The Wicker Man: Final Cut / Special May Day Screening!

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Long considered one of the very cult-iest of cult horror films, The Wicker Man: Final Cut is the definitive version of Robin Hardy’s celebrated thriller of pagan worshippers running amuck on a remote Scottish island. Seen for decades only in mutilated copies, this new 40th anniversary restoration by StudioCanal is the culmination of a long search for the complete director’s cut. After receiving an anonymous letter about a missing 12-year-old girl, devoutly Christian cop Edward Woodward travels by seaplane to the remote Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate. But the islanders welcome neither his badge nor religious devotion, for laird of the isle Christopher Lee and his devoted followers worship only the pagan gods of old – and those gods demand a sacrifice! Attempting to chase down clues, Howie catches on to the pagan culture that prevails – couples have sex publicly, and children learn about phallic symbols – all things that deeply offend the devoutly Christian Howie. Those acts seem relatively innocent once a series of photographs brings him to the conclusion that children are being sacrificed for the island’s harvest. Woodward fears for the missing girl’s life and follows every possible lead to find her – despite the islanders’ interference – before she becomes a human sacrificial lamb at the fast-approaching May Day festival, leading to a shocking, and quite “un-festive,” surprise for our straight-laced hero! (Dir. by Robin Harvey, 1973, UK, 93 mins., Rated R, Rialto Pictures) Digital