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The Viking Queen (1967)

Hammer Film Productions is quite well known for their slew of horror films from the 1930's-1970's but Hammer is also well known for some of it's adventure films most notably being the cult classic One Million Years B.C. starring Raquel Welch and the similar hottie laden film When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, but Hammer has a few other films that fit into the different fads of these numerous decades, one being The Viking Queen an addition to the ever popular Sword and Sandals sub genre.

The Viking Queen revolves around a period in time when the Roman Empire was taking control of Britain. The territory of Icena is Rome's latest conquer upon the death of their King with the signing of a peaceable agreement providing Rome with a 50% share of the territory. Upon his death the King proclaims his daughter Salina as Queen who will have rule over the territory, but Rome ultimately has say in what's allowed and the villagers must pay their share of taxes to the Emperor. But allegiance to the Romans is thin in Icena particularly because of their condemnation of the practices of the local religion headed by the Druids. This hatred ultimately stirs up a conflict which ends up destroying Icena. In the midst of this conflict is a romance between Queen Salina and the Roman General Justinian, a love affair that has no chance of success when both seem unwilling to put aside the quells of their people.

Going into The Viking Queen I was hoping for a film that would at least be mildly amusing and entertaining, as most Sword and Sandals films are usually known for their over-the-top action, beautiful women and corny one liners, unfortunately that's not the case. In terms of the acting and storyline I'm hard pressed to classify The Viking Queen as a B-movie, because it's quite above that standard and seems to have a pretty descent production budget, but the film is plain boring. Some people tend to focus on the inconsistencies of the film, particularly the associations of the Druids worshiping Zeus, and the fact that there is no Vikings in this film. The Zeus part seemed a little odd to me but if you Google it there does seem to be some sect that might have been associated with the Greek god, I didn't bother researching it much further because I frankly don't really care, I never expected this film to be historically accurate, only entertaining. As for the Viking part, the Queen is referred to as the Viking Queen, maybe these villagers are supposed to be decedents.

Ultimately I believe this film's fault is it tries to be too serious, but combined with an awful storyline and mediocre acting this is no where near the quality of Gladiator or Braveheart. Overall, The Viking Queen fails to please those looking for corny, campy fun and fails to please the few who may have actually thought it to be legitimately entertaining adventure film.


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