MEDIEVAL MOVIES I
Updating and correcting “Medieval Movies: Films of the Viking Era,” to include films released since the last edition. And discovered there were many other films as well…
I’ll be posting comments on some of the ones not covered before for the next month!
Red Mantle, The (1967)
aka Hagbard and Signe aka Den Røde Kappe
Poor costuming and poor acting, with antiseptic scenery that is found dynamic and romantic by some people. The plot is based on an ancient legend, concerning Hagbard, the son of a slain Norse king. The music is by an acclaimed Icelandic band but seem oddly out of place. Very nice scenery.
Hammer of the Gods (2013)
aka Martelo dos Deuses aka Tanr lar n Çekici
If they set out to create the ultimate farby fantasy dream of macho larpists, they could not have done better! Lamellar armor, fur cloaks, swords across the back, short sleeves, filthy barbaric fashion and ominous black outfits. A passing knowledge of controversial theory is shown, abs there is a questionable bisexual question, who Is disliked because he is cruel and dirty not because of his sexual likes. The CGI is rather pedestrian and certain clumsiness. The film as a whole has a certain violence that would-be stylish and reminds you of an incompetent Tarantino.
Viking Quest (2015)
aka Vikings aka Le Clan des Vikings aka The Viking
Are there no new Harryhausens, at least in films of this caliber? The story hinges about a version of the Greek myth of Perseus and the kraken, but the CGI is rather awkward. Farby costumes look like they were made of artificial fibers, and even the very acting seems uninspired and clumsy. It does feature tattoos, of course, and braided beards. And did they get a discount on the furs used in costumes? The central character, Erick, just a modern nerd misplaced in this Viking fantasy universe probably to appeal to the gamers that seem the primary audience, but it seems as if the writers just tried to throw as many stereotypes against the wall and hope that a couple stuck. I did love the earrings worn by Erick, the Viking Ben Franklin!
Hammer of the Gods (2009)
aka Thor: Hammer of the Gods
Not presented as anything but a farby fantasy film suitable D&D “epic” with a tendency to try to confuse this with the Marvel Comics version. Ludicrous overacting, well as more than ludicrous costume and armor. Terrible CGI and special effects, which can be the only redeeming aspect for a film of this kind, especially when the “action” scenes are so static and clumsy. Confusing, jerky and often too dark cinematography that at least hides the farbiness of some of the armor. The number of nasal guards are incredible, and I do not think any are accurate.
Viking Blood (2019)
aka Alma de Guerreiro aka Viking—L’anima del Guerriero
So much better than many of its companion films. Costumes are adequate though not overwhelmingly accurate, and there are many furry cloaks just because that is what some viewers expect to see. There is, of course, a female warrior with a sword across her back, but many of the sets and props are exceptional. The cinematography is pretty well done, and the film deals with the Conversion in a fresh and interesting way. Since so many films today are copied…homages to other films. This film reminded me of Sergio Leone’s Man with no name films, down to the Ennio Morriconesque music.