Simply put, the fact that ‘The Wicker Man’ remains even remotely watchable almost forty years on is a credit to all involved. Part folk musical, part occult-based murder mystery; The Wicker Man is strange.
A devout Christian police detective has made his way to a remote Hebridean island to investigate the case of a missing girl. At first all the islanders claim that no such girl is or has ever been on the island. However, our plucky detective is not convinced and searches a little deeper uncovering the strange pagan traditions of the island.
The script deals with some interesting topics, including the conflict between pagan traditions and ‘normal’ religions, and it does serve as a thought-provoking study of a community left to their own devices away from mainland law and order. However, it all ends up becoming rather ridiculous, with sequences of creepily sexualised song-and-dance and over-the-top acting.
It all ends up feeling incredibly old fashioned, and not just because the micro-budget limited the scope of the piece.
More interesting than thrilling, The Wicker Man is a 70s oddity let down by its sheer weirdness.