To honour her father's dying wish, Queen Salina shares the rule of Icena with Justinian, a fair and just Roman. This displeases the bloodthirsty Druids on one side and the more hard-line ... See full summary »
To honour her father's dying wish, Queen Salina shares the rule of Icena with Justinian, a fair and just Roman. This displeases the bloodthirsty Druids on one side and the more hard-line Romans on the other. As Salina and Justinian fall in love their enemies start to plot, and blood soon stains the green hills of Britain. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
The title is somewhat misleading in this mash up of historical epic and violent action picture. The script is so silly one simply has to laugh at it, but I'll get to that in a moment. At least it follows in the tradition of Hammer and is exceptionally good looking, with decent battle scenes and lovely female cast members.
The "viking queen" of the title is Salina (played by Finnish beauty Carita, in one of only two film roles), a young Briton living under the rule of Roman conquerors in ancient times. Her father, King Priam (Wilfrid Lawson) is sure that his people can peacefully co-exist with the Romans and conveys this belief to Salina, who inherits the role of queen when he passes on. But there's more. These Britons are part of a group of Druids - who pray to the Greek god Zeus. Salina embarks on a romance with nice guy Roman governor general Justinian (Don Murray of "Bus Stop"), but their happiness will be short lived thanks to Justinians' hateful and power hungry second in command, Octavian (Andrew Keir), and the restlessness of the natives.
Carita looks stunning, so some viewers may not care if her performance isn't all that hot. Murray looks quite out of place, and the excellent supporting cast (Niall MacGinnis, Donald Houston, Adrienne Corri, Patrick Troughton, et al) helps to keep this watchable, although it's sluggish at times. It attempts to be funny with a chariot race that ends in falls into the drink. With Don Chaffey in the directors' seat, the film does serve up doses of sex, violence and sacrifice, enough to maintain our interest for a while. Gorgeous Irish scenery complements the physical charms of the actresses. While one couldn't take it seriously, it does have an endearing camp factor going for it.
In any event, we have to hand it to Hammer for making this kind of thing as we sure don't see much like it anymore. As long as people go in knowing it's absolutely no history lesson and just accept it as escapist entertainment, they can find it diverting enough.
Six out of 10.
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