Chances are, most who watch Pagan Warrior will turn their noses up at it for being an ultra thrifty production and essentially being a filmed LARP session, but the attempt is more than earnest: The photography and locations are sometimes stunningly beautiful, using a real castle setting and idyllic natural environments.
After a savage gang of warriors invade a castle, murdering all in sight, one surviving man calls upon Krampus, the Yule devil to come to exact revenge for his family.
A small Viking horde (okay, maybe like six dudes and a chick) raid the castle of the King of Sussex and force the King (Peter Cosgrove) and his family (but they don’t have an army, which is weird) out, but before the King can make much of an escape, the Viking leader (Carey Thring) and his horde catch up to them, slay the King’s family before his eyes, sparing only the King’s daughter with the promise to his face that he’ll rape her and make her his slave. The King is stabbed and left for dead, but a couple of witches find his body and revive him and nurse him back to health. When he comes to, the witches tell him that since it’s the eve of the Yule tide, they can summon the spirit of Krampus, who walks the earth just once a year, with the idea that the King can make a deal with the demon to wreak vengeance for him … for a price. The King, filled with rage, accepts the demon’s deal, not quite realizing the price he’ll have to pay when the demon’s work is done. Once Krampus gets to work, the bloodthirsty Vikings will have hell to pay, but the unstoppable demon is also totally uncontrollable, and the King of Sussex will lose more than he gains when the Yuletide is done.
Chances are, most who watch Pagan Warrior will turn their noses up at it for being an ultra thrifty production and essentially being a filmed LARP session, but the attempt is more than earnest: The photography and locations are sometimes stunningly beautiful, using a real castle setting and idyllic natural environments. The cast of a dozen or so tries hard, although the fight choreography leaves much to be desired. The Krampus make-up design isn’t spectacular, but it’s adequate, and some of the history and backstory of the film is murky, at best. When enterprising, hard working indie filmmakers attempt something as ambitious as Pagan Warrior and manage to achieve a semblance of an entertaining sword and sorcery adventure, you’ve just got to hand it to them. It’s not spectacular, but it was never meant to be. It’s an admirable piece of small-scale filmmaking. I dare anyone else with these resources to do any better. From directors Louisa Warren (who plays one of the witches in the movie) and Nick Minaj.
ITN’s recent DVD release of Pagan Warrior received a Walmart DVD release, but can also be purchased or streamed from Amazon. There’s a trailer on the disc.