ERIK THE VIKING BLU RAY REVIEW

Terry Jones was known for being both a comedian and a film maker. I remember him equally as a medieval historian and a very good one at that. Jones fused his wit, with an intelligent insight into the world of the past. He understood the world of Viking marauders, Mediterranean post Roman empire politics and the age of myth and lore. He had an eye for the idiosyncrasies and the idiocy. This is the part I love about his work.

Erik (Tim Robbins) is unlike most Vikings he knows. He is tired of raping and pillaging and decides to set out on a quest. Freya the wise (Eartha Kitt) informs Erik that a great wolf has eaten the sun. So off he goes. First to Asgard, home of the Norse gods. But nothing is easy for Erik and before he can reach Asgard, he and his allies must first find a magical horn that resides in the land of King Arnulf (Terry Jones).

I am a history buff. Loving modern and Pre History among many others. Coming into contact with Jones, as a youth, made me both love history but also understood its rich complexity. The humour is front and present. It drives us  to understand the idiocy of bravery, the power of pagan beliefs and how legend infused itself. But he also (unlike the Hollywood version of said Vikings) shows valour, swords, blood and the blindingly hilarious adsurdity of the age of myth. Jones shows the dirt, reveals the stink, questions the raping and pillaging we seem to constantly speak of. This encrusted mud of reality is what actually adds to the comedy and the history. Because it points to all this things suggested but hidden from view. Whether you are a history buff or just a film fan, you find this comedy pointed. Brilliant stuff.

DISC

I prefer the The Director’s Son’s Cut. Shorter, more fun and a lot more clever in its humour because it does not hang.  It is in SD but this looks good on screen but not so much projected. The Original Theatrical Release Cut in HD is a feast for the screen. I mean this wholeheartedly. The spit, shit and splatter is richer and now we can throw away Arrows DVD.

EXTRAS

The new stuff is great. NEW Commentary Track on the Theatrical Release Cut by Film Historian and Author (“Heavy Metal Movies”) Mike McPadden and Comedy Writer/Producer Aaron Lee is funny and pounces on the silly scenes that are ramped up with tid-bits of laugh and tears. Sometimes it mis times itself but overall it is enough to get on with NEW Booklet Essay by Neil Mitchell great research, focusing on the history, Jones and the legacy of Hand made films Python films.

  • Original Theatrical Release Cut in HD (103 minutes/99 minutes in PAL)
  • “The Director’s Son’s Cut” in SD (79 minutes)
  • NEW Commentary Track on the Theatrical Release Cut by Film Historian and Author (“Heavy Metal Movies”) Mike McPadden and Comedy Writer/Producer Aaron Lee
  • Commentary Track on The Director’s Son’s Cut by Terry Jones
  • Featurettes
  • Original Behind the Scenes
  • The Evolution of a Director
  • Casting
  • Creating the Look
  • Special Effects
  • Making Movie Magic in Malta
  • Jones and Cleese – A Grand Reunion
  • Raw Interview Footage
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • NEW Booklet Essay by Neil Mitchell

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