Devil May Care

Say what you will about Mel Gibson, but he’s one of the few directors with a real appetite for human sacrifice (The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto). He always couches the bloodshed in the name of religion, but, frankly, that’s long been the most popular justification for eviscerating one’s fellow man. In Race with the Devil (1975), old pals Peter Fonda and Warren Oates, along with Loretta Swit and Lara Parker, run afoul of a particularly nasty form of spiritual conviction: Satan worship. Apparently pigs and cattle ain’t all they barbecue in Texas. The Vortex Room Film Cult: Cult on Film double bill segues from Lone Star suspense to the sunny-yet-sinister Scottish isle where The Wicker Man (1973) unfolds. This utterly unique and ultimately shocking picture stars Edward Woodward as a button-down mainland cop who doesn’t mesh with the prevailing hippie ethos and faith-based rituals. Don’t even mention the abominable remake of a couple years ago — unless you’re proposing candidates for offerings to the gods.
Thu., Aug. 20, 9 p.m., 2009

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