The Real Vikings Collection
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FOOT SOLDIERS: A look at the sea-going warriors who attacked Europe with savage fury and violence. These raiders and traders, explorers and settlers set sail from Denmark, Norway, and, Sweden during the Scandinavian expansion (800-1050 AD). Goes beyond the myths to find out if the Vikings really wore horned helmets and took drugs before going into battle. Richard Karn hosts. LOST WORLD: The Vikings were fearsome warriors from Denmark and Norway who burst upon Western Europe, raiding and plundering at the end of the 8th century. They first targeted coastal monasteries, but later they constructed magnificent ships that could sail up rivers and sack inland towns. These raids resulted in the Viking invasion of Britain and Northern France. Many of the sites of the most crucial events in world history are now lost. Follow a team of historical detectives who use evidence from recent excavations, scientific studies and historical documents to see what these locations looked like. Computer graphics allow viewers to fly over, enter the streets and peer into these lost worlds. VIKING TERROR: Green Beret Terry Schappert, reveals why the Vikings were called the "Hells Angels of the Middle Ages". He tests the weapons and tactics used to pillage Europe. The Vikings do meet their match--the Saxons--at the Battle of Maldon.
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The first 45 minute feature is "Food Soldiers: The Vikings". It was made in 1998, and the host is Richard Karn, who was from the TV show Home Improvement. The presentation is very basic, full of supposed jokes (which were never funny), used the same stock footage over and over again. The film made it very clear that Vikings never used horned helmets, but the stock footage and drawings they used to illustrate their points almost always had Vikings in horned helmets. The whole thing was treated as one big joke. If you buy the DVD, you can safely skip this one.
The second 45 minute feature is "The Vikings: Lost Worlds", where archaeologists and historians try to reconstruct some of the buildings, fortifications, ships, etc., of the Vikings based on discovered evidence. They traveled to several good museums and sites and gave a comprehensive overview of a lot of the Viking building materials, construction, and craftsmanship.
The third 45 minute feature is an episode of Warriors entitled "Viking Terror". The former Green Beret hosts the show, and he explored the different weapons and fighting techniques and strategy and tactics that the Vikings employed. He interviews some well-known and respected experts in the field, and gives it a go with using the weapons and tactics himself. Strangely, he completely ignores Viking archery, but his coverage of axes, daneaxes, throwing axes, spears, helmets, and naval combat were full of energy and information.
(History Channel, 2013)
This DVD gathers three separate short productions about Viking culture and history, each aimed at a generally younger audience. The first video, narrated by TV actor Richard Karn from "Home Improvements," aims the lowest, with a joking, flippant tone that I guess is meant to appeal to kids who the producers thought wouldn't pay attention unless you dumbed it down enough. I didn't care much for the presentation, but there's still good information presented, so I suppose it might be a good angle to reach some kids.
A lot of the same information is presented in the other two features - the second one is a pretty straightforward, Nova-esque documentary, with a general overview of the Viking role in Norse society and European history, with an emphasis on their organizational and technological skills. The third program is hosted by an ex-Marine who explores the Viking's military prowess, generally with an awestuck, gee-whiz, tough-guy tone. Again, not an approach that resonates with me, but I can see how the more macho-oriented viewers could get into it, and there was some good information here as well, though it also repeats a lot of the information in the other two programs. Overall, I'd say this is a good package, and a decent way to get a basic introduction to Viking history. The first show kind of talks down to kids, but the other two are pretty solid. Worth checking out. (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain childrens' media reviews)
Source: criticnic.com 21 April 2013
Disclosure: Film sent by Lionsgate
Hate to say it, but if this was given out as Free it would be too much cost. Absolutely worthless.