Review Date: 8/6/12
Cast: Don Murray, Carita, Andrew Keir
A fun little sword-and-sandal outing from Hammer Studios, featuring Finnish blonde bombshell Carita (who bears an uncanny resemblance to a cashier at my local grocery store). Contrary to what the title may suggest, there are no Vikings in the film. Instead, there are Druids who inexplicably invoke the names of Greek gods. The story concerns Roman expansionism in Great Britain, and a doomed uprising of the local people. Sarina (Carita) is a young woman who inherits her dying father's kingdom and attempts to rule it justly and wisely in conjunction with her Roman counterparts, led by Justinian (Don Murray). Conveniently, Sarina and Justinian fall in love, and wish to get married in order to bring peace and prosperity to the land. However, a Druid prophecy warns that the land will run red with blood and that Sarina is destined to raise a sword against the Roman oppressors. Unfortunately, several devious parties on both sides decide to bring the prophecy about out of selfish greed, which ultimately positions Justinian and Sarina against each other as enemies. Unable to reconcile their differences, Sarina rallies her people and leads them into a hopeless battle.
Like most Hammer productions, the film is lush and colorful, and the scenery is lovely. The acting isn't particularly noteworthy, but Andrew Keir makes a wonderful adversary for the overly romantic Don Murray. Carita is pretty (despite her hideous blue eye shadow), but is a completely stiff and unconvincing actress. The fight scenes are enjoyable and the chariot scenes are exciting to watch. Unfortunately, the film takes itself a little too seriously and the romantic angle is a bit overwrought, which causes the pacing to suffer. Average fare at best.