The Independent’s The 2020 history of “The Wicker Man” explores how Lee single-handedly saved the film from obscurity. But why does it fall on him to do this? Because the production studio behind the film, British Lion Films, has no faith in it; they didn’t even hold a press screening for the movie. When the film was finally released in 1973, as the B picture on the double note with “Don’t Look Now”, Lee contacted every film critic he knew, loved asked them to see the movie and even offered to pay for their tickets (his generosity proved unnecessary; every reviewer agreed to pay for their own tickets). By working on his phone as a salesman, Lee gave “The Wicker Man” an audience.
Lee’s active work continued when it was time for “The Wicker Man” to expand beyond the UK. In 1975, the film was released by Warner Bros. Lee released in the US then traveled the country to announce the release, all out of his own pocket. After all, Lee didn’t sign on to the project for the money. As he recounted in the 2001 documentary, “The Mystery of the Evil Man”:
“I got paid nothing. I kept telling people over and over and they didn’t believe it was true. I had the contract to prove it. Anyway, sometimes you do things for love. .. If they pay me their normal fee – and others their normal fee – they won’t be able to make the movie.”
https://www.slashfilm.com/955287/christopher-lee-had-to-take-promoting-the-wicker-man-into-his-own-hands/ Christopher Lee had to promote the evil man himself