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Film / Wrath Of Gods

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Opening narration: Eary july 2004. After 6 years in development Sturla Gunnarsson has arrived in Iceland to make an epic movie called Beowulf & Grendel, and on this beautiful summer day no one can see anything wrong with shooting this movie on top of a mountain facing the open Atlantic.

Wrath of Gods is a 2006 of Icelandic documentary by Jon Gustafsson that chronicles the troubled production of the 2005 film Beowulf & Grendel. Following several years of development Sturla Gunnarsson has finally financed his dream project: an epic adaptation of Beowulf to be shot in his homeland of Iceland after a career in Canada. However, as production draws near problems with said financing ends up postponing the filming causing it to eventually start filming in autumn as the weather is getting increasingly worse.

At the start of filming Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high-priest of the Icelandic Ásatrú Association, is hired to perform a pagan blessing on the film. Within minutes of the blessing Sturla Gunnarsson trips and hits his head on a rock. Not long after, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson also trips and fractured two rib bones. As filming starts, the cast and crew start to question what they actually might have called down upon the production...


Wrath of Gods provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All for Nothing: Long story short: After all the cast and crew went through, the film ends up a critical and financial failure.
  • Black Comedy: The film borders on [[Film/Anvil Anvil-esque]]. Sturla Gunnarsson's borderline demented optimism in the face of disasters which in other circumstances would be dramatic gives the film a comedic tone.
  • Drinking on Duty: The actors playing the horsemen show up on set drunk.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: At one point a chuckling Gerard Butler recounts Rory Mc Cann's statement that rather than blessing the production, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (head of the Icelandic Ásatrú Association) might have accidentally cursed the film.
  • Lemony Narrator: Jon Gustafsson's narration is very matter of fact, but there are several occasion were he makes very dry humorous remarks.
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  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Was the film cursed by the gods or was it simply shooting in Iceland during the autumn?
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Despite the horrible environmental conditions, Gerard Butler admits that Iceland reminds him so much of his native Scotland that he feels right at home.
  • Stealth Insult: Stellan Skarsgård pulls one on director Sturla Gunnarsson on camera saying that any normal person would not have filmed this.
  • Tempting Fate: At one point a crewman says that despite everything that has happened, at least the local volcano hasn't erupted. Gilligan Cut to an Icelandic news report the following day about the eruption of said volcano.
  • The Production Curse: Gerard Butler says so while laughing nervously.
  • The Pollyanna: Both Sturla Gunnarsson and Gerard Butler appears to be this. According to Ingvar Sigurdsson (Grendel) this is typical Icelandic behavior.
  • Trash the Set: Halfway through production a gale comes and thrashes the sets. Said gale also destroys 8 production cars and sends rocks flying toward one of the producers. Sturla Gunnarsson comments while laughing: Thor got drunk
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Asked by producer Paul Stephens at the end of the film, to which he flatly answers: No.