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Erik the Viking

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Overview

An unusually principled young Viking becomes increasing uncomfortable with all the killing and plundering that goes with the job, and sets out on a magical journey in order to bring about world peace. Former Monty Python member Terry Jones attempts to have his story of Erik's seemingly hopeless quest operate as both witty, lunatic satire and sincere children's fantasy. However, despite a good cast and some interesting design elements, the film fails to completely succeed at ...
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Overview

An unusually principled young Viking becomes increasing uncomfortable with all the killing and plundering that goes with the job, and sets out on a magical journey in order to bring about world peace. Former Monty Python member Terry Jones attempts to have his story of Erik's seemingly hopeless quest operate as both witty, lunatic satire and sincere children's fantasy. However, despite a good cast and some interesting design elements, the film fails to completely succeed at either of its goals.
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Special Features

Audio commentary with writer/director Terry Jones; Terry and Bill Behind the Director's Son's Cut featurette; Original 1989 Making-Of featurette; Giant Visions in the Sky from The Gods of Valhalla photo gallery; Original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Friedman
It would be great if Monty Python was purely the sum of its parts, since then each member could go out into the world on their own and make hysterically funny films that were just as clever as the ones they made together. Since it sadly isn't so, at least the post-Python films of Terry Jones are interesting if a little short on the high comedy. Such is the case of Erik the Viking. While it's clear that a tremendous attempt is being made to blend accurate Norse myth with Python-esque jokes, the result is a bit of a muddled mess. Tim Robbins in the title role tries to play everything at a lower-key, doing a sort of Bob Hope loser turn while all around him is painted with broad brushstrokes. What's unfortunate is that there is a ton of funny material, but it's so disjointed it doesn't mesh together well. The plot is basically a quest to awaken the Norse gods so the Age of Ragnarok will end and the sun can return to the dismal northern world of the Vikings. But apparently, that's not all that important. What is important and only partially successful is how Jones tries to deliver laughs by delving into the deep traditions of Viking lore to create a Norse version of the platoons in the old WWII films. This includes: Sven the Berserk (Tim McInnerny), who hysterically goes berserk at the wrong time; Thorfinn Skullsplitter (Richard Ridings); Halfdan the Black (a very low-key bit part by John Cleese); and Harald the Missionary (Freddie Jones), who has perhaps the most consistently funny role as the lone Christian in this pagan group, and who doesn't perceive any of the dangers they encounter because he doesn't believe in them. Regrettably, these characters end up being amusing because they all fall back into the formulas that Python pioneered and then discarded 20 years ago. There's something inherently silly about all these rough and rugged characters going around speaking like Noel Coward. Even Jones, casting himself as King Arnulf, comes across as one of his old Flying Circus characters that the others properly left on the editing room floor. Robbins saves the film somewhat, because in the end, Erik is a likable character taking a symbolic journey into enlightenment. Too bad he had to put up with all this other stuff.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/4/2007
  • UPC: 027616083173
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20Th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:19:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Robbins Erik
Gary Cady Keitel Blacksmith
Mickey Rooney Erik's Grandfather
Eartha Kitt Freya
Terry Jones King Arnulf
John Cleese Halfdan the Black
Imogen Stubbs Princess Aud
Antony Sher Loki
John Gordon Sinclair Ivar the Boneless
Samantha Bond Helga
Tim McInnerny Sven the Berserk
Richard Ridings Thorfinn Skullsplitter
Freddie Jones Harald the Missionary
Charles McKeown Sven's Dad
Danny Schiller Snorri the Miserable
Tsutomu Sekine Slavemaster
Matthew Baker Thor
Bob Hoskins
Tim Killick Bjarni/Halfdan's Guard/Musician
Andrew Maclachlan Ornulf/Chamberlain/Dog Soldier
Gary Roost Prisoner
Susan Sarandon
Allan Surtees Thorfinn's Dad
Frank Bednash Even More Horribly Slain Warrior
Jim Broadbent Ernest the Viking, a Rapist
Jim Carter Jennifer the Viking, another Rapist
Angela Connolly Thorkatla the Indiscreet
Sarah Crowden Grimhild Housewife
Dave Duffy Horribly Slain Warrior
Simon Evans Odin
Peter Geeves Eilif the Mongol Horde/Musician
Colin Harper Prisoner
Neil Innes Hy Brasilian
Harry Jones Prisoner
Sally Jones Leif's Pregnant Girlfriend
Paddy Joyce Prisoner
Bernard Latham Ulf the Unmemorable
John Scott Martin Ingemund the Old
Barry McCarthy Prisoner
Julia McCarthy Thorfinn's Mum
Graham McTavish Thangbrand/ Citizen/Dog Soldier
Bernard Padden Mordfiddle the Cook
Cyril Shaps Gisli the Chiseller
Jay Simpson Leif the Lucky
Sian Thomas Thorhild the Sarcastic
Sandra Voe Ivar's Mum
Tilly Vosburgh Unn-the-Thrown-At
Matyelok Gibbs Erik's Mum
Technical Credits
Terry Jones Director, Screenwriter
George Akers Editor
John Beard Production Designer
Gavin Bocquet Art Director
Roger Cain Art Director
Richard Conway Special Effects
Terry Glinwood Executive Producer
John Goldstone Producer
Martin Grace Stunts
Neil Innes Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Irene Lamb Casting
Jenny Shircore Makeup
Pam Tait Costumes/Costume Designer
Neville C. Thompson Associate Producer
Ian Wilson Cinematographer
Joanne Woollard Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Erik the Viking
1. Rape/Main Titles
2. Age of Ragnarok
3. Viking Fun
4. The Quest
5. King Halfdan
6. Don't Grieve
7. Seating Plan
8. Seasick
9. Sun Dragon
10. Airborne
11. Making Friends
12. Joyful Song
13. Invisible Cloak
14. Black Magic
15. Loki's Intrigue
16. We're Not Sinking
17. The Horn Resounding
18. Edge of the World
19. Awakening the Gods
20. Valhalla
21. The Pit of Hell
22. Halfdan's Last Deed
23. The Sun
24. End Titles
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Erik the Viking
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Language Selection
      Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
      Audio: English Dolby Surround
      Audio: Commentary With Writer/Director Terry Jones
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: French
      Subtitles: None
   Special Features
      Commentary With Writer/Director Terry Jones: On
      Commentary With Writer/Director Terry Jones: Off
      Behind the Director's Son's Cut
      1989 "Making of" Featurette
      Theatrical Trailer
      Giant Visions in the Sky From the Gods of Valhalla
      Trailers: Spaceballs Collector's Edition
      Fargo Special Edition
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best movie thats stuck in my mind for ages

    Since ive seen it I have thought about it daily. Its been about 15 years ago. Not many people have had the pleasure of watching it but with my help i think they will soon to experience the awe.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews