Director: Robin Hardy
Year Released: 1973
With a history almost as unbelievable as Brazil's, and countless distribution problems, The Wicker Man has achieved (appropriately enough) 'cult' status, although, being cynical as I am, I highly doubt it would be so warmly regarded today had the turmoil not been there. The problems with getting it made and released add to its mystical prestige - some ads foolishly refer to it as the 'Citizen Kane of horror movies' - and are as much a part of it as its story, which isn't the most convincing. This is the kind of film you loop in the Usual Suspects genre, in which the 'twist' at the end is so startling that you'll either be (a.) reeled in by it or (b.) get caught up in rehearsing the entire film in your head, trying to make sense of it. Since I found myself in the latter category, I went through the entire film, mentally, and am not convinced any of it is remotely plausible. Not only that, but the underdeveloped lead only expresses one emotion: undisguised self-righteous disgust, and never becomes a three-dimensional character. It's a lot of hooey, but some people adore it.