"Being nice to each other is what it's all about."
- the people of Hy Brasil
New York Times - 10/28/1989
"...[ERIK THE VIKING] has much of the invgorating upside-down Python sensibility....Robbins more than holds his comic own..."
Total Film - 12/01/2006 3 stars out of 5 -- "Tim Robbins as Erik practically squirms with glee in his quest to reach Asgard and return sunlight to his stricken, squinting townsfolk, while a smattering of the usual suspects lend proceedings an alluring cosiness."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/2006
"Tim Robbins is engaging as the ingenuous young here Erik, and some of the supporting cast give entertaining, pantomime-style performances."
Tim Robbins stars as Erik the Viking, a thoughtful man in a violent time who does not enjoy killing and raping like the rest of his people. When he accidentally kills a woman while defending her, he reevaluates his life and goes off in search of the Horn Resounding, which has the power to bring him to his true home--and end the Age of Ragnarok, bringing peace to the kingdom. To get there he has to lead a pathetic group of seasick sailors through the Gates of the World and into sunlight, on their way to Valhalla. But all threatens to come undone when the local blacksmith plots to sabotage the journey to protect his lucrative weapons business. The film includes wonderfully unexpected turns from Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt and an especially funny performance by John Cleese as a torturing warlord who enjoys having men killed in myriad creative ways. The film is more similar in tone to Terry Gilliam's JABBERWOCKY than to any of the Monty Python farces.
Erik, a fine specimen of Viking-hood, one day questions the ethics of his livelihood-- daily raping and pillaging--and sets out on a journey in search of enlightenment and the Gods of Valhalla. His men become adept at creating chaos on this wacky adventure.
Filmed at Mediterranean Film Studios, Malta; Lee International Studios, Shepperton, England; and on location in Tromso, Norway.
Director Terry Jones was interested in offering the story to Jim Henson; the connection led to Jones writing the screenplay for Henson's LABYRINTH.
The final credit reads "[Thanks] lastly to Bill Jones, without whom this story would never have been told." Bill is Terry's son, born in 1976.
Terry Jones lists among his film heroes Buster Keaton and Preston Sturges; he also cites Woody Allen and Danny Kaye as influences.