HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
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
   
 
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 Viking Variable Valhalla
Year: 1989
Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Tim Robbins, Mickey Rooney, Eartha Kitt, Terry Jones, Imogen Stubbs, John Cleese, Tsutomu Sekine, Antony Sher, Gary Cady, Charles McKeown, Tim McInnerny, John Gordon Sinclair, Richard Ridings, Freddie Jones, Samantha Bond, Jim Broadbent, Jim Carter
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the gloomy and sunless age of Ragnarok for the Viking peoples, which means as much raping, pillaging and burning as possible as they lay waste to any land they can find, all in the name of gripping those who are not Vikings in a reign of terror. Well, almost all of them do, there's one of their number, Erik (Tim Robbins) who is not quite as adept at all of the above as his fellows are; take today when his village have joined a raid on another village and are destroying it with wild abandon, but Erik rushes into a hut, finds a woman (Samantha Bond) to rape then proceeds to make a complete hash of the task, leaving her unimpressed.

She's even more unimpressed when he accidentally kills her with his sword as he tries to save her from two other rampagers, having thought he had made a connection with her on an emotional level, which was debatable in itself. That's what Erik wants, a woman he can really talk to, not someone to sexually assault as his peers seem happy with, all of which seems to be making very light of the very serious crime of rape, which might be why the British censor demanded cuts to that opening scene if the studio wanted a lower certificate. Which added to the confusion of what was the best version to see, what with there being at least three to choose from, long, medium and short.

That latter was a cut assembled by director Terry Jones' son and apparently his preferred incarnation of a film he never seemed particularly happy with. The problem appeared to be that he never got it into the shape he really wanted for whatever reasons - you can imagine some kind of release deadline back in 1989 was part of it - and when it was seen by the critics and public originally, it was rejected as a pale shadow of the classic comedy of Jones' work with the Monty Python team he had made his name with. However, never underestimate the power of a strong fanbase, since John Cleese showed up in this as well (apparently as a favour to replace the absent Jack Lemmon), and the Python aficionados have embraced Erik the Viking ever after.

Well, many of them have, because there's no doubt if you're being objective that it really doesn't have the big laughs of the team's great sketches or even their feature films. Jones, a history buff, had penned a children's book with the same name as this which was unrelated in plot aside from the obvious Viking connection, and he knew his Norse sagas, but the nagging feeling a more serious variation on the adventure story which keeps threatening to erupt would have been preferable never leaves it. The humour is just too gentle to match with the notoriously violent Vikings, and if they do get up to the troublemaking they were famous for it's all in the service of yet another mild, polite gag. Not that this is unlikeable as far as that went, but uproariously hilarious it wasn't.

The cast was one of a kind at least, with many celebrities showing up for a short scene or two, such as Mickey Rooney as Erik's grandfather, Eartha Kitt who sets our hero on his quest to find the Rainbow Bridge across the sea, and a host of reliable British faces to act out the comedy in support, with Antony Sher as the supposed baddie Loki who wants Ragnarok to continue because it's good for business, and Cleese as the big cheese who is quite happy with the mayhem the way it is. There were fantasy elements too, as the party sails into a sea monster (an impressive puppet of grand scale), and an Atlantis-style city called Hy-Brasil where everyone is nice to a fault, ruled by Jones' King Arnulf and offering Erik love interest with his daughter Princess Aud (Imogen Stubbs). It all ends with them seeking Valhalla, which is not as you would expect, but the whole game yet underachieving atmosphere was more disappointing than inspiring, even with all this talent working on it, including Neil Innes on scoring duties. There was a Naked Gun-style reward for reading the end credits, mind you.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2164 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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: