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Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Chris Mayo   
Sunday, 23 August 2009

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Directed by: Tony Stone
Written by: Tony Stone
Produced by: Tony Stone, Clare Amory
Cinematography by: Nathan Corbin, Damien Paris
Special Effects: Mark Bero
Editing by: Tony Stone
Music by: Burzum, Morbid Angel, Judas Priest, Dimmu Borgir
Cast: Tony Stone, Fiore Tedesco, David Perry, Gaby Hoffmann, Noelle Bailey, James Fuentes
Year: 2007
Country: USA
Language: Norse (English subtitles)
Color: Color
Runtime: 109 Minutes

Video: NTSC R1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio: Old Norse Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0
Official Website:

Shitting in the woods, the beheading of a chicken and the neck snapping of another, captured in grisly detail, all occur in Severed Ways.  No, this isn’t an Otto Mühl performance art piece, but rather an attempt at an ultra-realistic journey back to Vinland (currently present-day Newfoundland, my lace of birth).  So do such situations enhance the plot?  Have the filmmakers successfully executed their primitive exposé?  Let’s follow the story onward.

Set in the year 1007 CE (or AD for you Christ thumpers out there), Severed Ways begins following a battle between the Vikings and Skrælingar (ancestors of modern Inuit).  Stranded and presumed dead on the shores of Vinland by their Viking clan, Orn (played by director/writer Tony Stone) and Volnard (Fiore Tedesco) make their way inland to high ground with the hope of spotting a ship to go home.

Throughout their wilderness adventure the lone Vikings use their ingenuity, and primal barbarism to defeat the elements of nature as well as their run-ins with the Skrælingar and Christian Monks who encompass the landscape.

After the duo crosses the paths of a couple Christian Monks who have built a makeshift chapel in the forests, Orn immediately murders one, whilst Voland spares the other.  Following a meal of freshly culled chickens (the slayings distastefully captured before the viewers very eyes), the duo burn down the chapel and party into the night.  Flames engulf the sky as “Entrance” by Norway’s Dimmu Borgir, effectively embellishes the scene.

After some self reflection, Volnard abandons his vicious comrade, and buddies up with the spared Monk.  Here he learns about Christianity and more importantly about himself and his hostile ways.  Thus continues our journey with two lone Vikings and their path into self evolution and survival.

It goes without saying that director and star Tony Stone is passionate about Viking history – Viking history and metal music.  It seems that the two go hand in hand quite nicely.  However, much of the film comes across as a little pretentious, due to the way Stone juxtaposes history with modern culture.  I’m on both sides of the fence.  In Severed Ways the characters talk to one another similarly to how people speak today.  In one scene when the two Vikings devour some freshly caught salmon, they proclaim how “killer” the fish is.  This does come off with a hint of pretension, but the semblance of modern-style dialog spoken in authentic Norse somehow works well.  Oh, did I mention there’s also a scene where the director showcases what seems to be his wet dream fantasy come true?  However unlikely, his character Orn is drugged, captured and raped by a native woman in the forest, so that the director may get his fantasy fulfilled while spinning a sympathetic angle on the Viking.

Severed Ways is a couple of metalheads taking off into the woods playing Vikings.  Some of the film’s “authenticity”, particularly that of the on-screen defecation and animal killings could have been avoided while still producing the same realistic achievement.  Severed Ways won’t be for everyone, but it is an entertaining exploration into how Viking’s might have been with some head banging and black metal thrown in for good measure.

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- Severed Scenes
- Scenic Ambience
- Slow Burn
- Back Home: L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland
Severed Ways Trailers

Severed Ways comes stranded on DVD via Magnolia Pictures and Magnet Releasing in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio.  The film is shot on video and shows.  This however doesn’t necessarily deter from the film, but rather enhances the gritty realism the filmmakers were attempting.  The audio is Old Norse in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, but the film doesn’t really exploit the 5.1 format.  Much of the sound comes from the front channels.  The Special Features here are a bunch of scenic footage, the highlight being L'Anse aux Meadows footage, which is an actual 11th-century Viking settlement in Newfoundland.  Other than that we get two trailers for Severed Ways and for the following Magnolia releases: Mutant Chronicles, Big Man Japan, Surveillance and a tv spot for HDNet.  It would have been nice to see at least an interview with Tony Stone, but alas this is all we get.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0 (Old Norse) 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
DVD: Magnet Releasing, Magnolia 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1/2 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema
MOVIE: "Severed Ways" 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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