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Real Vikings Collection

3.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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(Mar 12, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

The Real Vikings Collection" DVD gives viewers a deeper look into this compelling piece of history and an opportunity to learn more about the incredible story of the Vikings. Includes three specials: Special #1 - "Foot Soldier: The Vikings" A look at the sea-going warriors who attacked Europe with savage fury and violence. These raiders and traders, explorers and settlers set sail from Denmark, Norway and Sweden during the Scandinavian expansion (800-1050 AD). Goes beyond the myths to find out if the Vikings really wore horned helmets and took drugs before going into battle. Richard Karn hosts. Special #2 - "The Vikings: Lost Worlds" The Vikings were fearsome warriors from Denmark and Norway who burst upon Western Europe, raiding and plundering at the end of the 8th century. They first targeted coastal monasteries, but later they constructed magnificent ships that could sail up rivers and sack inland towns. These raids resulted in the Viking invasion of Britain and Northern France. Many of the sites of the most crucial events in world history are now lost. Follow a team of historical detectives who use evidence from recent excavations, scientific studies and historical documents to see what these locations looked like. Computer graphics allow viewers to fly over, enter the streets and peer into these lost worlds. Special #3: "Viking Terror" Green Beret Terry Schappert reveals why the Vikings were called the "Hells Angels of the Middle Ages," He tests the weapons and tactics used to pillage Europe. The Vikings do meet their match--the Saxons--at the Battle of Maldon.]]0]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AY9V3A8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,229 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are three featurettes included on this DVD. The first one is just miserable (1 star). The next two are good (4 stars each). Thus, the 3 star rating.

The first 45 minute feature is "Food Soldiers: The Vikings". It was made in 1998, and the host is Richard Karn, who was from the TV show Home Improvement. The presentation is very basic, full of supposed jokes (which were never funny), used the same stock footage over and over again. The film made it very clear that Vikings never used horned helmets, but the stock footage and drawings they used to illustrate their points almost always had Vikings in horned helmets. The whole thing was treated as one big joke. If you buy the DVD, you can safely skip this one.

The second 45 minute feature is "The Vikings: Lost Worlds", where archaeologists and historians try to reconstruct some of the buildings, fortifications, ships, etc., of the Vikings based on discovered evidence. They traveled to several good museums and sites and gave a comprehensive overview of a lot of the Viking building materials, construction, and craftsmanship.

The third 45 minute feature is an episode of Warriors entitled "Viking Terror". The former Green Beret hosts the show, and he explored the different weapons and fighting techniques and strategy and tactics that the Vikings employed. He interviews some well-known and respected experts in the field, and gives it a go with using the weapons and tactics himself. Strangely, he completely ignores Viking archery, but his coverage of axes, daneaxes, throwing axes, spears, helmets, and naval combat were full of energy and information.
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Format: DVD
I read every article I can find on Viking culture, history and architecture, etc. I find the Viking time period and the Scandinavian people of that time simply a fascinating. I have actually been able to legally buy a few authentic Viking relics, so understand I'm trying to be fair in my rating of this DVD. I am afraid this review is going to sound like a rant and a Richard Karn bash - I don't mean it that way, but beware! I wanted to like it - I really did, but I just couldn't. It was the first segment that completely turned me off; it infuriated me. I know it shouldn't have but it did. In fact even though I watched it alone my face was burning. Less than five minutes into the first segment I was already regretting having bought this DVD. I was hoping for something truly documentary in nature. Instead, we get a buffoon for a narrator and a bunch of goofy sound effects and on top of that you see a bunch of idiots dressed up like "Vikings" in obnoxiously fake battle scenes. One reviewer hit the nail on the head, when he likened these particular Viking scenes to the Key Stone Kops (or Cops, as you prefer) dressed up like Vikings. Okay, I liked Richard Karn in "Home Improvement," but he was utterly terrible in the narration of the first segment. I got so sick of hearing his bad jokes, and the sound effects were annoying, tedious, and stupid. Concerning the first segment; OMG, it's horrible The other two segments are pretty good actually and you can learn something of the Vikings, their motivations and their conquests in those last two segments, nothing not previously in print or on another documentary but still good information and presented well.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
"Real Vikings Collection"
(History Channel, 2013)
3.5 stars

This DVD gathers three separate short productions about Viking culture and history, each aimed at a generally younger audience. The first video, narrated by TV actor Richard Karn from "Home Improvements," aims the lowest, with a joking, flippant tone that I guess is meant to appeal to kids who the producers thought wouldn't pay attention unless you dumbed it down enough. I didn't care much for the presentation, but there's still good information presented, so I suppose it might be a good angle to reach some kids.

A lot of the same information is presented in the other two features - the second one is a pretty straightforward, Nova-esque documentary, with a general overview of the Viking role in Norse society and European history, with an emphasis on their organizational and technological skills. The third program is hosted by an ex-Marine who explores the Viking's military prowess, generally with an awestuck, gee-whiz, tough-guy tone. Again, not an approach that resonates with me, but I can see how the more macho-oriented viewers could get into it, and there was some good information here as well, though it also repeats a lot of the information in the other two programs. Overall, I'd say this is a good package, and a decent way to get a basic introduction to Viking history. The first show kind of talks down to kids, but the other two are pretty solid. Worth checking out. (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain childrens' media reviews)
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Format: DVD
I think we can all agree: Vikings are cool. However, most people may not really know the truth behind the infamous warrior culture. For example, they didn't wear winged or horned helmets as we so often see in popular culture. This History Channel DVD special gives an in-depth look at the real Vikings and their history in three separate specials. Each one is aimed at uncovering the history, myths, tactics, and other facts about them. The parts include: Foot Soldiers: The Vikings, narrated by Richard Karn (of Home Improvement and Family Feud fame), The Vikings: Lost Worlds, and Viking Terror, which is narrated by Green Beret Terry Schappert. Each part is equally eye opening and interesting in uncovering the many skills, conquests, and lifestyle of the Vikings. The Foot Soldiers segment stood out to me the most, which is perhaps the most family-friendly of the bunch, with sometimes goofy animations and music tracks (even a Viking-theme rap!), but even so it provides excellent facts and information. I have always been interested in the Vikings, and this documentary did an excellent job of separating fact from fiction, and painting a pretty graphic picture of how these people lived (and fought).
Source: criticnic.com 21 April 2013
Disclosure: Film sent by Lionsgate
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