VIKING SIEGE (2017)
Directed by Jack Burton
A group of disgruntled women set their sights on slaughtering the local monks at the local club house but their plans are scuppered with the arrival of a bunch of barbaric vikings. However, the vikings seem to be the least of their worries when they discover that these Nordic warriors are they themselves being hunted on the island by something hellbent on destroying anyone who gets in their way.
VIKING SIEGE is a low-budget, full of heart, period creature horror set during times where the church rules through the fear of God. Witnessing a meteor falling from the sky, a peasant villager decides to investigate but probably wishes he hadn’t when he’s squirted Prometheus-style with some black goo. Yep, we all know where this is heading… or do we?
Whilst the ‘holier than thou’ priests are getting absolutely rat-arsed at the local club house, with beautiful maidens pouring their grog and at their beck and call for for a quick fondle, a crafty plan is in the works. What seem to be harmless girls working for the priest’s piss up are actually scorned women with a plot for revenge. What for, we’re not initially told but their plan involves painting the inside of the building red and not with wine.
Right from the start of the film, we’re firmly on the side of the women. They’ve got a bee in their bonnet about something and it must be serious enough to warrant bloodshed. The boozy, leering ogres of the church are hardly attractive personalities so it’s pretty easy to empathise with the women even though we’re clueless as to their rage. However, despite their careful planning to execute a flawless assassination of all at the monastery, it seems company is on the way in the shape of North Men. These vikings, with their reputation to rape and pillage, are known to be more wicked than the priests and thus the group of women must accommodate the new guests if they wish to survive. With the arrival of the North Men, the women think they have a handle on the situation until they realise the presence of the Nordic warriors isn’t to threaten and take from them but to take shelter from what’s outside – a horror so terrible it’ll make you think twice about venturing through the forest again!
With a belly full of laughs, a barrel of accents from across the UK and a fun-loving approach to filmmaking, VIKING SIEGE is an entertaining slice of genre-splicing comedy horror where wenches, vikings, lords, prisoners and priests must band together to fight an army of… trees. Yes, you read that correctly. Move over Evil Dead, for these walking tree creatures, peasants turned by that meteor alien poison at the beginning of the movie, are more than capable of ripping you limb by limb and not even an army of hardened warriors can fight them off with just brawn.
The back and forth banter between the characters, especially with the nude priest who’s idea of pissing all over someone is the highlight of his evening, is what creates the charm of the movie and although it’s ultimately short on story besides the obvious already mentioned, it has fun within its limits. A handful of action scenes helps to break up the dialogue with my particular favourite being the initial attack on the priests by the women early on in the movie. It’s intense and surprisingly bloodthirsty enough to get gore hounds chomping at the bit before the hybrid forest creatures takes over the violence duties.
After wading through flop after flop in recent months, I’m so relieved to find a B-movie that delivers the laughs whilst providing a solid enough backbone to balance the various genres at play here.
A tremendous effort from all involved, with giggles and gasps in equal measure, VIKING SIEGE is a fine, little popcorn horror that will convert any tree hugger into a lumberjack.