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British horror film 'The Wicker Man' to screen

RELEASED: March 11, 2010

Edward Woodward as Sergeant Howie in "The Wicker Man."
Edward Woodward as Sergeant Howie in "The Wicker Man"

EAU CLAIRE — "The Wicker Man" (1973) — a British horror film that has acquired a cult following for its enigmas, psychological twists and fascination with Celtic ritual — will be presented March 18-21 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The film will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

After he receives an anonymous letter, a police sergeant (Edward Woodward) travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He finds an isolated community whose ancient religious practices run counter to his devout Christian faith, and he is told that the girl never existed. Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt and Diane Cilento co-star.

Disliked and only grudgingly released in abbreviated form by its studio, the gothic mystery has grown in stature in the years since as a classic British thriller and surreal whodunit.

"Anthony Shaffer penned the screenplay which, for sheer imagination and near-terror, has seldom been equalled," wrote Variety.

The University Activities Commission of the Student Senate will present the 88-minute film, directed by Robin Hardy and rated R. Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films must purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4; a family membership costs $10.

More information about the campus film series is available online [www.uwec.edu/activities/campusfilms] and at the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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