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Berserker (1987)

R | | Horror | July 1987 (USA)
Six young adults in the woods run afoul of a berserker, a viking warrior who dons the fur and snout of a bear, and are slain in turn by him.

Director:

(as Jef Richard)

Writers:

(as Jef Richard), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joseph Alan Johnson ...
Mike
Greg Dawson ...
Josh
Valerie Sheldon ...
Kathy
...
Kristi
...
Shelly
Rodney Montague ...
Larry
Oscar Rowland ...
Homer
Beverly Rowland ...
Edna
Mike Riley ...
Berserker
John F. Goff ...
Officer Hill (as John Goff)
...
Pappy Nyquist
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Storyline

In the 10th century a viking ship arrives on the North American shore. In present day, somewhere in the woods, a couple of seniors is struck down by a frenzied assailant. The next day, assertive rock music-loving Josh takes his college friends, easy-going Mike, Mike's fun-loving girlfriend Shelly, enthusiastic Kathy, Kathy's unenthusiastic frizzy-haired friend Kristi and bookworm Larry, in his black pickup to a cabin near a creek in the woods where he and his family used to camp. They have fun there until nightfall. Josh becomes nostalgic for the days of his youth he spent there with his folks and unsuccessfully tries to hit on Kristi, Mike and Shelly have fun with each other and Kathy shows subtle interest in Larry. Larry however is more interested in the history of the place, since it's said that vikings from Norway landed in the vicinity 1000 years ago and built the first settlement there. Another story he's curious about is the Nordic myth of the curse of the berserker. Some ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's too late to run. There's no time to scream... Just close your eyes and pray to die. [video cover] See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Berserker: The Nordic Curse  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

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Did You Know?

Connections

Spoofs On Golden Pond (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Stop/Cool Dude
Written and Performed by Chuck Francour
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User Reviews

 
A bare-faced cop-out.
9 May 2009 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Boasting an insane, bear-mask wearing, cannibalistic Viking for a killer, Berserker promises to be a cut above its mid-80s slasher contemporaries. Unfortunately, director Jefferson Richard does nothing to capitalise on this cool concept, instead preferring to travel down a path already well-worn by countless other stereotypical horrors.

Dumb, horny, pot-smoking teens vacationing at a remote cabin in the woods; a country cop with no patience for city kids; a creepy campfire tale to set the scene; alfresco sex followed by death: this one packs in the clichés whilst neglecting to make the most of the one thing that could possibly have saved it from mediocrity—its bad-ass-sounding Norwegian nut-job.

For most of the film, all that is shown of the titular berserker are fleeting shots of a clawed paw; frequent shots of a grizzly bear wandering in the woods even go to mislead viewers into thinking that the killer has somehow taken on ursine form (although a fight between the berserker and the meandering grizzly eventually clears up this confusion). In the film's closing moments, we finally get to see the killer, and it soon becomes patently obvious why Richard decided to keep him hidden for so long: he looks crap!

Also serving to make the production look super cheap and unconvincing are the terrible lighting and smoke effects designed to create a creepy atmosphere, but which just look plain daft, and the crap gore effects which consist of a few naff claw scratches and a smattering of fake blood.

Thanks heavens for the fact that the film has a half decent cast (including a turn from prolific genre legend George 'Buck' Flower) and that gratuitous outdoor shagging scene—otherwise it would be a complete waste of time.


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