Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fever Dreams

I've seen The Wicker Man at some point but I apparently failed to write anything about it. That, somehow, seems about right. I'd also forgotten I'd seen the movie at all--and I saw it within the past 3 years and, most likely, within the past year. That also seems about right.

The only way I can describe this movie is that it's like a fever dream. It's strange and uncomfortable and you wish nothing more than to wake up and forget it ever happened. Apparently, I took the last part of that analogy seriously as I've only retained flashes of the film and I'm, frankly, horrified. But, I'm not horrified because the film was effective as a "horror" movie and it scared me. No, I'm horrified because it's a terrible terrible film and it scarred me for life with it's Euro-hippie creepiness and cheesiness.

This is one I'd like to vote off the island.

Why did we have to watch this one before we die? All the book offers is this: "The Wicker Man is a highly original combination of horror movie, murder mystery, pagan ethnography, and folk musical." I might agree with that if it were an effective representative of any of those genres. But, if we're playing fast and loose with rules, Rocky Horror meets all of those requirements, too. I think we have to replace this one with a more effective version of the combination of genres because I'm sure it's been done better since (and maybe before) this 1973 film. Tracy, any suggestions for a horror/murder mystery/pagan ethnography/folk musical replacement? Or is the combination of those things (and the 70s) that make this such a train wreck?


  1. You know, I think it's the folk musical element that makes this brand of awful particularly hard to replicate or improve upon. Why? Why would they do that? Funny you compared it to Rocky Horror. I was thinking that all of the movies we've watched from the 70s so far have some version of the straight-laced or non-hippie person being confronted with bohemia and either being terrified or going native, or both.

  2. I have no clue why they would do that. None at all. It really just puts the icing on the let's be beyond weired cake.

    You're right about the 70s movies! But we haven't gotten a mainstream movie from the 70s either--Performance was delayed, limited, censored release, Rocky Horror was limited, and Wicker Man is "horror." I'll be interested to see a "normal" film from the 70s to see if that bohemia confrontation holds.