed:
Of course, as with every cult film, a remake was inevitable…but leave it to Nicolas Cage to make it one of the worst films of all time!
A remake with Nicolas Cage was directed by Neil LaBute – and they misjudged every single aspect of the film…which is worth seeing only because of how ill-conceived it is… seek out the original instead – it is a trip that few filmmakers take any longer.
OK, since you asked, here is the trailer for the remake:
Oh my…and speaking of classic films that become horrible remakes:
How did the classic Korean film “Oldboy” become THIS?
Read about Spike Lee’s disastrous remake by clicking here:
And check out “The Wicker Man!”
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