Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Terry Jones
UK/Sweden 1989

 

Peace-loving viking Erik (Tim Robbins, JACOB'S LADDER, in a role meant for Tom Hulce) isn't all that into raping and pillaging to begin with when Helga (Samantha Bond, DIE ANOTHER DAY) enlightens him about the circular nature of the viking raping/pillaging enterprise (before she is promptly killed by cameo rapists Jim Carter [RED RIDING] and Jim Broadbent [VERA DRAKE]). Even more estranged now from the behavior his contemporaries, Erik seeks the counsel of wise woman Freya (Eartha Kitt, FRIDAY FOSTER) who tells him that Fenrir the wolf has swallowed the sun and plunged the world into the age of Ragnarok. Erik decides to go to Asgard and waken the sleeping gods to petition them to end Ragnarok. To do this, they must find the Horn Resounding and blow into it three times (the first time will take them to Asgard, the second will waken the gods, and the third will return them home). The blacksmith's assistant Loki (Antony Sher, YANKS) warns blacksmith Keitel (Gary Cady, MONA LISA) that the bottom will drop out of the sword-making business if Erik ends the age of Ragnarok. While Keitel accompanies Erik and the other men out to sea, Loki - who covets the position of blacksmith - warns the sadistic Halfdan the Black (John Cleese, A FISH CALLED WANDA) of Erik's intentions and Halfdan and his men set sail to stop them. Erik and his men manage to lose Halfdan's boat in a thick mist and are able to reach the island of Hy-Brasil by way of a sneezing dragon. When Erik defends Hy-Brasil against Halfdan's assault (Halfdan himself manages to escape) - in a failry hilarious manner - the king of Hy-Brasil (director Terry Jones) gifts him the Horn Resouding, but Loki and Keitel are still in cahoots to prevent Erik and his men from reaching Asgard. Although a funny, adventure film with some quintessentially eighties visual effects and wonderful set design (by the conceptual artist who would go onto design the LORD OF THE RINGS films), ERIK THE VIKING was largely a box-office failure. Director Jones reckons that the audience was expecting a Monty Python film. It has some Python-esque dialogue (some exchanges of which are indulgently-overlong) - including some subtitled dialogue by a Japanese actor imposed by the Japanese co-producer - and a wry John Cleese performance (the end credits also have some Python-esque names of characters like Jennifer the Viking, Unn-the-Thrown-At, Horribly Slain Warrior, and Even More Horribly Slain Warrior), but Jones' favors production value rather than making a jokes out of the budgetary restraints and there are some moving sequences of a sort not found in the Monty Python films (or even Terry Gilliam's TIME BANDITS, which features some of the Python players and its a bit more in the spirit). Jones wrote the saga of Erik the Viking for his son and was inspired to turn it into a film; the childrens book version that Jones published has nothing to do with the film's story (although he hopes it will help the sales). Jones was dissatisfied with the initial 107 minute cut of the film and made some additional trims (he was restricted to cutting scenes that did not effect the soundtrack since there was no time to go back to the sound elements) before the US theatrical release by Orion. When the film arrived on home video in the UK, Jones was able trim the film of an additional ten minutes or so. The director's son's cut was edited by the Bill Jones (George Akers [CARAVAGGIO] edited the original cut) and runs over a half-an-hour shorter than the original and almost fifteen minutes shorter than the director's cut. While some funny moments are lost in this shorter cut, the reshuffling of some scenes results in a more logical ordering (Erik's frantic search for Freya now follows the title card rather than abruptly following his scene with his grandfather [Mickey Rooney], and Loki's trek through the snowy mountains towards Halfdan the Black's fortress no longer interrupts Erik's organization of the seating in the longboat), and the pacing is tighter. Jones claims not to know why he was not more hands-on in the editing phase of the film; that he ended up cutting over a half-hour to reach a satisfactory cut suggests that there were more reasons for its poor reception besides its deviations from the Python template.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 22 September 1989 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

MGM Home Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:15:12 (4% PAL speedup) 1:29:21 (4% PAL speedup) 1:18:42
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.29 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.21 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut)

 

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Video (UK Video Version)

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround

Subtitles English, none none English, French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with director Terry Jones, moderated by Giles Wiseman
• Interview with Terry and Bill Jones (4:3;; 7:04)
• Still Gallery
• Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphries
• Double-sided fold-out artwork poster
• Collector’s booklet featuring a note from director Terry Jones and brand new writing on the film by

DVD Release Date: October 10th, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with director Terry Jones
• Making-of featurette (4:3; 30:01)
• The Evolution of a Director (4:3; 4:20)
• The Casting of a Comedy Adventure (4:3; 8:42)
• The Special Effects of ERIK THE VIKING (4:3; 3:25)
• Making Movie Magic on Malta (4:3; 3:00)
• Jones & Cleese: A Grand Reunion (4:3; 4:41)
• Creating the Look (4:3; 3:35)
• Interviews with the Stars and Director (4:3;17:26)

 

DVD Release Date:  October 10th, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with director Terry Jones, moderated by Giles Wiseman
• Behind the Director's Son's Cut (4:3; 10:14)
• Making-Of featurette (4:3; 30:03)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Photo Gallery
• Trailers for SPACEBALLS and FARGO special edition DVDs

 

DVD Release Date: 4 December 2007
Amaray

Chapters 24

 

Comments

Disc 1 features the "Director's Son's Cut" - edited by Terry Jones' son Bill - in a single-layer, anamorphic transfer that is comparable with the Region 1 edition; both having been sourced from the new master created for the editing of the new cut. Audio is also comparable (although the MGM disc's 2.0 encoding of the original Dolby Stereo track is surround-flagged). Although there is no set-up menu on disc 1, the "Director's Son's Cut" features both 5.1 and 2.0 stereo mixes and optional English subtitles (you can select them with your DVD player remote).

Disc 2 features the longer UK cut and it appears to use the same, clean 1.85:1 master (disc 2 is dual-layer and includes roughly seventy-five minutes of vintage supplemental material). The actual disc specifications vary from the press release. On the one hand, the theatrical cut lacks the 5.1 track and English subtitles it is listed as possessing; however, the theatrical cut cut is also in 16:9. The press release cited 4:3 fullscreen for the theatrical cut, which suggested that it might have been sourced from an older master; however, it appears as though the director's son's cut was created from the longer director's cut transfer initially intended for release. The audio commentary with Terry Jones seems to have been recorded for the director's cut, also called the UK video version, (announced in 2006 by MGM, but canceled in favor of the release of the director's son's cut in 2007) and it is heard in its entirety on disc 2. The version on the director's son's cut has been edited and shuffled to match the scene order of the new cut and has a brief preface by Jones himself before Jones and his moderator introduce themselves. Neither version represents the 107 minute UK theatrical release (the German, French, and Australian discs sport a 99 minute (PAL speed) cut, which is likely the cut prepared for the US theatrical release via Orion (hence MGM's eventual ownership of the title).

NOTE: Arrow Films have previously released a R2 two-disc version featuring both cuts and most of the same on-disc extras (paper extras differ) in 2006 and an R2 single disc before that in 2000 of just the UK cut.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

   
   

 


 

Screen Captures

(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Arrow Video (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Arrow Video (UK Video Version) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (The Director's Son's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Draw

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Arrow
Menu: Arrow

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

MGM Home Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC



Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!