Another sad passing to record today; Robin Hardy, director of acclaimed cult horror The Wicker Man, died yesterday at the age of 86.
Born in October 1929, Hardy commenced his career overseas in Canada making drama for the Esso World Theatre. Returning to the UK in the '60s, Hardy launched the company Hardy Shaffer Ferguson Avery, making commercials and information films. The Shaffer in question was writer Anthony Shaffer, and the partnership would go on to produce the film they are both perhaps best known for, The Wicker Man, in 1973. Hardy would go on to write the subsequent novelisation of the film five years after its release, which began his career as an author too.
Hardy continued to work, exploring similar themes borne from his most famous film. In 1986 he made The Fantasist, a serial killer drama which he also wrote, and three years later he co-wrote and produced the film Forbidden Sun which concerned the world of secret and repressive cults.
In 2006 Hardy's book Cowboys For Christ was published. The novel is considered a semi-sequel to The Wicker Man dealing as it does in similar themes and issues arising from the clash between Christianity and Paganism. This was subsequently turned into a 2011 film, The Wicker Tree, written and directed by Hardy. Critically and commercially mauled, it proved to be his last production. But Hardy takes his rightful place in the history of British film for creating something as distinctive, original and as highly influential as the 1973 classic.