Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Latest Dispatch from The Saga of the Viking Women

In 1957, Roger Corman had an extra few minutes and directed "The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent" on his way from the studio cafeteria to the john. And it's a gem. One of the best bad movies I have ever seen. Roger Corman is the master of filler. He had a slight script and padded it with "action" that does nothing to forward the story and there's lots of walking. Lots of walking. Without dialogue. I transcribed the film myself. The total numbers of pages... 28. The film is already only 65 minutes, made for the discerning drive-in double feature crowd. So, in order to do my own spin on padding, I mashed the story with a play informally called "Marat/Sade" about a play performed in an insane asylum under the direction of the Marquis de Sade. Swap out the Marquis, insert the serpent, which takes up less than a minute of screen time in the movie, and we got something cooking. I also know Nat, the title character, as an excellent comic song writer. So, another way to pad the show... ask Nat to write and perform a song as the sea serpent. This is the one totally original piece in the show, not taken from the play or from the film, and it's my favorite moment. The bad guys in the film revere the serpent as a god while the vikings regard him as a horrible sea monster. Sadly, he's just misunderstood.

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