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Wicker Man to light up Aberystwyth horror festival
Robin Hardy filming The Wicker Tree
The Wicker Tree is set on a Scottish island

The director of classic British film The Wicker Man was so disappointed by the American re-make he decided to make a follow-up to his original movie.

Robin Hardy will show a 12-minute promo of The Wicker Tree at the Abertoir Horror Festival in Aberystwyth on Sunday 14 November.

The new film features a cameo by Christopher Lee who starred as Lord Summerisle in the original Wicker Man.

The film is due to be released next Spring.

Robin Hardy helped launch the Abertoir festival five years ago and said he was delighted to support the festival again.

I believe we created a new genre that combined humour, romance, sex, the incorporation of music into the fabric of the film, and, of course the 'worm in the bud' at the end
Robin Hardy

"I like their set up and I will be delighted to talk about the Wicker Man and The Wicker Tree," said Mr Hardy, who is in his early 80s.

Despite the critical success of The Wicker Man since its release in 1973, Mr Hardy has only made two feature films since then.

"I wanted to do other things such as write novels and take up journalism, quite apart from the fact that I had to bring up eight children," he said.

"But when I saw the re-make of The Wicker Man I decided to get back in the saddle again."

Edward Woodward
The Wicker Man starred the late Edward Woodward as Neil Howie

The 2006 version starred Nicholas Cage and Ellen Burstyn and received poor reviews.

"That film took the original plot and threw away the rest of what made the original film work.

"I believe we created a new genre that combined humour, romance, sex, the incorporation of music into the fabric of the film, and, of course the 'worm in the bud' at the end."

The original Wicker Man film starred Edward Woodward as police sergeant Neil Howie who arrives at the Scottish island of Summerisle in search of a missing girl the locals claim never existed.

Howie is a devout Christian, and is shocked by the Pagan practices of the island's inhabitants, led by Lord Summerisle, played by Christopher Lee.

In 2004 Total Film magazine named The Wicker Man the sixth greatest British film of all time.

Christopher Lee
The Wicker Tree features Christopher Lee in a cameo role

"I would not have called the original film a horror film, but Cinefantastique magazine devoted a whole issue to the film and called it The Citizen Kane of horror films.

"I wasn't going to argue about any film of mine being compared to Citizen Kane, although the film is probably closer to that of the suspense genre exemplified by the work of Alfred Hitchcock."

The Wicker Tree is also set on a Scottish island and also features Christopher Lee in a small role.

Mr Hardy, who adapted his own novel Cowboys for Christ for the screenplay, said: "I wanted to give Christopher a larger part, but he injured himself in Mexico. He is now 88 years old, so putting him on a horse was out of the question.

"I am happy with this film because it is in the same genre as The Wicker Man, although it is not a sequel.

"There are lots of songs, sex, comedy and something terrible happens when you least expect it."

Mr Hardy has just finished writing a script for what he describes as 'the third film in the Wicker trilogy', The Wrath of the Gods, which he intends to start filming next year.

Mr Hardy will appear at the Abertoir Horror Festival at Aberystwyth Arts Centre at 1745 GMT on Sunday 14 November.

Other festival highlights include a concert by The Damned on Friday 12 November and the world premiere of British psychological horror film, Siren, at 1915 GMT on Thursday 11 November.




SEE ALSO
Return of the Wicker Man
18 Jul 02 |  Breakfast
Wicker Man gets re-released
23 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Actor Edward Woodward dies at 79
16 Nov 09 |  Entertainment
Wicker Man's leg-lopping mystery
23 Nov 06 |  South of Scotland


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