Terry Jones' post-Python frolic, inspired by his own Norse saga children's book, is not a funny film, and neither well-directed nor exciting. Robbins plays a kind of lovelorn gentle giant, dismayed by the daily drudgery of conquest, pillage and rape, who seeks enlightenment from a cave-dwelling seer/hag (Kitt). This is the Dark Age of Ragnarok, she tells him, which will end in an orgy of fighting and destructiveness. He thus sets out with a long-ship full of squabbling warriorswith names like Sven the Berserk and Thorfinn Skullsplitter, to awaken the gods with the Horn Resounding so that they may usher in the new era of peace and light. In pursuit are snivelling Loki (Sher), maker of weapons, and the very-evil-indeed Halfdan the Black (Cleese). There's a certain precocious schoolboy mentality at work in the film: an indulgent delight in making fantasies come to life. Its disarming mix of blood-and-muck realism, researched detail, and soaring wish-fulfillment, wonder and irreverence, does provide lots of small incidental pleasures.
Cast and crew
John Gordon Sinclair