Viking Siege
"If this sounds bad enough to be entertaining, that's true in places, but for most of the running time there's nothing to watch except a group of people sitting around bitching at each other."

You're in a room. You see: scraps of leather; four swords; raspberry sauce; liquid eyeliner. Do you (a) tidy up, (b) leave, or (c) decide "I can make a film with these!" and start telephoning your mates to persuade them to star in it?

The answer to this question probably depends on how drunk you are. Your patience with this film is likely to do likewise. Sure, it's packed with theoretically exciting elements - Vikings, demons, some kind of alien artefact (we know this because it falls out of the sky and glows green), and fierce female warriors - but we rarely leave that room, and the action that ensues has all the dynamism of a wet sponge.

The warriors are in a monastery where they're clad in the scraps to leather to help them pass as serving wenches and sex workers, as part of an unnecessarily complicated plan to wreak vengeance on the monks for selling their friends into slavery. Why they don't just poison the monks, who keep accepting drinks from them, is not really clear; they also take a long time getting round to stabbing them, which is unfortunate, as a gang of Vikings arrives just when they're about to begin. To complicate things further, the Vikings are being chased by a group of demons who have apparently been created by the aforementioned alien artefact (which is provided with no further context) and whose boss looks like an action figure with some twigs glued to it.

The liquid eyeliner is used to show us when other people have been possessed. The swords are used in a series of random clashes for which nobody seems to have had any training (a token character with martial arts skills should easily be able to floor everyone else, but mysteriously sits on his hands for most of the film). The raspberry sauce is squirted around randomly to let us know that people have been injured, with no attempt at managing continuity. In the midst of all this, a local lord who looks like a budget Philip Schofield betrays one character after another in an attempt to survive, but no-one seems to notice this and think twice about trusting him.

If this sounds bad enough to be entertaining, that's true in places, but for most of the running time there's nothing to watch except a group of people sitting around bitching at each other. The script is hopelessly limp, and frequent helpings of misogyny don't prove as exciting edgy as the writers may have hoped. The monsters, whose rubber heads occasionally tilt forward too much and reveal the human necks underneath, have an endearing quality about them that's reminiscent of old Doctor Who, but they don't really get much to do except run into swords. And let's not even start on the acting.

No-budget, use-what-you-can-find filmmaking is an important part of the industry. It teaches valuable skills and occasionally produces a gem. This, however, is not one of them.

Reviewed on: 27 Dec 2017
Share this with others on...
A gang of vengeful women's plot to massacre corrupt monks comes unstuck when marauding Vikings arrive with demons on their tail.

Director: Jack Burton

Writer: Philip Dyas, Alastar Kirton

Starring: Rosanna Hoult, Samantha Schnitzler, Craig Russell, Owain Rhys Davies, Angela Peters, Steve Meo

Year: 2017

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

Festivals:


Search database: