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Vikings Go Severed Ways, Obscenely

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Severed Ways
Directed by Tony Stone
Magnet Releasing
Opens March 13, Angelika

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Should someone have stopped Tony Stone before he spent months in the Vermont wilderness resurrecting the age of Leif Ericson with a couple of helmets and a moody MP3 player? Does a Viking shit in the woods? The answer to both questions is (a graphically depicted) yes, but, still, a "gritty debut feature" about two Norsemen lost in Greenland doesn't come along every day. We catch up with Orn and Volnard, the last survivors of their expedition, as they press inland, encountering stranded monks, hot natives, and fresh fish. Shot in dizzy-making handheld HD by sylvan light, and slangily subtitled, the film is a kind of earnest stunt, like the soundtrack's niche-courting black-metal bliss-outs. But the spectacle of two dudes mucking about in the primal forest becomes tedious as Stone embraces a '70s dippiness that evokes the worst of The Hired Hand, leans hard on Brian Eno, and indulges in retro-sounding waterlogged audio. Sure, it's awesome when Orn matter-of-factly brains the conversion-minded monk whom Volnard has befriended. But when wandering Orn—played, by the way, by Stone himself—is slipped a berry roofie by a babelicious Greenlander and ridden to Thorgasm, the whole endeavor officially becomes obscene.

 
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