THE WICKER MAN IMPRINT BLU RAY 4 DISC REVIEW

There has been a few releases of the WICKER MAN in various guises over the last decade. The one I remember fondly is the Studio Canal version that, almost to the letter, is the same in terms of film contents as this one. But as we know, many of your lovely readers are rather keen on investing in a brand new release. This being the Imprint in Australia’s release and we dear readers have examined the pack, box work, added features, versions and all! Now you know the story. Devout Christian policeman Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) is sent to remote Scottish island. He is set to investigate the disappearance of a young child. Howie finds the islanders odd and thier lives isolated from broader society. They are led by Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), who has them worshipping in a pagan cult no less. As preparations for a sinister ritual that celebrate a new season, Howie, finds that things are becoming absurd and sinister. When local landlord’s daughter Willow (Britt Ekland) actions tip him to the edge, all fires will burn to destroy him.

Right, no need me telling you how good or bad the film is. If you know it, then you have an opinion. If not, then it is an essential film to have seen and be able to explore. No doubt in my mind at all. It is a bleak, post Hammer (in the sense of the golden age certainly) British horror that exposes the heritage of heathen hatred and human genocide for layers of belief that still leave this isle with an unpleasent taste in its collective mouth.

Have Imprint given you everything to equip this exploration? Well yes they have. The three films are given broad respect. The transfer on the Final Cut is the same as the Studio Canal one. The Theatrical cut is also the same but, the Directors has been slightly improved in terms of frame quality. With the standard (and I must add the Studio Canal version given its own disc). All old extras are found here. Then you get the new stuff. The new extras are all very good but there are some that really help improve the film experience. Vic Pratt and Will Fowler commentary for one. This isnt just rich in content it is interesting in a post Covid context. Which they explore with passion and insight. Dr Adam Scovell video essay is informative and informal. You feel he wants to talk with you, in a pub, rather than at you, in a lecture hall. Kat Ellinger, who appears in everything and this is a blessing and curse (for her in sense of money and for the viewer in sense if you dont like her, then its tough going). Her work can be a little dense and one dimensional, but she really delivers here.

 

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Disc One: The Final Cut – (HD)

  • 1080p high-definition presentation of The Final Cut version of the film
  • NEW Audio commentary by BFI film historians Vic Pratt and Will Fowler (2022)
  • Burnt Offering: The Cult of the Wicker Man – documentary (2001)
  • Worshiping The Wicker Man – featurette
  • The Music of The Wicker Man – featurette
  • Interview with director Robin Hardy
  • Critic’s Choice interview with director Robin Hardy and actor Christopher Lee by Stirling Smith (1979)
  • The Restoration Comparison – featurette
  • The Final Cut Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • U.S. Theatrical Trailer
  • Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
  • Audio English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English HOH subtitles

Disc Two: UK Theatrical Cut (HD) and The Director’s Cut (HD/SD)

  • 1080p high-definition presentation of The Theatrical Cut version of the film
  • NEW 1080p high-definition presentation of The Director’s Cut version of the film utilising standard-definition material for additional footage
  • NEW Audio commentary by film critic/historian Kim Newman & author Sean Hogan on The Theatrical Cut

Disc Three: Bonus Disc 

  • The Director’s Cut in Standard Definition with optional audio commentary by actors Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward, and director Robin Hardy
  • Making the Director’s Cut audio commentary – featurette
  • The Wicker Man Q&A (2013)
  • Folk musicians discuss The Wicker Man
  • Ex-S: The Wicker Man – documentary (1998)
  • The Wicker Man Enigma – documentary (2001)
  • NEW Willow’s Song & The Liberation of Eve – The Wicker Man: Sexual Revolution, Counterculture, and Satanic Feminism – video essay by Kat Ellinger (2022)
  • NEW Forged Folklore: The Fakery of The Wicker Man – video essay by Dr Adam Scovell (2022)
  • NEW The Music of The Wicker Man – interview with author David Huckvale (2022)
  • NEW The Golden Bough – interview with author David Huckvale on the symbolism of The Wicker Man (2022)
  • NEW Robert Reed on The Wicker Man (2022)
  • The Willow Song – promo video by Robert Reed featuring Angharad Brinn
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spots

Disc Four: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD  

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