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!
Erik, the Viking (1965)
aka Erik il Vichingo aka Vengeance of the Vikings
Another Italian Spaghetti Northern film. Filled with cheerfully anachronistic costume, props and storylines with a very tenuous connection to historical facts. There is little difference between this and other Italian Viking films, and if you re able to like one–and can forgive the errors and the over-acting, this will be another film you will love. I just think that it is funny that they reach Vinland without even mentioning Greenland or Iceland, though I love the cactus and tropical plants that grows in Vinland! And it is ironic that the clothing of the Inuit make that of the Vikings look super-thenty, and the clothing of the seem to come from a variety of eras. But the film is nicely written and the action is well choreographed. Grab a mead, pull on your furry vest and concentrate on details only if you are good at forgetting them.
Viking Legacy (2016)
aka Viking: Os Pergaminhos sagrados aka Viking: La fureur des Dieux aka Die Northmen-Saga!
I never heard anything good about this film except a reviewer who said the violence was okay. So I watched the film with trepedition. I should have paid more heed to the reviews, especially the IMDB reviewer who wrote, “you get the feeling that someone decided to make a movie on a Sunday and then shot the movie on Monday and finished it by Tuesday”. I could not say it better, though he should have added that they were probably high-school sophomores who stole daddys’ credit cards. Preposterous plot, hideous acted, dreadful costume, totally inappropriate props, forgettable scenery and laughable combat choreography. And the hiding ability of the chased is like holding a branch in front of you and hoping the bully playing hide and seek will avoid you. And I kept hoping the Vikings would just rip out Orlaith’s tongue! Not bad enough to be good, though some things—such as the aluminum canteen and the paperback Bible—come close! And if you re doing your serious research into Norse culture, you can forget it right now!
Viking War, The (2019)
aka Berserker: Death Fields
I think it is adorable that we have a PC film of three Saxons, including a female swordsman, fleeing berserkers who obviously invaded a Renn Fair! Love the wonderful castle and the wildly out of period costuming. And that castle is the bees knees! Great review…from one of the actors…
aka The Rise of the Viking
Frisia has been relegated to low importance in spite of their many importance contrbutions, appearing pnly as villains in “The War Lord.” Having said that, I must admit that there is little further worth in the film if you are looking for an accurate historical film. Though the cinematography is Brilliant, and some of the architecture is well done, though there are also stone castles with metal hand rails, the film centers around the King (or Duke) Redbad who is presented as a freedom fighter but who was instead a tyrant to his peoplw. The film itsel hinges on the tensions between the heathen and the Christian faiths, though not too well. For example,I never knew that baptism involved nerly drowning the heathen. The costuming is only maginally accurate, and mediocre, including shoes ith obviously modern with heels. The armor itself is laughably poor, and weapons are for the most part out of period. The architecture itself is mainly from another time altogether. Howr, tThe action is certainly bloody and violent, and isn’tht why peope watch films like this? Decent Viking drakkrs nearly a hundred years before their first real appearance, and siege engines used for defense thatare rather flimsy as they cast firey bags againstthe ships. The ships keep a healthy distance from the shoe as the warriors jump off to wade awkwardly onto the land to fight, and we see a prescient use of cavalry. And of course we have female warriors and double-bitted axes, while the shield walls reminded me of the Roman turtle formation, and the shield acrobatics is almost as good as displayng cards at college football games. There is little emotional engagement, and the film seems more concerned in presentig Frisian nationalism and bloody violence. Unless you are a die-hard Frisian, just ignorare the film! Or rather, films. This film was edited in 2019 into a miniseries released on Dutch television, with some extra footage as “The Legend of Redbad.”