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Severed Ways

2.9 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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(Jul 28, 2009)
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The Norse Discovery of America
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Please note: This film is spoken in Old Norse with English subtitles.
$9.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

In the 11th century, Vikings, Native Americans, and Irish monks collide on the shores of North America in a historical epic adventure of exploration, personal glory, and religious dominance. Abandoned by a Western exploration party and stranded in the New World, two lone Vikings struggle for survival while still in the grip of their Norse ways. eaturing an icy black metal soundtrack including Burzum, Morbid Angel, Judas Priest and Dimmu Borgir.

Special Features

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Scenic Ambient Video

Product Details

  • Actors: Gaby Hoffman
  • Directors: Tony Stone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0023BZ64Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,304 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Severed Ways" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roland E. Zwick on August 15, 2009
Format: DVD
***1/2

As I was saying just the other day, you simply don't see enough good, old-fashioned Viking dramas these days, do you? Then, lo and behold, what should appear but "Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America" to help fill the void and make us all wiser as to just how brutal and savage life could be at the turn of the last millennium (the movie is set in 1007 A.D.). However, let it be noted for the action fans in the audience that "Severed Ways" is, if anything, an "art" Nordic drama, a documentary-style, largely wordless cross between "Quest for Fire" and "The New World" - with even a bit of "The Blair Witch Project" thrown in for good measure (the palsied camerawork is what reminds us most of that film).

Orn and Volnard (don't ask me which is which) are two young Norsemen who have embarked on an expedition to North America with other members of their tribe. When their compatriots are killed in a battle with some natives called Skraelings, the two strapping lads flee to the forest where they hide out, search for food, build a makeshift shelter and fight off packs of ravenous animals. They also encounter a couple of Christian monks and more of those dreaded Skraelings. Heck, there's even a doe-eyed squaw named Abenaki who drugs and kidnaps one of the boys and makes passionate love to him in her thatched wigwam.

I must admit I kind of admire the sheer lunacy of producer/writer/director/editor Tony Stone's vision (he also plays Ork, which makes him pretty much a one-man show on this film).
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Format: DVD
The spoken soundtrack of this movie is in Swedish, not Old Norse. It is recycled from Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" and has nothing to do with the subtitles. This is why it does not sync up. Adds some atmosphere and rather amusing if you do understand Swedish.
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Format: DVD
"Severed Ways"
Directed by Tony Stone
(Magnolia Films, 2009)
----------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Spoilers below
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It is amazing to realize that Viking explorers came to North America over a thousand years ago -- fully five hundred years before the Spanish, French and British colonized the continent. This film is set in the era of the Viking expansion, in the year 1007, when a Viking landing party near Newfoundland falls afoul of a band of "skraelings" (Indians), and leaves two men behind when the skraelings attack. The two castaways pull themselves together and decide to hike cross-country to seek the Viking settlement of Vinland; along the way they confront two aspects of the new, future world -- the unknown frontier and a new religion, Christianity, which (in this script, at least) now challenges the "old ways" of the Norse gods of Odin, Thor, et. al.

The movie is an ode to the mythologized Viking spirit which has been seized on by some metalheads as an emblem for their music, but even with this seemingly blunt premise, the film has a surprisingly meditative feel. Although some of the hand-held effects are trying, overall the cinematography is sweeping, evocative and expressive -- the scenes of nature and the endless woods of the Eastern seaboard are continually arresting, and the illusion of these two men being stranded in the 11th Century wilderness is convincing. There is very little dialogue (and all of it is dubbed into Nordic dialect) with most of the story being told visually, with surprising effectiveness.
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Format: Amazon Video
I love watching films that have some historical reference or fact. Even if they're brutal and bloody. I was really looking forward to watching this film. After all I hail from these barbarians. I can normally get through any film. Despite how slow and awkward it goes. The camera work in the beginning, although i can appreciate creativity. I do not appreciate severe repetition ..ok we see the stones moving, next.

Then came the slang. "we're toast if we stay here" ..I had to go read the title again 'The Norse Discovery of America'. ok it's not a comedy..lets stick w/ the reality.

Then there came the s*** in the woods. No literally, s***ting in the woods. That ws as far as I could go. I understand the desire to offend and shock the audience. I understand wanting to express your creative flow because you can. But there has to be some moral compass in which you guide yourself. Yes we get it, we've all s*** in the woods or our ancestor has. There's no reason we need to see it. I simply took it as a sign that it represents what the feeling of the maker of this film thought of his work and I stopped watching.

I'm sure even mentioning it is giving people the desire to see it. But maturity is as maturity does.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
According to the Vineland Saga the Norse in North America encountered some indians and traded but there was a fatal incident that turned them hostile so the Norse had to make a quick exit. Two Norse men sent out on a scout and recon were left behind and presumed dead.

Presumably because these men were never heard of again, this film picks up on what may have happened to them. Realizing their predicament they decide to migrate north paralleling the coast through the woods in hopes of reaching a large Norse settlement or depot. So this movie is about their jpurney and ultimate fates.

There are several things well done and several that are not -- very sharp contrasts. The cinematography is very nice most of the time, except at the beginning and at other moments, conveying the beauty yet danger of being lost in the wilderness. There is very little dialogue which will frustrate most yet it is accurate for that time period, and as many have pointed out the subtitle translation of whatever language they are speaking (debatable according to linguistic affectionados) can be silly. The director has also chosen to use various rock music sets as the soundtrack some of which are ethereal and appropriate and some outlandish.

What I liked most about it is the portrayal of two confirmed pagans and how they would realistically react to their circumstances; resolute, inflexible and unable to adapt which causes them problems. The two indian characters are well played although we once again see these Hollywood stereotypes again like over the past 30 years of stupid bumbling white people and wise, got-it-together natives.
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