I will say that Christopher Lee is amazingly creepy in the original Wicker Man movie. Seriously, this movie is good if you 1) like pagans 2) think pagans are scary 3) think Christians are scary 4) like nudity 5) like hippy music. You must be in the right frame of mind to watch this film, as the concept is definitely of its time (the beginning of the 1970’s, when people were beginning to question the idea that love and drugs could save the world). In that respect I would put it in the same category of the Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter and Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the book, not the film). This must have been a sad time to live in, coming down from the collective high of the late 60’s, but it sure produced some interesting popular art.
Wicker Man is not as on the nose about the end of the 60’s, but it sets up a fascinating dichotomy between the rigid moral values of Christianity and the freewheelin’ spirit of paganism. The movie seems to land on the side of conservatism and Christianity in the end, but it does at least show (however briefly) that there can be an alternative.
Look out for those animal masks and Christopher Lee. Lord Summerisle abides.