#75 Nov 02, 2023, 04:54 AM Last Edit: Nov 02, 2023, 05:32 AM by ribbons
Quote from: Guybrush on Oct 26, 2023, 11:06 PMNow that it's spooky season, maybe you ought to watch:

The Wicker Man (1973)



Yes, this wonderful movie was just released in a restored 4k version with a 94 minutes runtime, so that's now the definitive version to get.

On the small Scottish island Summerisle, a young girl has gone missing. Howie, a deeply christian police officer, is tasked with flying out to Summerisle to investigate the young girl's disappearance. Making it more troublesome for Howie, the people on Summerisle are all immoral heathens with absolutely no sense of proper decency. If he can just figure out their strange practices, maybe he can figure out what happened to the girl?

I love movies that feature the occult and The Wicker Man might just be the best one of them all. It looks like a made for TV movie when you first put it on, but it soon grabs you.. and the ending is probably my favorite ending of any movie ever made.

Add to that a soundtrack by Paul Giovanni and the band Magnet that has some of the most beautiful folk music of the 70s and the mix is just too good to miss.

At the start of the movie, with the small plane flying across the Scottish coast and corn rigs comes on, it's a balm for the soul:


And Willow's song might actually be the most beautiful folk ballad of the 70s period.


So watch this if you haven't, but remember to avoid the original theatrical release like the plague as it's cut to pieces and a nonsensical mess.

Always look for final or director's cut with this one 🙂 preferably the recent restoration, of course!

I watched this tonight via BFI Player Classics, and finished about an hour ago.  All I can say is, what a highly disturbing, disorienting but well made and well casted film.  The end really shook me to the core, more so than anything I've seen in a long time!  I am feeling unsettled and keep thinking I might see *the islanders* or *His Lordship* in the shadows of my apartment.  Help!  :laughing:

PS:  While watching the film I wondered whether Pulp's song "Wickerman" connects to it in any way.  Just looked it up and allegedly Pulp's "Wickerman" samples Giovanni's "Willow's Song".  Hope I don't hear pounding sounds on my walls tonight!   :yikes:

PPS:  I have a pillow here that my grandmother made - with a hare on it.   I posted a pic of it in the 5-pack thread a few days ago, before seeing the film and its *March hares*.  Yikes!  :o

Final PS:  I wonder what root-lifting spray Christopher Lee used to volumize his hair for this movie.  :D


Quote from: ribbons on Nov 02, 2023, 04:54 AMI watched this tonight via BFI Player Classics, and finished about an hour ago.  All I can say is, what a highly disturbing, disorienting but well made and well casted film.  The end really shook me to the core, more so than anything I've seen in a long time!  I am feeling unsettled and keep thinking I might see *the islanders* or *His Lordship* in the shadows of my apartment.  Help!  :laughing:

PS:  While watching the film I wondered whether Pulp's song "Wickerman" connects to it in any way.  Just looked it up and allegedly Pulp's "Wickerman" samples Giovanni's "Willow's Song".  Hope I don't hear pounding sounds on my walls tonight!   :yikes:

PPS:  I have a pillow here that my grandmother made - with a hare on it.   I posted a pic of it in the 5-pack thread a few days ago, before seeing the film and its *March hares*.  Yikes!  :o

Final PS:  I wonder what root-lifting spray Christopher Lee used to volumize his hair for this movie.  :D

Nice, @ribbons 🤩 I hope you liked it! The ending certainly stuck with me for a while.

You described it as disorienting. It can be, but this may also be the mark of the theatrical cut at 88 minutes (the one to avoid). If you didn't see any scenes of Howie on the mainland in a church or chatting with colleagues before flying out to Summerisle, you may have seen the "wrong" version. But then you can enjoy one of the good edits on a later occasion 😉

Also, I wouldn't mind hearing some singing and pounding on my walls 😄 poor Howie.

Happiness is a warm manatee

Quote from: Guybrush on Nov 02, 2023, 06:25 AMNice, @ribbons 🤩 I hope you liked it! The ending certainly stuck with me for a while.

You described it as disorienting. It can be, but this may also be the mark of the theatrical cut at 88 minutes (the one to avoid). If you didn't see any scenes of Howie on the mainland in a church or chatting with colleagues before flying out to Summerisle, you may have seen the "wrong" version. But then you can enjoy one of the good edits on a later occasion 😉

Also, I wouldn't mind hearing some singing and pounding on my walls 😄 poor Howie.

Yes, I did see the scene of Howie in the church (I recall he was speaking at a lectern?) and chatting with colleagues before flying to Summerisle, so supposedly I did see the final cut?  I'll double-check the BFI Player to be sure. 

I did like the film and thought it was very unique, but the ending was really upsetting to me, to be honest, because I liked poor Howie actually.  I think he sincerely thought he was doing good.  And maybe it hit close to home, because like Howie I'm personally very attached to Jesus (although I am not formally religious like Howie).   :(

LOL at your comment re: singing and pounding on the walls!  What I didn't quite get (and I'll have to rewatch the film) is why the *seduction* attempts when they were seeking a virgin?   ???




#80 Nov 02, 2023, 05:22 PM Last Edit: Nov 02, 2023, 05:34 PM by Guybrush
Quote from: ribbons on Nov 02, 2023, 07:14 AMYes, I did see the scene of Howie in the church (I recall he was speaking at a lectern?) and chatting with colleagues before flying to Summerisle, so supposedly I did see the final cut?  I'll double-check the BFI Player to be sure. 

I did like the film and thought it was very unique, but the ending was really upsetting to me, to be honest, because I liked poor Howie actually.  I think he sincerely thought he was doing good.  And maybe it hit close to home, because like Howie I'm personally very attached to Jesus (although I am not formally religious like Howie).  :(

LOL at your comment re: singing and pounding on the walls!  What I didn't quite get (and I'll have to rewatch the film) is why the *seduction* attempts when they were seeking a virgin?  ???

Might be you got to see the director's cut 🙂 I believe that can be identified by the inclusion of some short very low quality scenes as some film was lost in a fire and they had to use copies.

About Howie and the ending, I like Howie but also find him very judgmental and occasionally rude to the Islanders. Their liberal attitudes align more with my own values than Howie's christian dogma.

Side comment, but as an atheist, I don't see a huge amount of difference between the magical practices / rituals of the heathen villagers and those done in a Christian church (like baptism, consuming the body of Christ, the priesthood's ritual costumes). I find it all a little eerie.. So that also influences in part how I view this movie.

About Wicker Man's ending and Willow's seduction
About the ending, it certainly is surprisingly brutal. There's no escape for poor Howie. I'm sorry if it was a bit much!

About Willow, maybe she was trying to give him a chance to escape his fate. Or maybe it was a part of this idea that the sacrifice should come of his/her own free will and so a bit of temptation may have been part of the ritual.
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Happiness is a warm manatee

Quote from: Guybrush on Nov 02, 2023, 05:22 PMMight be you got to see the director's cut 🙂 I believe that can be identified by the inclusion of some short very low quality scenes as some film was lost in a fire and they had to use copies.

About Howie and the ending, I like Howie but also find him very judgmental and occasionally rude to the Islanders. Their liberal attitudes align more with my own values than Howie's christian dogma.

Side comment, but as an atheist, I don't see a huge amount of difference between the magical practices / rituals of the heathen villagers and those done in a Christian church (like baptism, consuming the body of Christ, the priesthood's ritual costumes). I find it all a little eerie.. So that also influences in part how I view this movie.

About Wicker Man's ending and Willow's seduction
About the ending, it certainly is surprisingly brutal. There's no escape for poor Howie. I'm sorry if it was a bit much!
About Willow, maybe she was trying to give him a chance to escape his fate. Or maybe it was a part of this idea that the sacrifice should come of his/her own free will and so a bit of temptation may have been part of the ritual.
[close]


Hi, Tore - Thanks for the spoilered explanation re Willow's seduction, which makes sense!  I definitely need to watch the film again (dare I do so? 😊)  And btw, please don't be sorry, although it's very kind of you say so – I watched of my own accord, and believe me, I'll watch again!   :D   I tend to be a little counterphobic and repeated viewings of films I find upsetting always lessens my distress!

Thanks for the info about the brief low quality scenes, which will be helpful in figuring out which version I'm watching.

I agree with your opinion about Howie being judgmental and brusque with the islanders at times.  He is a flawed character to be sure, but also well meaning in his quest to find the missing girl, imho.  I personally am not aligned with Christian orthodoxy either, and agree with you about the similarities in the rituals of the pagan villagers and those of the Christian church.  However...let's just say the ending destroyed my earlier more balanced perspective!

Thanks again for introducing me to this film.  Another very interesting rec by you, Tore.  :D



Quote from: ribbons on Nov 02, 2023, 06:17 PMHi, Tore - Thanks for the spoilered explanation re Willow's seduction, which makes sense!  I definitely need to watch the film again (dare I do so? 😊)  And btw, please don't be sorry, although it's very kind of you say so – I watched of my own accord, and believe me, I'll watch again!  :D  I tend to be a little counterphobic and repeated viewings of films I find upsetting always lessens my distress!

Thanks for the info about the brief low quality scenes, which will be helpful in figuring out which version I'm watching.

I agree with your opinion about Howie being judgmental and brusque with the islanders at times.  He is a flawed character to be sure, but also well meaning in his quest to find the missing girl, imho.  I personally am not aligned with Christian orthodoxy either, and agree with you about the similarities in the rituals of the pagan villagers and those of the Christian church.  However...let's just say the ending destroyed my earlier more balanced perspective!

Thanks again for introducing me to this film.  Another very interesting rec by you, Tore.  :D

The ending can definitely do that! I don't disagree.. and thank YOU for checking it out 🙂

Before we forget spooky season completely, I thought I'd write a little bit about another movie I've seen quite a few times and like to mention now and then. It is:

The Innocents (1961)




Deborah Kerr plays the lead in this sometimes creepy movie about a woman taking on the job as a governess to a couple of neglected upper class children living in a huge mansion with a very small staff. While the children are sweet, there may be some lasting (or lingering?) corrupting influence on them.

The movie is well casted, beautifully shot and so atmospheric in black and white and it has a really clever screenplay. It's the sort of movie where, at the end, you can't help but sit and analyse the various clues that are given throughout its runtime.

The exterior shots of the mansion were filmed in Sheffield Park in Sussex and me and my wife wanted to go in 2014 when we were in England, but just couldn't quite fit it into our schedule. I'm hoping to get the chance again.

You probably know I love Kate Bush and she has a song inspired by The Innocents on her third album:


So as far as classy, old, spooky movies go, this is one is warmly recommended 🙂

Happiness is a warm manatee

Quote from: Guybrush on Nov 02, 2023, 11:38 PMThe ending can definitely do that! I don't disagree.. and thank YOU for checking it out 🙂

Before we forget spooky season completely, I thought I'd write a little bit about another movie I've seen quite a few times and like to mention now and then. It is:

The Innocents (1961)




Deborah Kerr plays the lead in this sometimes creepy movie about a woman taking on the job as a governess to a couple of neglected upper class children living in a huge mansion with a very small staff. While the children are sweet, there may be some lasting (or lingering?) corrupting influence on them.

The movie is well casted, beautifully shot and so atmospheric in black and white and it has a really clever screenplay. It's the sort of movie where, at the end, you can't help but sit and analyse the various clues that are given throughout its runtime.

The exterior shots of the mansion were filmed in Sheffield Park in Sussex and me and my wife wanted to go in 2014 when we were in England, but just couldn't quite fit it into our schedule. I'm hoping to get the chance again.

You probably know I love Kate Bush and she has a song inspired by The Innocents on her third album:


So as far as classy, old, spooky movies go, this is one is warmly recommended 🙂

This looks right up my alley, thank you for the recommendation!


Quote from: Mrs. Waffles on Nov 02, 2023, 11:41 PMThis looks right up my alley, thank you for the recommendation!

Nice! I have seen a lot of old classic ghost movies, but this one's special to me.

If you watch it, I'd love to hear your interpretation of it 🙂

Happiness is a warm manatee

I saw The Innocents a long time ago and recall reading an analysis claiming it was about attachment disorders on the part of the children.  I really need to see the film again as for some reason I don't remember much of it (was probably very distracted back then when I first viewed it!).  That's a shame you and your wife missed seeing Sheffield Park, Tore - I'm sure you both would have loved that!  Fingers crossed you'll get the opportunity to return in the future.  :)

Btw - I was able to verify that the version of The Wicker Man I saw was most likely the final cut (not the director's cut).  It has the scene with Howie in church, but does not have the scene with Howie and colleagues prior to his departure for Summerisle (I mistakenly thought that scene had been included).


Here's something a little more schlocky - and probably not for @ribbons !!

I love Hellraiser 2: Hellbound



I've actually read most of Clive Barker's fiction and find him to be a creative author who's sometimes willing to go far. These things describe Hellbound as well. It's imaginative and it certainly goes far.

If you're not familiar with Hellraiser, the stories typically involve the lament configuration, a puzzle box that, if solved, will open a portal to hell and summon cenobites. The cenobites are people who came to hell, possibly by solving the puzzle, then got tortured, mutilated and disfigured by the god Leviathan and turned into powerful servants. They're also sadomasochistic, so when they say they have pleasures to show you, they mean torture. Yet, in these early movies, they are more like enforcers of hell's rules and laws rather than evil beings pursuing selfish agendas.

Many might enjoy the first movie, directed by Barker himself, more. BUT the first had a very small stage (a house) and offered a mere glimpse into this twisted fantasy world. What this sequel does very well is expand on what the cenobites are, what Leviathan is, what hell is like and so on. It's horror, yes, but also a dark fantasy movie - like a twisted version of Labyrinth. And I love the world building and dark fantasy aspects of this.

As examples of Barker's creativity, hell (or at least this part of it) is a labyrinth:



Towering above it is Leviathan, its ruler:



But rather than your typical meaty demon, Leviathan is like a floating geometric construct, slowly rotating and sending beams of darkness that has a disturbing effect on those it touches.

How awesome is that?

Also, I love how sinister this movie is. Don't worry - it's not a video nasty - but it keeps up the theme of skinless people and has one of the most hilariously evil insane asylums of any 80s movie.



The movie's villain and his origin story is also a delight, even if his powers are a bit weird. And who doesn't like Doug Bradley as Pinhead, now fleshed out with a human backstory as the hedonistic Elliott Spencer who once sealed his fate when he himself sought out and solved the lament configuration.

This movie is by no means perfect. It's also got a very cheap monster, some cheap sets, occasionally weird special effects and one or two plot things that literally make no sense. But hey, it's a B movie! It comes with the territory.

So if you're up for a gory, sinister ride, this one's a lot of fun 🙂

Happiness is a warm manatee

This reminds me thst a new Hellraiser movie was released on Hulu either this year or last year. I need to check it out. Hellraiser is one of my favorite franchises that I definitely got into while I was too young to be watching stuff like that. Probably around 9 years or so.

I was this cool the whole time.

Quote from: DJChameleon on Nov 07, 2023, 10:59 AMThis reminds me thst a new Hellraiser movie was released on Hulu either this year or last year. I need to check it out. Hellraiser is one of my favorite franchises that I definitely got into while I was too young to be watching stuff like that. Probably around 9 years or so.

I've seen it! But before I comment on it, I can say that I love Hellraiser 1 & 2, but feel that the rest of the series is mistreated and mishandled by most involved, including Clive Barker.

The original vision was original. The moral ambiguity and lawful nature of Pinhead made him layered and interesting. And hell and Leviathan being something different from the typical catholic depictions was refreshing.

They managed to fuck all these things up.

Pinhead became just another bad guy, also by Clive Barker who made him your basic power hungry evil dude in his book The Scarlet Gospel

The labyrinthian hell and Leviathan got retconned by Barker? Seems it was catholic hell all along and this labyrinth was just a part of it. Lucifer us the ultimate ruler of hell. Not so original.

And the movies are mostly just awful.. they used to shoehorn various scripts into the Hellraiser setting just to keep the franchise rights alive, so..

Seems most involved with Hellraiser over the years either didn't really care about it other than as a potential cash cow or they lost sight of what made it interesting and unique in the first place.

BUT the people who made the new movie get it. It's far from a perfect movie, but at least they've tried to follow the formula of the first movies. So not all that I'd hope for, but a lot better than what we've gotten since Hellbound 🙂

I hope they make a sequel!

Happiness is a warm manatee