A young man, Peter, returns to Austria in search of his heritage. There he visits the castle of an ancestor, a sadistic Baron who was cursed to a violent death by a witch whom the Baron had... See full summary »
After the apparent death of her husband King Arald, a viking peasant woman, named Karin, takes her son Moki into hiding from Aghen, King Arald's enemy. But a mysterous stranger, named Rurik, begins acting as Karin's guardian, which evetually leads to a brutal showdown between Rurik and Aghen. Written by
Director Mario Bava was brought in to salvage the troubled production after the original director was fired. Bava wound up scrapping most of the footage that had already been shot, threw out the old script, and rewrote and reshot virtually the entire film in six days. See more »
Mario Bava directed this viking tale about a Queen (Lisa Wagner) and her son on the run from a ruthless warrior (Frank Ross) but a stranger (Cameron Mitchell) comes to their rescue. KNIVES OF THE AVENGER was apparently started by a different director but it was going so badly that Bava was brought on to clean things up. From what I've read, he pretty much re-shot the majority of the film and that's a good thing because once again his talent is head and shoulders above the rather standard screenplay. After the success of THE VIKINGS nearly everyone was throwing in these types of stories and the one being told here is rather bland and doesn't really stand out against the others. I watched this with my young son and he was confused as to why these vikings didn't have ships but I wasn't about to open up a conversation about budgets. For the most part the film remains entertaining thanks to the technical genius of Bava as well as Mitchell. Now I'm not going to sit here and say that Mitchell turned in a great performance but as a fan of his, it was rather fun seeing him in this role. I'm not certain he was the greatest choice for it but it was still fun seeing him. Ross is also very good in the role of the villain, although leading lady Wagner was a bit too stiff for her own good. There's some nice cinematography throughout the film and there's one brilliant sequence where we're in the dark, a man goes through a wall and then we're in the bright outdoors. How this was filmed and shot is certainly the highlight of the picture. KNIVES OF THE AVENGER has a pretty standard and boring story but it's brought to life by the positive aspects so fans of Bava will want to check this out.
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