There are no Vikings in The Viking Queen, a low-budget adventure from Hammer studios set in the British Isles during the Roman reign of Nero. Salina (Carita), the curiously Italian-accented daughter of a dying British king... more », inherits his kingdom on the eve of a treaty that splits power between the native monarchy and the Roman government. American star Don Murray (of Bus Stop and The Hoodlum Priest fame), looking oddly uncomfortable in a Roman tunic, is the fair-minded Roman governor-general Justinian, whose jurisprudence and willingness to compromise infuriates his bloodthirsty second in command. Plots from within both camps threaten not just the uneasy peace between the Britons and the Romans but the hot-and-heavy love affair between Salina and Justinian (whose flirtatious chariot race leads to a little riverside nooky). This sword-and-sandal-meets-bearskin-and-clubs adventure is at its best on location in the British countryside, where the grand scenery belies its meager budget, but the battle scenes suffer from a tiny cast of soldiers and lackluster choreography. There are plenty of scantily clad maidens (who knew the ancient British climate was so temperate?), Druid ceremonies with human sacrifices, and even a kinky flogging, but ultimately director Don Chaffey's attempts to inject Hammer's lurid edge into the drama come off as both perfunctory and forced. Though often entertaining, this period adventure never reaches the smart, sexy, and showy gothic splendor of Hammer's horror classics. --Sean Axmaker« less
Cheap and historically inaccurate...but fun to watch!
H. Powell | Reynoldsburg, Ohio USA | 05/13/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's a damn shame that the average American is totally ignorant of the Celtic legacy of the western world; modern pop culture and three centuries of fundamentalist Christianity have done their part in obliterating all accurate memory of our northern European roots from the minds of the masses. That's why I applaud any movie that treats the subject of Celtic antiquity, even if most of these films are a far cry from historical reality. This is certainly the case with The Viking Queen: The Celtic Britons were NOT Vikings (a later Germanic people), the druids did NOT worship Zeus (the druid character in the film invokes this Greek deity), Brythonic Celts never had the name Angus (the name of a Briton prince in the film...the name itself is Gaelic Celtic), and on and on. However, the film does make a somewhat lame attempt to depict the political turmoil in the Britain of the first century of the Common Era; the invading Roman legions never did win the undying loyalty of the entire isle of Britain and uprisings were common throughout the remaining years of the empire. That being said, the film is otherwise good cheesy fun for the non-sticklers: hot chicks, lots of violence, humorous over acting, the typical Hammer offering (and I'm not at all surprised that a movie with this subject matter was produced in Britain and not the United States). Carita's "Viking" Queen character is loosely based on the historical personage of Boudicea of the Iceni tribe, who ravaged Roman occupied Londinium during the Briton uprising against the forces of the general Paulinus. So, this is not the worst film ever made, I'm just a little disappointed that we have countless biblical and Roman celluloid epics to choose from but precious few serious films about our own ancestors;The Viking Queen is hardly serious...it reduces a dynamic period of our history into a lusty comic book farce."
Viking Queen, simply fun...
SereneNight | California, USA | 08/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Viking Queen is a low budget 60's film, with some great costumes, great dialog, and little historical accuracy.Why did I give it a high rating? Viking Queen, is simply a hell of a lot of fun!Carita stars as Celtic Princess, Selena, who must liberate her people, the Iceni tribe from the brutal control of the romans. Torn between her love for a roman general, and the needs to help her people, Carita dons a skimpy warrior's costume and leads her people into battle.Historical purists steer clear of this one, but everyone else might enjoy this film. Be warned, there is a fair amount of gratuitous nudity and violence in this film, it may not be appropriate for all viewers."
- Durrkk | Ohio/PA border USA | 12/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a bit surprised at some of the low reviews for "The Viking Queen;" I've watched it three times now and my appreciation for this 1967 Hammer flick has increased with each viewing.
The biggest criticism is that Salena is a Celt and the movie should therefore be titled "The Celtic Queen." Yet this is explained right at the beginning of the story: Her father chooses her to reign after his death and says, "Like your mother you shall be called 'the Viking Queen.'" So, Salena is the Viking Queen simply because her mother was of Viking ancestry.
One may argue that the Vikings didn't exist for another 700 years (the story takes place shortly after the time of Christ) but "Viking" is simply a collective designation of Nordic people -- Danes, Swedes and Norwegians. And even IF the word "Viking" didn't exist at the time of the film's setting, so what? Just imagine Salena's father saying, "You shall be called the Nordic Queen."
Another major gripe is that the Druids improperly pray to Zeus, a Greek God. Although this is a legitimate beef, the filmmakers obviously chose to do this because the Druids lacked a recognizable deity. This problem is rectified by simply supplanting the word "Zeus" with the Druid deity of your choice when hearing the Druids pray in the film (Bet you can't think of ONE Druid deity, can you?).
The story is roughly based on the historical Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, a British tribe. Her impressive revolt against the Roman occupants included the sack of London (then Londinium) and the death of some 70,000 Romans (!). The Roman governor of Britain ultimately destroyed Boudicca's force; in despair, she killed herself by taking poison in 60 AD.
In "The Viking Queen" you'll certainly get a good glimpse of what this era was like. The story is ultra-serious and the actors perform their roles accordingly. Salena is played by Carita, who, although very beautiful, is completely believable in the role. Be on the watch for her in a breath-taking purple mini-skirt near the end (speaking of such, be on the lookout as well for Salena's super-cute sister Talia, played by Nicola Pagett). Needless to say, it's too bad this was Carita's sole excursion into acting terrain.
The locations (Ireland), costumes and sets are all of the highest order.
One other complaint is that it is unbelievable that Salena falls in love with the Roman govenor (played by Don Murray) and vice versa, yet isn't it realistic to assume that more than one Briton babe fell in love with a Roman occupant, particularly if he was in a command position? Besides, the tragic ending is emotionally compounded by this love story.
FINAL WORD: "The Viking Queen" is a film in the vein of "Braveheart," "Gladiator" or "Attila." If you're a fan of such films you'll enjoy "The Viking Queen" immensely. Personally, I feel "Braveheart" is way overated and I'd pop in "The Viking Queen" before "Gladiator" any day.
If, like me, this film inspires you to research the true history of Boudicca, then the filmmakers have accomplished far more than mere entertainment. Enough said."
SereneNight | 08/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a thinly-veiled retelling of the real-life story of Boudicca, the British/Celtic Queen who led a failed rebellion against Roman occupying forces in the mid-1st century AD. Yes, thinly-veiled, with the names changed to protect the innocent.This is b-grade movie sap at it's finest, complete with an unbelievable love story, fine British overacting, and... well, it's just plain silly. For instance: Blue-woaded bandits, looking like extras from a Caveman flick; Scythe-wheeled chariots, which neither the Celts, nor anyone else for that matter, ever used in real life; this whole "Viking queen" title -- what's up with that? This film has nothing to do with Vikings, who were Norse raiders starting in the 700's AD; Highly-trained Roman soldiers who let themselves get run down by the aformentioned chariots; And of course Selena, the "Viking Queen" herself, with that out-of-place German (?) accent and Xena-esque corselet... ah yes, the stuff of dreams... On a positive note, the equipment and armor of the Roman Troops are handled fairly well, considering the level of research available at the time the film was made. Not perfect, but not as bad as the rest of the movie!So if it's so bad, then why do I give it such a high rating? Sentimentality. When I was a kid, I loved this film! And it's still fun. There are worse ways to waste a slow afternoon than popping this in the VCR and vegging out. No, it's not "Spartacus" or "Ben Hur", nor is it the wonderful British documentary of "Boudicca" which was released a couple years back, but hey, what do you expect, anyway? So, toss all your cares (and good taste) to the wind, and revel in this gloriously awful "celtsploitation" movie!"
Historical Hammer Hilarity or something to that effect!
Charles Prepolec | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 09/11/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Roman Britain? Not quite. A fun foray into Hammer's skewed history? Definitely. This film works on the most basic level. Warrior chicks and Roman villainy with a mad druid for fun. The best acting in this little sizzler comes from that late great charactor actor Patrick Toughton. There are moments when it seems like he is in a completely different film...yes, he's that good. Andrew Keir is not to be missed as the scenery chewing evil centurion. A mediocre effort at historical film making, but a great deal of fun!"