SassyFlix | The Viking Queen

The Viking Queen

Description

Set in ancient Britain, at a time when much of Europe was ruled with harsh tyranny by Rome, a tribe of Britons led by Selina, set out to defy the invaders and discard their yoke of bondage. The Roman commander, Justinian, is sent to quell the uprising, punishing the dissenters with brute force but when he becomes emotionally attached to Selina, he is torn between his duty to Rome and his love for the Viking Queen.

Reviews

QUEEN ... VIKING?

liodavix26 September 2019

Peplum of the late sixties inspired by the life of Queen Britana Boudicca, or Boadicea as the Romans called her.

Boudicca was a powerful queen of Britain who led the biggest revolt against Roman power that was ever seen on the island and was finally crushed by the then invincible Roman military machinery, but Boudicca would become a myth in Britain and a Icon for British feminism.

The Viking queen does not know exactly why it was chosen although everything points to a commercial trick to make the film more attractive, since there are absolutely nothing of Vikings because the film is set in Nero's time, more than six hundred years before The Viking era.

When it comes to the movie, it's not bad at all. It is a typical love story impossible in this case between a barbarian and a Roman officer in the midst of rebellion to tell the oppressive and brutal Roman regime.

The film is well performed by the cast and although its lack of means is noted, director Don Chaffey manages to show more or less some good sequences of battles between the legions and the Celtic British warriors and their mystic Druid leaders.

The costumes and the setting are quite good.

Entertaining

It is supposed to be fun, and it is.

Warning: Spoilers

I agree it is not historically correct. But there are still lots of fun watching this. Despite it was made in the 60s, one can still watch it nowadays and find it enjoyable. The final battle scene was entertaining. Too bad they let the two princesses slain so easily. (Did I see Octavius fondling the dying Talia after he received his own death blow? ) Of course if made today, the battle scene should be more crowded. (There was hardly a cohort there, not to mention a legion and computer technology would help that out today). And the love scenes would be more explicit (and showing).

The names of the three princesses were not very cleverly or carefully chosen. No Briton princess would be called Beatrice or Salina at that time. (and of course, like many here said, no Viking either) But who cares? It is supposed to be fun, and it is.

An engaging look at Celtic/Roman Britain

Although it has its quirks and is horribly mis-named (the Vikings entered the European scene 700 years after the movie's setting), this movie is a fun and engaging look at a much-overlooked historical stage. Some disbelief-suspension is required (the title character's accent, for example), but historical-fiction fans should find this film quite entertaining. While the costumes and characters (e.g. the sensational depiction of the Druids) might not be 100% believable, the plotline and settings more than make up for it. As a fan of both the old Hammer style and of Roman history, I was quite engrossed. I just wish they'd called it "Queen of the Celts"!

laughable historical fantasy manages to be lots of fun

From the trying-for-sublime to the content-to-be-ridiculous. Carita, a Finnish model-turned-actress, is surprisingly credible (well, not really, but she's not as bad as one would expect) as window dressing turned queen Salina of the Britons, trying to keep her people's semi-sovereignty while romancing the Roman general Justinian (Don Murray, pretty darn bland) who is supposed to be keeping her and her people in check. What I liked about this most, apart from the nice location photography and the presence of 2nd Dr. Who Patrick Troughton as wise warrior Tristram was the slightly more complex than expected political intrigue of the thing, with druids, merchants, British nobles and Romans all playing off against each other. What I liked least were the very cheap, poorly choreographed battle scenes where hardly a drop of red paint is even to be seen, and the swords are so obviously dull and plaster that you can't help laughing at times. Still, Carita is cute and the pacing keeps one more interested than not.

More period fun with Hammer Studios.

The title is somewhat misleading in this mash up of historical epic and violent action picture. The script is so silly one simply has to laugh at it, but I'll get to that in a moment. At least it follows in the tradition of Hammer and is exceptionally good looking, with decent battle scenes and lovely female cast members.

The "viking queen" of the title is Salina (played by Finnish beauty Carita, in one of only two film roles), a young Briton living under the rule of Roman conquerors in ancient times. Her father, King Priam (Wilfrid Lawson) is sure that his people can peacefully co-exist with the Romans and conveys this belief to Salina, who inherits the role of queen when he passes on. But there's more. These Britons are part of a group of Druids - who pray to the Greek god Zeus. Salina embarks on a romance with nice guy Roman governor general Justinian (Don Murray of "Bus Stop"), but their happiness will be short lived thanks to Justinians' hateful and power hungry second in command, Octavian (Andrew Keir), and the restlessness of the natives.

Carita looks stunning, so some viewers may not care if her performance isn't all that hot. Murray looks quite out of place, and the excellent supporting cast (Niall MacGinnis, Donald Houston, Adrienne Corri, Patrick Troughton, et al) helps to keep this watchable, although it's sluggish at times. It attempts to be funny with a chariot race that ends in falls into the drink. With Don Chaffey in the directors' seat, the film does serve up doses of sex, violence and sacrifice, enough to maintain our interest for a while. Gorgeous Irish scenery complements the physical charms of the actresses. While one couldn't take it seriously, it does have an endearing camp factor going for it.

In any event, we have to hand it to Hammer for making this kind of thing as we sure don't see much like it anymore. As long as people go in knowing it's absolutely no history lesson and just accept it as escapist entertainment, they can find it diverting enough.

Six out of 10.

Who needs historical accuracy, lets have some fun instead

Hammer Studios are, of course, most famous for their Gothic horror films but like any independent studio worth its salt, it chipped in with movies of many other genres that were popular at the time. Sword and sandal flicks were one such sub-genre that was favoured in the 60's and that led Hammer to make The Viking Queen. Set in 1st century Britain, it involves machinations between three sets of inhabitants of those islands – the indigenous Iceni people, the ruling Romans and the Druids. The drama revolves around the queen of the Iceni and the Roman governor, who fall in love but whose relationship has dark consequences.

This movie is historically about as accurate as Hammer's earlier One Million Years B.C. in which dinosaurs co-existed with well-groomed cave people. In this one we have a Viking queen - a few hundred years out and in the wrong country - lead the Iceni people – who were from a completely different part of the country - while the druids seem to worship Roman gods! But the film is hilariously unconcerned with such matters so neither should you be. And to be fair, if you roll with it this is a pretty successfully entertaining bit of hokum. The Viking Queen herself is played by a Finnish actress called Carita, her heavy accent makes her somewhat strange as the leader of the Britons but she has the requisite beauty that puts her into the same bracket as several other Hammer heroines. Like is normal for Hammer too, there are some pretty good character actors underpinning things, including Andrew Keir as the nasty Roman Octavian and Patrick Troughton as the progressively minded Briton, Tristam. Also, like Hammer, the film looks really handsome despite its low budget. The locations look great and the sets and costumes are all nice also. There's some salacious material included too to enliven things further such as a human sacrifice ceremony and a violent assault on the Iceni village by the rampaging Romans. It might all be nonsense but its pretty good nonsense.

Low-budget and low-brow, but has some degree of camp appeal

During the height of the breasts-on-display, low-budget-epic era in the mid-60's, Murray got off at the wrong "Bus Stop" and wound up flailing around in this sword and sandal howler. He plays the Roman ruler of a Celtic tribe in ancient Britain. The Celtic King dies and appoints one of his three daughters to rule in his place (even though she is virtually a figurehead because of the Roman occupation.) He picks Carita and, because her mother was a Viking, she is dubbed The Viking Queen. (Apparently, she picked up her mother's accent along the way even though she was raised in Britain?) Murray and Carita have an affection for one another, but it is put to the test when he leaves to fight an enemy and his second-in-command starts wreaking havoc on her people. Finally, she's had enough and rises to battle the Romans even at the expense of her relationship with Murray. Carita is lovely (as any former model should be), but her acting inexperience shows much of the time. Murray couldn't possibly be more miscast and he and Carita have only adequate chemistry at best. They do have their own little mini-Ben Hur chariot race which ends up in a swamp, but their great love is not aptly demonstrated in the film. Corri and Pagett play her sisters. One looks old enough to be her mother and dabbles in the occult while the other has a tentative love affair with a local bruiser played by Caffrey. Houston is a raving, rabble-rousing Druid priest who, at times, makes Victor Buono look subtle. Actors like Keir and Troughton attempt to give real performances, but are done in by the pedestrian script. The ad copy for this film promised all sorts of wild events on screen, but most of them are presented in a more-than-tame manner. There is also a heavy dose of hilarious feminine pulchritude on display as scantily-clad ladies show off their bodies with strategic arm, pasty and hair placement to cover the naughtiest bits while they lie around stroking and petting the various men of the cast. One, in particular (referred to as the Nubian slave) is an obviously Caucasian girl in blackface with "Star Trek" make up who probably has more costume changes than the lead! It's not the dullest film ever made and has a few intriguing moments and some eye-catching scenery and costumes, but doesn't hold up as history, nor as titillation.

It's Hammer Time!

Ah, yes, let us now all take a moment and consider our debt to the fine British gentlemen of Hammer Films, who kept the 60s and 70s full of luridly colored historo-horror epics. Arguably, the essence of the Hammer style is 1,001 ways to nearly show naked breasts, and "The Viking Queen" is a high example of such. The queen of the title seems to be based on Bodicea, bloodthirsty queen of the Britons. Still, she is a Viking, even though she is supposedly British, and queen of the Druids, even though they all worship the Greek god Zeus. Whatever. Said queen is played by "International Beauty" Carita in a style so rigid that "wooden" doesn't even cover it. This was her only film--I believe she was actually a hairstylist and did Jane Fonda's astonishing do's in the Euro-Poe flick "Spirits of the Dead." Starring opposite her as her hot-panted, eyeliner-ed Roman love interest is Don Murray, a long way from Marilyn Monroe and the "Bus Stop."

Still, my favorite scene is where the British-Viking-Greek-Druids are sacrificing Romans to the fiery pit and there's this great awkward moment where some kind of assistant priest has to climb down from the big rock and stoke the fire for the next human sacrifice while all the other British-Viking-Greek-Druids stand waiting impatiently. I hate it when that happens.