Viking chief Thorvald dies from a mortal combat wound. He realizes his son Erloff is not a worthy successor, but his will divides his property equally between him and Erik, the valiant son ... See full summary »
Viking chief Thorvald dies from a mortal combat wound. He realizes his son Erloff is not a worthy successor, but his will divides his property equally between him and Erik, the valiant son of his sister, who also gets his weapons and the mission to lead a sea-faring expedition to find new land for a settlement, crucial as their Scandinavian home village won't be able to resist the might of the Danish kingdom. Supporters of Erloff mount an attempt at Erik's life, which fails; the perpetrator is killed before he can betray them, so Sven and another can join Erik's expedition, intending to kill him. After a long, perilous sea-voyage, they reach Vinland, a then subtropical part of North America, and after Erik valiantly saves chief's daughter Wa-ta-wa from a brown bear make friends with the brave but pacific Indians, Erik's Greek friend Angheropoulos even teaches them how to use the grapes for wine-making. However the desire of an Indian to marry Wa-ta-wa makes him and his supporters the ... Written by
The Italian brand of low-brow Viking sagas was never exactly impressive but, having said that, I somehow expected this belated example to be better than it was even if, admittedly, director Caiano's work (this is the 9th example I have watched of it thus far) seldom rose above second-rate. Anyway, the film is an average Norse epic with little to commend it apart from the fact that the plot is somewhat unusual: in fact, here, the Vikings uncharacteristically take to the seas in search of new land (though the prologue insists it is an authentic account) and which, invariably, leads them to the Americas centuries before Christopher Columbus ever set foot on it! This section, then, supplies the whole with an added yet rather incongruous, hardly original and decidedly boring (especially the regrettable Pocahontas-type romance) exotic touch. Otherwise, we get the usual formula i.e. comic relief (via the antics of a learned Greek) and a lecherous wimp of a villain (ostensibly ruling the country in unison with the titular hero, played by a bland Giuliano Gemma). The former sends a couple of assassins (a hammy Gordon Mitchell, actually top-billed, and Eduardo Fajardo, who is actually not that bad here) along for the ride to ensure that Erik does not come back since he obviously has designs on his share of the wealth as well as his beloved back home. Also worth mentioning, for what it is worth, is the surprising viciousness of some of the action set-pieces with the director providing a handful of bloodied faces in gratuitous close-up!
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