MEDIEVAL MOVIES III
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!
Vikings: The Real Legend of Thor (2013)
With the popularity of the Marvel Mighty Thor, there was a number of films which appeared trying to exploit the name Thor. Some might consider that an homage, and that is about the best that you can say about this film. It is afflicted with action taken from a Kung-Fu flick, plastic props, papier maché monsters and special effects probably engineered by a high-schooler. It features poor acting, worse wigs and costumes that are bad D&D togs that make most bad historical costuming seem brilliant. They brought in musicians from India to score the action scenes, and the Vikings of course go against castles from the fourteenth century. You’d almost think that it was filmed in Malaysia…ooops. It was!
Last King, The (2016)
aka Birkebeinerne aka Den Siste Konungen
Beautiful Norwegian winter scenery that leaves me shivering in very warm weather. Vicious, brutal and effective action, with a very appropriate Viking sense of humor (Torstein, having an arrow removed, says, “If I die, I will kill you!”). A delightful mixture of heathen and Christian beliefs. In many ways it is a standard wild western horse opera which is very appropriate. Very good props, with an incredibly nice jeweled book and a toy horse, and generally good costuming. However, the armor has things added, such as greaves and gorgets that look closer to a standard fantasy film than an historical film. and lamellar armor is frequently seen. In fact, some just resemble papier-maché egg crates rather than armor. Weapons include a lot of crossbows, a double-bitted axe and swords that seem from an earlier era.
Viking Siege (2017)
aka Kingdom of the Northmen: Les Guerriers Damnés aka Attack of the Tree Beasts
A funny film featuring poor CGI and incredibly poor costuming that must be seen to be believed. No need to care, because it is not really an historical film but a PC horror film in Viking drag, featuring what have to be visitos from other eras. There are even a few costumes that are close to accurate! Castles are featured, of course, as is a renaissance lute player. All this within the first six minutes of the film. After that, the film is lots of ominous shots of the moon, incredibly ominous music, incredibly coy cartoon music, what must b gunpowder and prisons just like they had at the time. During the party at a castle, a gang of vengeful women plot to massacre a monastery full of corrupt monks who sold their loved ones as slaves. Their plan comes unstuck when a gang of marauding Vikings arrive pursued by vicious, tree-like demons on their tail. The film features a hand-held crossbow, an ever so fashionable turtleneck and most of the “action” takes place in a couple rooms of the castle. It was probably filmed at a room at a LARP event, and they were darned proud of it! It is difficult to find any worthwhile part of this travesty beyond the unintended levity.