Robin Hardy has died at the age of 86.
His main claim to fame is that he was the director of one of the weirdest movies of all time – 1973’s The Wicker Man, in which Britt Ekland, Edward Woodward, and the two stars of many Hammer Horror movies, Ingrid Pitt and Christopher Lee, appeared.
The Wicker Man‘s plot deals with paganism and culminates in one of the most shocking episodes in cinematic history. Not surprisingly it had a very troubled distribution, as studios and cinemas felt deeply disturbed by it; it quickly achieved cult status.
After 1973, Robin Hardy made just one film, and a single TV show in the 1980s. Hardy said: “The actual cut of the film which I consider to be my cut, as the director, was never shown in the UK at all. They only showed a sort of butchered cut which for some reason became quite popular.
According to Hardy: “The British critics liked it but it was more or less buried in terms of distribution in the UK…the management at British Lion were embarrassed, they’d butchered it, and pretty much buried it….I hadn’t thought of it as a horror film, and none of us who made it thought of it as a horror film. It is horrific at the end, but not a horror film. It’s got jokes, it’s got songs it’s got sex, it has virtually got romance. In effect it was a genre of its own, and that has always been its big problem.”
Picture source: Wikimedia Commons