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The Original Film Provides Examples Of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: There are two camps for Howie's character -
    • Howie is a mostly reasonable police officer investigating the disappearance and possible death of a little girl. He's understandably frustrated when the community blatantly refuses to cooperate and act more and more suspicious as times goes on. Or...
    • He's a Jerkass Victim that hates the villagers for being pagans.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Was that naked crying woman on the grave ever explained?
    • In the extended version, we see a group of young islanders out on the village green, having sex. Horny as the island is, it seems odd that they would all choose to do so at the same time, so there's most likely some ritual reason for it, something to do with the approaching May Day. She's just visiting her lover, as all the other women in the scene were doing.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The movie has Howie die with dignity. The novelazation by the director and writer of the original film actually has him die being a Badass: actually freeing a flock of birds from the Wicker Man's arm as it's burning, because he feels that, as long as he saves some sort of life, his police mission will have not been completely in vain.
  • Ear Worm: The Maypole song.
  • Fridge Horror: Invoked in the film with Howie warning Summersile that he will be the sacrifice for next year. Another would be that Howie's disappearance will not go unnoticed by his police force. They could send in an investigation team to find out what happened, and all the townspeople will be in deep shit.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Arguments can be made for Lord Summerisle, who manipulates the entire population of his island to help him manipulate Howie, managing to come across as really evil but so damn affablly so.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Word of God has gone on the record to say, no matter how appealing you find Summerisle and how irritating Howie might be, the murderous pagan cult in this film is not supposed to be considered good at all. But there are some neopagan viewers who don't get this...
    • Also, some neopagan viewers hate the movie because the pagans are the bad guys. But actually, the reason behind this particular group of pagans going bad is given in great detail by Lord Summerisle in the movie, and isn't supposed to represent all pagans.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The islanders dancing about the Wicker Man, joyously singing "Summer is i'coming in" while Howie burns to death, howling in agony.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some viewers can't get past Howie's prudish religious/authoratative behavior and consider him an Asshole Victim by the end, but putting all religion and whatnot aside, he is the only character in the film who is trying to save a life (or at least thinks he is), while the affable islanders have manipulation and murder on their minds.
    • It's also worth noting that Howie doesn't initially act religiously intolerant toward the islanders; he just ignores their paganism the best he can and tries to do his policework. It's only when the islanders keep on dicking around with him and not cooeparating that his anger brings out the uglier side of his religious views.
  • Squick: During the film's US release, Christopher Lee did a radio spot, playing a post-film Lord Summerisle responding to allegations toward him and his cult of murder with "We love the flesh, even as it BURNS! ...Aaaah, the sweet smell of burning flesh!"

The 2006 Remake Provides Examples Of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: One fan-made trailer states that The Wicker Man was actually a Stealth Parody.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Nicholas Cage version. Violence against women has never been so hilarious.
  • Fountain of Memes
  • Nightmare Fuel: Despite the Narmy performance of Nicolas Cage, getting a mask filled with angry bees stinging your face is a horrifying thought.
  • So Bad It's Good: The remake is a bad horror movie. It's a great comedy.
  • Special Effects Failure: A very subtle one, you have to be paying attention to catch it. When Nic yells the ultimate in Narm lines "Not the bees! They're in my eyes!" THERE ARE NO BEES IN HIS EYES! Especially hilarious when you consider the fact that those bees are CGI, so some CGI animator decided that when he yelled that, there would be no bees in his eyes.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • There is a heavy layer of misogyny present throughout the film. The main villain was changed from a man in the original to a woman in the remake, the Celtic neo-paganism of the original is diluted in favour of something which more resembles ultra-feminism, and Nicolas Cage runs around punching women in the face.
    • There's also another bad set of implications when Cage's character gets burned alive and the women of the island get ready to seduce a pair of poor young guys on the mainland. I guess you shouldn't mess with the crazy misandrists.
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