Monday, August 3, 2015


Netflix Instant Watch synopsis: 

“Bloodthirsy warriors from the Middle Ages. A sexy shrink from the present. This isn't your average Viking flick.”


Quick Plot: In Viking times, a pair of brothers named Boar (Nightbreed’s Craig Sheffer) and Barek (90210’s John Sears, plus a whole catalog of B-movies’ Paul Johnansson) decide to free Brunhilda, the witch who spurned Odin and was henceforth sentenced to a life surrounded by flames until someone pure of heart frees her. Boar tries and gets burned, while Barek succeeds and asks Brunhilda to save his beloved brother. The catch is that Boar can only be revived as a cannibalistic Berserker. 

who now totally knows how to party
Apparently, some people consider that a bad thing.

Some years later, Barek’s father makes a deal with his now disowned cannibalistic Berserker son for help defeating Erik the Red in exchange for the non-cannibalistic son’s soul. When pops refuses to honor the terms, lots of flames and witch people show up to cause some chaos. Cut to--


Or, at least a version of the present where high ranking psychiatric professionals show up to work in skirts that would make Britney Spears blush.

Enter one of the glowing lights of the B-movie darkness, Kari Wuhrer as Anya, a psychiatrist/reincarnated Valkyrie formerly named Brunhilda. Anya has just taken charge of a mental hospital for the violently insane where a new patient has been suspended from Hellraiser-esque chains for years because, well, he’s a reincarnated Viking warrior.

Plots like these have their reviews write themselves.

Berserker: Hell’s Warrior is written and directed by a man named Paul Matthews, whose name might ring a bell if you recall my recent review of his female-centric western, Hooded Angels. Like that film, Berserker was made in scenic South Africa on what I assume had to be a fairly small budget. This is most prominent in the shoddy CGI, soundtrack that sounds borrowed from the public domain library usually raided by video games, and quality of wigs that seem to have been purchased from a Halloween sale. 

sunglasses were half price

All that being said, I’ve come to find a lot of respect for Matthews’ filmography. Maybe it’s just that I watched the laughably incompetent Hammer of the Gods recently (you can listen to my thoughts via The Feminine Critique Episode 53 here), but Berserker fared somewhat (not much) better than you’d expect a low budget Viking movie to do. It sort of stands one tier above the Asylum Studio’s output. That’s not a glowing compliment, but it gives something of an idea of what to expect.

High Points
There’s a beautiful scene where modern-times Barek and Anya hide out in a rave while being pursued by not-that-out-of-place Berserkers. The real pleasure of such a setting is that it takes me back to one of my favorite undercover storylines on Law & Order: SVU, wherein the gang pull a sting in full glowstick glory.

Low Points
I don’t know if I can properly describe how bad the CGI looks, so here:

Lessons Learned
In case you needed reminding, severed heads onscreen are always funny

Like most cats (not mine), reincarnated berserker warriors always land on their feet

A benefit of being a female Berserker is that your eyeshadow gets automatically applied when your crazy genes kick in

No matter how tight the top, how short the skirt, how tattooed the dame, a pair of glasses will sell a hot chick as a doctor with no problem


Berserker: Hell’s Warrior is streaming on Netflix, and for under 90 minutes, it’s not the worst Highlander-ish background entertainment while you file your taxes or plan your next vacation. By no means is this a good movie, but it’s entertaining in its own little way.