SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Robin Hardy -

Christo­pher lee’s lord Sum­merisle isn’t un­like his Count Drac­ula – a charm­ing aristo en­sconced in a ba­ro­nial hall re­moved from the vil­lage, which Howie reaches by means of pony and trap. (there are fur­ther sug­ges­tions of vam­pire lore else­where in the movie: Howie fash­ions a makeshift cru­ci­fix in a grave­yard, for ex­am­ple, and later par­tic­i­pates in a lam­plit ex­huma­tion.) Cast­ing lee, in­sisted Hardy, was all part of the game: “He is there to an­chor the au­di­ence’s hope that this is a hor­ror film, [so] it’s go­ing to have some recog­nis­able land­mark in it. and the fact that there’s jolly mu­sic in it and the peo­ple are all smil­ing and nice and have ac­tual char­ac­ters, and that there’s all this other stuff go­ing on – nev­er­the­less, there’s Christo­pher, it’s go­ing to be all right! He’s ei­ther go­ing to show fangs, or some­thing is go­ing to hap­pen which is go­ing to be fa­mil­iar. and so when the wicker man hap­pens… it’s okay, be­cause there is that re­ward if you’re wait­ing to have a fris­son of shock at the end of the pic­ture.”

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