A story as relevant as yesterday’s headlines, or too late a tale? Some thirty years ago, Cinefantastique hailed Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man as “the Citizen Kane of horror,” lauding the Anthony Shaffer-scripted story of a god-fearing police detective trying to solve a mystery within a community of Scottish pagans for its bold eroticism and cunning narrative. Now, Hardy has taken his own novel, Cowboys for Christ, and brought it to the screen as The Wicker Tree, billing it as a “reimagining” of his original triumph.
Cinefantastique Online‘s Steve Biodrowski and myself take a look at this tale of a couple of present-day evangelical missionaries who find they may have bitten off more than can chew in trying to convert the “heathens” of a Scottish village, and discuss how the film fares in its three-plus decade transition. Plus: Oscar 2012 nominations, and what’s coming to theaters and home video.