HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
   
 
Newest Articles
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
   
 
  Erik the Conqueror Not Liking The Viking
Year: 1961
Director: Mario Bava
Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Alice Kessler, Ellen Kessler, George Ardisson, Andrea Checchi, Jean-Jacques Delbo, Franco Giacobini, Raf Baldassarre, Enzo Doria, Gianni Solaro, Franco Ressel, Livia Contardi, Folco Lulli, Françoise Christophe
Genre: Action, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: 786, and in England a battle is raging when the Viking King Harald (Folco Lulli) is besieged on all sides by the English forces who resent his people's invasion tactics and mean to put a stop to him once and for all. Harald fights valiantly, but the enemy, led by Sir Rutford (Andrea Checchi), are too strong and he is overpowered, the deadly blow landed by a well-placed arrow to his chest from Rutford's right hand man. His barely alive body is then dragged by a horse to the shoreline, where his two young sons, Eron and Erik, are in a state of despair at seeing their father so overwhelmed before their eyes, and to make matters worse in the melee they are split up, one going to the English Queen Alice (Françoise Christophe) and the other staying with the Vikings...

Mario Bava had fairly recently made the transition from cinematographer to director when he made his first Viking movie, known as Gli invasori in his native Italy, though also known as Fury of the Vikings elsewhere; in North America it was titled Erik the Conqueror (not to be confused with the Terry Jones comedy Erik the Viking, though you have to wonder if it was an intentional influence). Although he would be better known as a horror director, Bava made films in other genres as well, and this was one of his historical adventures where, as was traditional, they were topped and tailed with sequences of mass violence and had a lot of internal politics between the race of choice in the middle.

The Vikings were those "barbarians" we were intended to concentrate upon, though there was a decent amount of space given over to the English as well, thanks to the enforced split between the brothers. Top billed Cameron Mitchell did not play the titular Erik, however, he played Eron, as presumably Eron the Conqueror wasn't a moniker its distributors at A.I.P. liked very much and Erik sounded more Scandinavian. He was the bad guy, as you might have anticipated, with the more noble sibling (played by George Ardisson) taking care of the more romantic duties: the Tony Curtis to Mitchell's Kirk Douglas, if you liked, and this film certainly did, lifting much of its act from the popular fifties epic out of Hollywood.

Both our leading men sported dyed blonde hair to make them look more Nordic, though it did not look natural on either; it was better on the twin sisters Alice Kessler and Ellen Kessler, who played the objects of their affections though there was a spot of mistaken identity to spice things up when the four of them eventually crossed paths. With Bava at the helm, a relatively low budget movie could be assured to looking pretty impressive, and he almost managed to fool the eyes into believing, say, that Viking longboat really was cutting through the North Sea like a hot knife through butter, purely thanks to the director's way with the camera and lighting. Examples such as that livened up the material, which although he had a hand in the script, was, sad to say, some stodgy stuff.

If your favourite episodes of the Star Trek series in all its forms concerned the Klingons, you would be in your element with these macho savages, all posturing and threats and attempts at attaining the alpha male status all the men longed for. For everyone else who found that sort of affair taxing on their focus and levels of interest, work like Erik the Conqueror was not going to appeal very much, and God bless him but Mitchell was not a Kirk Douglas - he wasn't even an Ernest Borgnine. You could amuse yourself observing the commitment the cast put into what was rather tiresome to watch, and there was no doubting the conviction of the production, but aside from the occasional setpiece where the story briefly sprang to life, you did find yourself admiring the grand, if not quite lavish, imagery and letting the character conflicts wash over you. This was a big hit in Italy in its day, tapping into a national culture that was indeed macho, but if you had no time for that, there was purely historical interest here, no pun intended. Music by Roberto Nicolosi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1709 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mario Bava  (1914 - 1980)

Italian director/writer/cinematographer and one of the few Italian genre film-makers who influenced, rather than imitated. Worked as a cinematographer until the late 1950s, during which time he gained a reputation as a hugely talented director of photography, particularly in the use of optical effects.

Bava made his feature debut in 1960 with Black Sunday/The Mask of Satan, a richly-shot black and white Gothic gem. From then on Bava worked in various genres – spaghetti western, sci-fi, action, peplum, sex – but it was in the horror genre that Bava made his legacy. His sumptuously filmed, tightly plotted giallo thrillers (Blood and Black Lace, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Bay of Blood) and supernatural horrors (Lisa and the Devil, Baron Blood, Kill, Baby...Kill!) influenced an entire generation of Italian film-makers (and beyond) – never had horror looked so good. Bava’s penultimate picture was the harrowing thriller Rabid Dogs, while his last film, Shock, was one his very scariest. Died of a heart attack in 1980.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: