A hilarious all-star cast — including Tim Robbins and former Monty Pythoners Terry Jones and John Cleese — star in this inspired piece of lunacy marked by a “ funny script packed with typically weird and wonderful characters ” (Variety). Written and directed by Jones, Erik the Viking delivers that inimitable Python humor and “ consistently entertains ” (The New York Times) !
Ever since he accidentally killed a girl he was just getting to like, Erik (Robbins) has been moody. Fed up with the emptiness of life in the Dark Ages, he leads a quest to wake the gods and bring back the sun… and the girl, if she’ll have him. But along the way, Erik will have to face formidable obstacles, including a dragon with hay fever, tone-deaf islanders who love to sing, and a warlord (Cleese) who likes his ages dark and nasty !
The origin of the film
The film Erik the Viking is based on a children”s book of the same name that I [Terry Jones] wrote for my son Bill in 1984.
I’d written a book of fairy tales for my daughter Sally when she was five, so I thought I ought to do the same for Bill. But he said he wanted a continuous story, so I constructed a string of stories around the adventures of a band of Viking warriors who set off in search of the Land Where The Sun Goes At Night.
I’d read some of the Icelandic Sagas way back when we were making Monty Python the TV series (see Njall’s Saga in the third series), but I’d been surprised that they weren’t more full of magic and monsters. Instead they tend to be fascinating (but rather pedestrian) accounts of which family moved into which valley and who murdered who as a result. Scarcely any magic at all. So I decided to construct my own version of the Sagas — more in line with how I’d expected them to be.
The film doesn’t follow the stories in the book, although some do appear (in different forms), and the aim of Erik’s quest is no longer to find the Land Where The Sun Goes At Night. Instead, Erik is a Viking who is disillusioned with the life of raping and pillaging — “ Where does it get us ? ” he asks his grandfather.
He discovers that he is living in the Age of Ragnorok [sic], when Fenrir the Wolf has swallowed the sun. It is an axe-age, a sword-age, when brother will fight against brother until the world will finally be destroyed — unless he can cross the Bi-Frost [sic] the Rainbow Bridge, and go to Valhalla to wake the gods.
Jones, Terry (2007 ). Erik the Viking. The Director’s Son’s Cut, DVD-Video, couleur, Beverly Hills, Erik the Viking Film Productions — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. — Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 79 minutes.