‘Wicker Man’ Stumps in Cutcloy, Scotland

'Wicker Man' Stumps

The year 2021 marked the 50-year anniversary since principal filming began on the seminal movie, The Wicker Man, a celluloid picture that would go on to help define a genre known as folk horror. Actor and screenwriter Mark Gatiss popularized this genre that often incorporated themes of worship, seclusion, the influence of the environment, and the hidden immorality of agricultural settings.

The film stars Sir Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle, the fictional ruler of a Scottish island that is visited by Sergeant Howie, portrayed by Edward Woodward who is searching for a missing girl. Many of the motion picture’s locations were shot in and around the western province of Dumfries and Galloway. This included the film’s climactic ending, which took place along the coastline near the camping site of Burrowhead Holiday Village.

Without divulging the movie’s harrowing conclusion, it involves the burning of a wooden effigy of a human, that is purported to have pagan or druid-like origins. The production company shot two different sculptures for the film. One was shot in miniature format to incorporate the setting sun, and another for the actors to interact around. Both charred remains can be found with a little sleuthing and┬áperseverance.