Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Burnt Offering: The legacy of The Wicker Man given justice

One of the greatest British horror films of all time, widely considered a cult classic, and boasting the unusual mixture of horror and musical along with the finest performance of Christopher Lee, The Wicker Man is a beast of many faces, and one that horror fans should revel in.

In light of the fast approaching sequel, and my current obsession with Mark Kermode, I have dug up (and embedded below) a fantastic documentary on the troubled making of this cult classic, entitled Burnt Offering: The Cult of The Wicker Man (originally aired in 2001)

Available on the current special edition DVD (though absent from my copy from the initial DVD release, sigh), Kermode is a well informed presenter eliciting very candid interviews and getting to the heart of the piece, with the problems between the crew (including the director and cinematographers struggle for power), the outrage of the actors (for unauthorised naked body doubles), and the sorted history of the films initial distribution, where almost 20 minutes were removed, and subsequently lost (if it wasn't for the blessing that is Roger Corman). And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

My favourite documentaries are ones that avoid any fluff and praise, and instead go straight for the jugular, with people vying to get their side of a story told, and to this end, Burnt Offering: The Cult of The Wicker Man is a resounding success. For cult film fans, or those who like some real life drama of the behind the camera variety, or as a lesson to pretty much any wannabe filmmaker, this is the documentary. Damn fine. 

Fingers crossed more of its ilk will be produced!

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