Erik The Viking


Reviewed by: Robert Reid

Erik the Viking illustrates just how much clout the Python team had in their heyday - and also highlights the patchiness of their output. Terry Jones, who wrote, directed and starred, was able to swing the production of this lemon by riding on the coat tails of Python hysteria but all it adds up to is a gross and overlong act of self-indulgence.

It's a dud, dude.

A stellar cast including Tim Robbins, John Cleese, Anthony Sher and Mickey Rooney - yes, Mickey Rooney - flail about miserably in a dire tale of Viking valour which wouldn't stack up against a Carry On film. Robbins plays a reconstructed warrior who wants to bring an end to raping and pillaging.

He leads a motley band through various inexplicable and interminable adventures that fail either to be exciting or funny. The film is like a parody of a parody that has lost touch with an initially funny concept and ended up with its head wedged firmly where the sun don't shine.

A number of reviewers have remarked that this is one film that would have been more fun to make than watch and they are dead right. One of the snags about being successful is that it seems to stop people listening to criticism or advice and that once unfettered, people like Jones batter on with highly personal projects bereft of quality control.

The recent DVD release is a specially-edited version, edited reputedly by Jones' son Bill for whom as a boy, the original story was written. I bet it put him off to sleep all right.

Reviewed on: 31 Dec 2006
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Erik The Viking packshot
Viking heads on voyage to Valhalla.
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Director: Terry Jones

Writer: Terry Jones

Starring: Tim Robbins, Mickey Rooney, Eartha Kitt, Terry Jones, Imogen Stubbs, John Cleese, Tsutomu Sekine, Antony Sher, Gary Cady, Charles McKeown, Tim McInnerny, John Gordon Sinclair, Freddie Jones, Samantha Bond

Year: 1989

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK/Sweden


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