Guy poops (graphically) in bush, kills some chickens, burns a church and headbangs in the forest… ZOMG that is so Black Metal. Severed Ways is shit. It’s horrible, tacky, trashy, a cash-in and devoid of a sense of authentic history or culture.
Two Vikings who were part of a larger group have been left behind in North America. Here you have what could have been an interesting premise: how do these guys survive? If the makers of the film had bothered to research and tried to put some culture into their movie instead of attempting to make a “cult Black Metal” film, it could have been an interesting film, but it’s not. Essentially what you have is these two dicks walking around, shitting, killing animals, burning churches and fucking with Christians.
It’s far too great of a compliment to call this film a documentary styled journey. It’s low-budget, Z-grade handy-cam trash. It utilizes a “Black Metal” soundtrack to pimp itself, and if you’re expecting to hear a “True Norwegian Black Metal” soundtrack well bad luck, it’s 95% ambient.
If you’re planning on checking this out because it has been touted as a “Black Metal” film with a “Black Metal” soundtrack, then you’re going to love this. If you want to check this out because you realize it’s a cash-in modern day exploitation crap-fest then you won’t be disappointed because it is sheer garbage. I love “its so bad it’s good” movies but this is “so bad it’s… just shit”. I really want to smash the DVD and douse it in petrol and burn it.
I don’t hate it only because it has been touted as a BM film and fails to be, everything about it is just terrible. From the bad camera angles, migraine-inducing hand-held work, terrible casting of pimply/skinny dorks as Vikings, the shitty $2 shop looking costumes, the film is just a joke. Not to mention the dorky blonde/Michael Pitt looking guy moshing (axe in hand) in the middle of the forest, I mean what the hell? Did Leif Erikkson mosh in the woods?. This is worse than art school crap, it’s worse than what a stoner could come up with it’s retarded. They also throw fire at some dogs and really burn one, the butchered chicken killings, although pathetic, I can see why it was used but throwing fire at dogs is cruel.
There is no tension, no atmosphere, no character development and no rich tapestries in the settings or costumes. Valhalla Rising – although many felt let down by the lack of fighting- was so rich in its sets, costumes and atmosphere that the film was an authentic experience. Severed Ways is just second-rate fan-boy drama, I don’t see how on earth it got such a mainstream release, it seems like something a shitty indie label would put out. Give this one a miss and go purchase Valhalla Rising if you want a Viking movie and if you’re wanting a Black Metal movie go and buy The Misanthrope. Believe me, you‘ll thank me. You’re welcome.
Severed Ways is available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.