Sword and shield, a lust for life and death all contribute to create these 5 badass Viking movies to watch in the winter. Satisfy your own personal bloodlust without ending up on the local news for looting the neighbors' garages by utilizing the magic of cinema. Gird your loins, gird the cat, gird everything and then burn all your self-help books with the new homemade pyre you created in the backyard because you can now realize the Viking soul within, no chicken soup needed.

"Army of Valhalla". The mystical meets the tangible while intrigue insinuates itself throughout "Army of Valhalla" making it one of the most badass Viking movies to watch during the winter. With shadows that seem to stretch into your home from the television, this film exudes a love of the history and a lust for the telling of tales. The battles feel real both in the materials and the method while the madness of battle lust is rightly portrayed in bold. The evening assassination conveys the horror of the act while adding in so much creepiness in the aftermath that it won't just be the cold outside that's making you shiver. A tremendous film that needs to be seen even by those who are sissies about subtitles.

"The 13th Warrior". Hack and slash gets old without some reasoning and plot behind it. With a mystery to solve and cultural differences to overcome and eventually be cherished, "The 13th Warrior" offers up a story that is equal parts horror and mystery but doesn't spare the swordplay. The gloom and doom weigh heavy in the environment and adds to the dramatic effects of the story as it plays games with your senses and emotions equally. Hopelessness gets rallied against as sharpened metal goes up against a possibly supernatural threat creating a Viking movie to watch while the snow falls that is all about being badass. Raise your snow shovels and jackets to the sky as you rage against the dying of the summer heat with this film.

"Valhalla Rising". Gladiator style battles kick off "Valhalla Rising" as you quickly realize that without cable or the net, people might just start their own traveling death matches. Capturing the capriciousness and power that nature had upon the explorer in the past, apathy mixes with survival instincts and you're deftly transported into a world where you're not in control. Grittiness, sacrifice and personalities that aren't cheap copies give this Viking film a bloodthirsty checkmark under movies to check out during the winter. With an ending that belies the traditional "lone warrior conqueors all" this film doesn't short change itself or the audience.

"Erik the Viking". Monty Python tackles the Viking age with hefty amounts of bizarreness and laughter. "Erik the Viking" intersperses serious moments with goofy ones and comes up with an amusing movie that at times feels disjointed and even slow. Though the humor doesn't always win out, this Viking movie has enough crazy, frenetic scenes to be considered badass and worthy of watching during the frigid months that keep you at home, far from your own explorations.  If you can make it through the pacing of this film, you'll find the gems that are filled with love for the Viking mythos and sometimes that can be enough.

"Pathfinder". Two cultures slam together leaving an orphan in its aftermath in order to let the strongest survive. Although it's a bit heavy handed in the semi-classic niche theme of "Caucasian saves indigenous culture" there are buckets of action to keep your eyes glued to the screen and your sword arm free just in case the hordes come through your patio door.  The perspective given of the Vikings as huge, marauding monsters helps heighten the terror and serves as an interesting view of what they might have looked like through the eyes of their targets. There are times where you need to just sit back and enjoy a good hack and slash film that doesn't try to shove any morality or philosophy down your throat and "Pathfinder" provides that for quick and easy consumption—like a microwaveable burrito from a convenience store at 3 a.m.