2008. Cert 15. 115mins. Dir: Howard McCain. Cast: Jim Caviezel, Ron Pearlman, John Hurt, Sophia Myles
I expect that at some point in your life you will have had one of those vintage hypothetical conversations about who would beat who in a fight. You know the sort of thing, James Bond v Jack Bauer, a lion v a gorilla, Ashley Cole v Dame Thora Hird, and so on. In Outlander Howard McCain has set out to answer one such question. His chosen battle? Who would win in a fight between some Vikings and an alien monster?
Kainan (Jim Caviezel aka Jesus from The Passion Of The Christ) crashes his spaceship into Norway circa 709 AD. A handy gadget blasts his brain full of the Old Norse language, he swears, vomits and before too long is captured by a posse of Vikings lead by Wulfric (Jack Huston). Cue monster.
Our monster is called a Moorwen and it managed to stow away on Kainan's ship and follow him to earth. On arrival it quickly sets about trying to kill everybody in sight and so two Viking tribes unite with their new space buddy to try and kill the beastie before it destroys everything.
Ron Pearlman, best known for his work on Hellboy, leads one of the tribes. So you've got Jesus, Hellboy and their Viking mates teaming up to fight a big cool monster. There's also John Hurt, lending a touch of gravitas to proceedings and cementing his reputation as the poor man's Sir Ian McKellan. So what's not to like?
Two things in particular. Firstly, the story and characters go way beyond cliché. You've got the wise old king, the rash young warrior, the feisty girl, the brave and noble hero with the tragic past and a drunk Scottish guy. Guess who gets the girl? Secondly, there's the monster itself. For some inexplicable reason the designers came up with the insane idea to light the thing up like a dodgy wedding disco. It's all flashing red and blue LEDs and neon green blood. Very strange.
If the thought of some Vikings fighting a monster from space fills you with child-like glee then this is the film for you. If not, it's probably best avoided.