July 9, 2003

Blood of Beasts (2003)

(AKA Beauty and the Beast)

"Timeless tale of Beauty and the Beast set in the period of the Vikings. Freya (Jane March), a warrior and the beautiful daughter of a Viking king, is held prisoner on an island castle by a Beast (David Dukas) whom has been cursed by his god Odin."

So, it's the famous fairy tale set among Vikings with American accents. It's really like a South African version of "Xena" or "Hercules". Kids would probably enjoy this, unfortunately it's rated too high for them to see it. Actually who cares if kids see anything anyway? They should all be seen and not heard (and locked away until they are at least 23) in my opinion.

It's not scary, or gory, or particularly sexy in anything other than a PG rating way. The two girls, especially Ingrid (the blonde one), are quite attractive, but the leather bikini look is so last decade now. The camerawork is also a bit dodgy in places. For the most part, it all looks just like a typical "made for TV" movie.

Acting is non-existent with overblown testosterone fuelled aggression taking up the majority of air time. Lines are often delivered without contractions and with slight Yoda-isms to make it seem "old fashioned". Other lines such as "I shall not leave until the beast is dead!", "This is Odin's world not ours!", "I will marry the man who brings me the head of my father's killer!", and "Beware Odin's cursed beast!" are also typical. It's all pure cheesiness and reminded me a lot of "Trancers 4" but without the humour.

At one point, about 20 minutes in, I thought it was going to turn into a proper version of Beowulf with the Grendel monster and everything, but it just didn't happen.

The monster kidnaps brunette Freya's father so, of course, she being the "beauty" has to go off and save him because all the men in her village are now too scared of the "beast". Look, the blonde was the real beauty here not her! Who miscast this thing? Even Sven, her villainous would-be suitor, is better looking!

You can imagine the rest. It all turns into a sickly love story with the beast being all pitiful and a bit pervy while the princess is being all compassionate and wanting to help relieve him of his curse (which isn't really much more than a silly bear costume/bearskin rug!). Unfortunately, Freya (Jane March) can't save him or this film from being pretty diabolical though.

Eventually the Viking men grow their balls back and decide to attack the beast again, this time killing him... or so they think. The beast is so in love with Freya though that he comes back to life (because he's a "mythical beast"!!!) and it all goes into "King Kong" mode with slight overtones of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" (for those who are more well read).

Obviously being turned into a beast gives you bad eyesight and means that you can't see how much more attractive Ingrid (Candice Hillebrand) is.

And so it all ends in a duel between the beast and long-haired Sven. The "beast" turns out to be a cursed member of their own clan (hmmmm, so it's Scottish now?), wins the duel, turns human again and confesses his love to the brunette just before she dies... oh how sad... not!

This really is a waste of 90 minutes of your life. The only good thing about it is the DVD sleeve which looks a bit like "Lord of the Rings" for those who like to collect such things.

I don't think I've seen anything quite this bad since "Hearts and Armour" (from 1983). I bet you'll be Googling that one now! And, yes, I did only buy it because Tanya Roberts was in it!

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