One of my most favorite flicks to watch this time of year is The Wicker Man. Not the god-awful remake with Nicolas Cage, but the 1973 original with Christopher Lee. For those of you not familiar with that name, he’s probably better known these days as Count Dooku from the Star Wars prequels or Saruman from The Lord of the Rings. For me, I shall always remember him as Dracula from the series of Hammer monster films in the 60s and 70s.
The Wicker Man shows the conflict of traditional Christianity, in the form of Sergeant Neil Howie, and paganism, in the form of Summerisle. It turns out the the crops last year weren’t so splendid. Therefore, the island needs a human sacrifice. A virgin to be precise. They lure the sergeant there on the pretense of a missing girl. Though he’s the one they’re after. The film culminates with the poor fella being locked in a ginormous wicker man and being set ablaze.
The comedy of the film lies in this totally proper sergeant butting heads with some free loving hippie pagans. There’s a scene where naked girls are leaping over a fire in order to get pregnant. Sergeant Howie objects to their nudity. To which Lord Summerisle (played by Christopher Lee) responds: “Naturally! It’s much too dangerous to jump through fire with their clothes on!”
A year or so ago, I stumbled upon a version of this wonderful film as played by the Muppets. Below is a YouTube preview. But the real fun lies in the web-comic. It completely embodies the spirit of the film.