Friday, 7 December 2012

No Man Could Conquer...

‘The Viking Queen’ is more ‘Carry On Cleo’ than anything else (it also occasionally resembles Michael Bentine’s ‘Potty Time’) but then, if you want historical accuracy, going to Hammer is like asking Bill Wyman to look after your  teenage daughter. I’ve never managed to spot the extra apparently wearing a watch (the scourge of every historical pot boiler) but I did notice this about the film:
1.    The queen is played by Finnish actress Carita who is so inexpressive that the film could easily have been retitled ‘The Wooden Ruler’. She appears to have never worked again.
2.     I briefly fell asleep during the chariot race which, to be frank, is the opposite reaction one would expect from a chariot race.
3.   The poster says 'MILLIONS followed her into battle'. The population of the whole of Britain at the time was only just over a million, so that doesn't work.  
4.     There aren’t ANY Vikings in the film, they won’t be around for at least another 700 years. 
5.     Actually, the whole thing is ridiculous. It’s unfair to continue.
An ‘interesting’ change of direction for Hammer (who made a Robin Hood film at about the same time) ‘The Viking Queen’ is fairly negligible but, although it should not be used to settle academic arguments about Ancient Britain, it is not entirely without merit, not least because it’s a bloody good laugh.
Patrick Troughton’s in it, which is nice;  dear old, drunk old Wilfred Lawson jogs up as a super-annuated and short-lived King and Andrew Keir plays a shouty Centurion, which perhaps explains the pairing of ‘The Viking Queen’ with his other Hammer film of 1967, the infinitely superior ‘Quatermass and The Pit,’ as an unlikely double bill in some territories.  

Occasionally quite smutty, and with some nice pagan ritual and sacrifice sequences, it's very loosely based on the story of Boudicca, in much the same way that crappy postcard from yesterday was, but to far more entertaining effect.   


  1. Terrific stuff. You've now persuaded me to extract it from my Hammer Collection box set and finally watch it, maybe on a double bill with The Vengeance of She. It can't be as bad as Fear in the Night, can it??

  2. Expect nothing, and you will not be disappointed!

  3. Best bits: Niall 'Night of the Demon' MacGinnis, ritual sacrifices and the battle where scythed chariots reap Roman woadkill. But Viking Druids worshipping Zeus??? Ye Gods!