1/25/15

BERSERKER (1987)

Written by: Tim Nordstedt.

I always enjoy the trips to the great time of moviemaking when there was a story, a brain and a heart connected to the works and not just alot of cgi effects and idiocy that dominates the screen nowadays. Here we have an oldie that seems to be forgotten and condemned to oblivion since it got trashed by the people that picked it up during the golden era of horror movies, namely the eighties. I wanted to see this one since I was fourteen and vikings, horror movies and second wave black metal was the only thing that surrounded my otherwise so vaacumspaced head.



Berserker was not the easiest movie to get my hands on at that time and except for a couple of bootlegs it´s still pretty difficult to attain nowadays,  but as my mind got filled to the brim with other subjects this movie had to wait for a couple of years before my braincells started to activate and dig deep in the mnemonic apparatus triggered by the tones of early Arkona.

Berserker doesn´t start off in the general way when it comes to eighties slashers, everything begins with a view of the worst vikingship ever handcrafted on video and then a confusing deathscene, i´m not sure if anyone died but i think someone was suppose to fall off the lifewagon in that scene, then some clips of a bear than may or may not be the killer in this movie.

A couple of minutes in and the clichés are litterary thrown in to the scripts, it´s completely copied from any seventies to eighties slasher that has a story about collegekids or young adults that takes a trip to the woods and gets offed by a random killer with a special evil villain image, so a roadtrip, beers, campfire with a  bad horrorstory about the berzerker vikings that is not completely accurate and the usual finish with an attempt to scare.

Both the boring adventures of the youngsters and the conversations between the sheriff and Pappy who owns the camping place takes up alot of screentime and for a while I almost forgot that this was suppose to be a horrormovie. When the first attack-scene with a victim comes to the screen it just looks awful, it really looks someone is petting the actors with a badly made bearcostume and smearing them with fakeblod and hardly anyone have the decency to stay dead for some reason.

It`s really not much that takes place in this movie, it was a rather uneventful movie that had it´s multiple flaws thickened rather than the plot.

Berserker is impressively covered with watered down clichés, unintentional dorkyness and some intentional goofyness that doesn´t match nor makes it shine and as the most slashers you don´t really get to know the campers nor did I care when and how they died although the answer became too late and too boring.

Now it's not all whails and complains when it comes to this movie, Berserker have the charming eighties feeling and in many cases that saves those horrible classics with a couple of inches at least, and George "Buck" Flowers always brought a delightful presence with him even if both role and movie had a substandard level as he did with his role Pappy the German landowner and caretaker in this one.

There are alot worse movies that got spat out from this time but the most of them had a faster tempo and a whole bunch of gore, now I´m not saying that gore makes a movie to become better but in some cases it´s a fact.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.


Directed by: Jefferson Richard
Written by: Jefferson Richard, Joseph Kaufman and Henning Schellerup.
Produced by: Robert A. Foti, Jules Rivera, Robert Seibert and Jim Brown.
Cinematography by: Henning Schellerup
Editing by: Marcus Manton
Special Effects by: ?
Music by: Chuck Francour and Gary Griffin.
Cast: Joseph Alan Johnson, Greg Dawson, Valerie Sheldon, Shannon Engemann,
Beth Toussaint, Rodney Montague, Oscar Rowland, Beverly Rowland, Mike Riley,
John F. Goff, George 'Buck' Flower.

Year: 1987
Country: USA
Language: English 
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 25min

Distributor: Moon Stone.

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