Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekend Matinee

Hammer of the Gods, despite sharing a title with a Led Zeppelin band biography, does not have a single Led Zeppelin song in it--not even "Immigrant Song." Actually, the Doors might have been more appropriate, as Hammer of the Gods is essentially Viking Apocalypse Now. That's a bit of a spoiler, I suppose, but one that will hopefully make you more likely to check out the film.

It's 871 CE and the Vikings trying to conquer lands in the British Isles have hit a setback with their king mortally wounded. He sends one of his sons Steinar on a quest to seek his exiled older brother Hakan and return with a suitable king for their people. The journey will take him across hostile Saxon territory through the deaths of friends and allies and straight into (heh) the heart of darkness.

The film might could have used some of the more artsy direction of Nicholas Refn's Valhalla Rising--then again, maybe its more straightforward action flick first half makes where it's going more of a pleasant surprise.

Bounty Killer isn't as heavy. In a post-apocalyptic future, bounty killers deliver grim (if it wasn't so humorous) justice to the white collar war criminals that brought the world to its current state. Few bounty killers are more successful than the enigmatic Drifter and celebrated Mary Death.  A conspiracy puts the two at odds and leads to a chase across the devastated wastes to confront the secretive rulers, the Council of Nine. 

Bounty Killer plays out like Cowboy Bebop crossed with Mad Max--with a dose of 80s British comic book gallows humor. For what must be a fairly low budget film, it's got good action sequences and a chase scene out of the Road Warrior. Plus, they had to pay Gary Busey's no-doubt exorbitant fee for his small roll.

It also introduces the concept of the "gun caddy"--a henchman for our time (well, the post-apocalyptic future). Barak Hardley steals the show as the would-be best gun caddy in the world, unobtrusively slipping magazines into empty guns or producing new weapons when needed from a dufflebag.

Of course, there's also Christian Pitre as Mary Death to like about the movie: 

9 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

A gun caddy, I like the sound of that. I think one or more of these are on Netflix, have to cue them.

Trey said...

Yeah, Boris could probably use a gun caddy.

Mystic Scholar said...

Hmm. I found Hammer of the Gods . . . disappointing.

Trey said...

I knew nothing about it going in, so I really didn't have any expectations to disappoint.

Francis Lee said...

I like the look and sound of Bounty Hunter!

bliss_infinte said...

Cool, I'll be adding Bounty Killer to my watch list. I love me some post-apocalyptic tales!

Booberry said...

I love the commenters under the Hammer of the Gods trailer, griping about the time they spent illegally downloading it only to be disappointed by the storyline.

Both look like a dumb/fun time. Thanks for the heads up.

garrisonjames said...

Saw Machete Kills and laughed all the way through it--great fun stuff. Both of these sound like they might be a good choice for chilling out on a snowy weekend...which we're on the verge of getting.

Tim Ballew said...

Bounty Killer looks insane and Mary Death looks irresistible. Hopefully it's streaming on Netflix... thanks for the tip!