The Wicker Man

102_iron-maiden_rock-in-rio-2001TRACK #102:

The Wicker Man by Iron Maiden

One of my favorite horror movies of all time is The Wicker Man. It’s awesome. If you’ve never seen The Wicker Man, it comes highly recommended from Halloween Shindig.

Being part of what was referred to in the 70’s as Folk Horror, The Wicker Man follows Police Sargent Neil Howie as he investigates an anonymous tip of a missing girl on Summerilse, a secluded island off the coast of Scotland.

There, a small but jovial group of Celtic pagans are free to practice their religion unfettered by the prying eyes of a judgmental society. That is until devout Christian Sargent Howie starts poking his disapproving nose around.

It is slow burn horror at its finest with an unsettling sense of dread which mounts to one of the great reveals in horror history.

With effective turns from horror vet Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle, Edward Woodward as Sargent Howie, plus a cast of creepsters as wide as the island, The Wicker Man isn’t your typical horror movie. Lacking gore, trite frights or largely any of the overt trapping of the genre, The Wicker Man‘s true horror is a psychological and social one that is both subtle and unnerving, and lingers long after the embers of its titular effigy fade.

It would double feature nicely with Dead and Buried, another creepfest about a small town of weirdos doing weird shit.

All that said, one of my favorite bands of all time is Iron Maiden. With Steve Harris’ unstoppable bass, the dueling harmonies of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, Niko McBain’s thunderous percussion and Bruce Dickenson’s stainless steel vocals, they’re a heavy metal force for the ages.

So when these guys decided to cut a track about The Wicker Man, you know it’s a guaranteed Shindigger.

And though I like the studio version, it can’t hold a candle to the intensity of this opener from their Rock In Rio live album. Plus, it’s got that epic instrumental introduction, just perfect for overlaying this equally perfect sample.

So, come Weeners, it is time to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.