You know a film is in trouble when it opens with a profound quote by a historic personality and the quoted individual has his name spelled wrong. Thus begins “Wickerman: Year 0,” a no-budget, no-point, no-reason-to-exist Canadian film which goofs up Mahatma Gandhi’s surname and then rambles along monotonously and miserably.
John Embree and Dan Roy wrote, produced and directed this effort and cast themselves as a pair of bickering wedding videographers who somehow get involved with a cult led by a chubby gent who calls himself Ambarii the Flesh Mother and who dresses like a monk. This camera-toting pair are given a grant to film the cult’s millennium ceremony involving a 20-foot-tall wickerman…and to complicate matters, the filmmakers are asked to build the wickerman used in the ceremony.
If “Wickerman: Year 0” sounds like a dud, it plays out like the DV equivalent of a flat tire. The film offers all of the hallmarks of glorified home movies masquerading as indie cinema: a boring and pointless script, amateurish non-acting by a talentless cast, poor production values which consistently call attention to the poverty of the budget, inept direction and dull-razor editing.
Yet “Wickerman: Year 0” takes failure one better by adding the worst possible sin: horrendous timing. After all, the film centers around a Y2K cult, and who wants to see a millennium-approaching film in the autumn of 2000? In case you are wondering, “Wickerman: Year 0” has absolutely nothing to do with the 1973 British thriller “The Wicker Man.” If you are looking for a genuine work of cinematic style, seek out that old cult classic. If you are looking for a very bad film, “Wickerman: Year 0” is a great place to start.