A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.


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(novel), (screenplay) (as William Wisher) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Queen Weilew
Herger - Joyous (as Dennis Storhoi)
Anders T. Andersen ...
Wigliff - King's Son
Skeld - Superstitious
Weath - Musician
Mischa Hausserman ...
Rethel - Archer
Neil Maffin ...
Roneth - Rider
Asbjørn 'Bear' Riis ...
Halga - Wise (as Asbjorn Riis)
Helfdane - Fat
Daniel Southern ...
Edgtho - Silent
Oliver Sveinall ...
Haltaf - Boy
Sven Wollter ...


Sheikh ahmed ibn fadlan leads a group of savants from Baghdad according to the caliph's request to meet the demand of the Bulgarian's king, Almash Yaltwar, who asked to learn about the Islamic religion to find explanation for the most important question: how can this religion, which comes from the heart of the desert, create the biggest empire in the world?

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

arab | viking | warrior | combat | battle | See All (165) »


Prey for the living. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody battles and carnage | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | | |

Release Date:

27 August 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eaters of the Dead  »

Box Office


$160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,267,756 (USA) (27 August 1999)


$32,694,788 (USA) (26 November 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tony Curran who plays Weath, one of the Viking warriors, wears a piece of tartan as part of his costume. Curran was born in Scotland. See more »


On the map at the start of the film Baghdad is in the Caucasus between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. In reality it is to the south west of there on the Tigris River. See more »


Buliwyf: I have only these hands. I will die a pauper.
King Hrothgar: You will be buried as a king.
Buliwyf: A man might be thought wealthy if someone were to draw the story of his deeds, that they may be remembered.
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: Such a man might be thought wealthy indeed.
See more »


Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #23.1 (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Beowulf meets Die Hard
17 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the early years of the 10th century, an exiled Arabian nobleman falls in with a band of Vikings. Disgusted by their poor hygiene and their barbaric ways, he nevertheless reluctantly agrees to accompany them to a distant kingdom, where an unspeakable menace terrorizes the land.

This is an interesting interpretation of the tale of Beowulf, with the monster Grendel transformed into the fierce Wendol, a tribe of cannibalistic Neanderthals who have somehow survived long past their time. Despite the fact that Banderas is the title character and credited as the star, he is not the hero here at all. The band of 13 is led by the huge and intimidating Buliwyf (read Beowulf), a hero among his people who must battle both the Wendol and their deadly "mother." Alexander Gudonov lookalike Vladimir Kulich is the hero of this film, and delivers a strong, amazing performance. Banderas spends much of the film bumbling, stumbling, screwing up and trying to keep up with the Vikings, who look upon him with contempt but finally, perhaps grudgingly, accept him.

Okay, so it's not entirely historically accurate and suffers from production problems and an occasional overdose of testosterone, but it's not a bad movie by any means. The casting is great, with standout performances by the aforementioned Kulich as well as Dennis Storhoi as Herger, Banderas's translator and only friend; the handsome Scottish actor Tony Curran (in an unlikely kilt, but who cares?!?!) as the Celt Weath and the woefully underrated Richard Bremmer as the intimidating tattooed redheaded (and damn sexy!) Skeld. The film was worth watching for these three men alone, but then, I am female and perhaps a bit prejudiced in my opinions. These guys are HOT! But, I digress...

Beautiful scenery, tense and bloody battles and a claustrophobic climax in a bone strewn cave lift this movie well above average. There's something for everyone here; fans of horror, fans of action, fans of classic literature should all find something to enjoy about this film. It may not be the best film ever made, but its still one of my very favorites.

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