|This article does not cite any references (sources). (June 2009)|
DVD cover of Minotaur
|Directed by||Jonathan English|
|Produced by||Jonathan English|
|Written by||Nick Green
|Music by||Martin Todsharow|
|Edited by||Eddie Hamilton|
|Distributed by||Lions Gate|
|March 11, 2006 (United States)
May 11, 2006 (Russia)
July 26, 2006 (Germany)
As a voice-over narrator recounts, long ago in the Minoan Bronze Age a shadow loomed over the lonely village of Thena. Every three years, eight village youths are stolen from their families to the capital of the Minos's Empire and placed in the underground labyrinth to be a sacrifice to the Minotaur, the Minoan god. Theo, haunted by the loss of his love, Fion, in an earlier sacrifice, is convinced by a leprous prophetess that the beast is not a deity and that his love still lives within the labyrinth. His father Cyrnan, the village leader, tries to reason with Theo not to go, intending to selfishly remove his son from the village as before in order to preserve his family's legacy as village chieftains. But Theo, intent on saving Fion, smuggles himself in between seven other youths to be sacrificial lambs in order to reach and kill the Minotaur.
Along with his fellow captives, Tyro (a young man hostile to Theo because of his "privilege" of exemption from the sacrifice), Danu (Theo's best friend), Morna (Danu's love interest), Didi (Tyro's love interest), Vena, Ziko and Nan, Theo is placed in the labyrinth by King Deucalion, where the youths are stalked and slaughtered one by one by the Minotaur. Nan is the first to be killed, when the Minotaur finds her almost immediately after she is dropped into the pit. The survivors attempt to regroup, only to meet Deucalion's sister and unwilling lover, Queen Raphaella, who offers them a way out. Vena does not believe her, and when she attempts to leave the group, is impaled through the mouth by one of the Minotaur's horns, while the rest flee. Raphaella eventually leads them to the center of the labyrinth, where the Minotaur sleeps surrounded by the bones of its victims, and where a single, heavy wooden door keeps the Minotaur from escaping the labyrinth. Raphaella had arranged for her servant Ramaya to open the door for them once they arrived, but Ramaya was caught unlocking the door by Deucalion, who quickly has her executed and the door locked once again. The survivors' frantic and loud efforts to break down the door attracts the Minotaur, which kills Ziko and splits up the group.
Theo, Danu, and Morna encounter Turag, a single youth from an earlier sacrifice who has managed to elude the Minotaur so far, but has become slightly insane over the years. From him, Theo supposedly learns of Fion's location from the map that Turag has drawn of the labyrinth, and goes off alone to find her. However, he eventually discovers her corpse, realizing that, although she had initially escaped the Minotaur's hunger as well, she ultimately died of poison gas. Meanwhile, Tyro and Didi eventually find one of the holes that they were dropped through, with the wooden bars sealing the top, and Tyro climbs up first. After reaching the bars and wrapping his arm around one, he reaches down to pull up Didi just as the Minotaur arrives. When Didi sees the beast below her, she panics, loses her grip, and falls onto one of its horns.
Theo's anger and determination to kill the beast is only increased when he hears the beast kill Danu, who sacrificed himself to save Morna. Raphaella finally finds Theo and reveals that it was her mother who gave herself to bestiality to create a living god, the Minotaur. As the Minotaur grew, so did its appetite, culminating in it murdering Deucalion's brother. Theo's village was blamed for the prince's death, resulting in the human sacrifices to appease the Minotaur while ensuring Minos' own survival. Theo also learns that Raphaella had assigned the leper to find someone in the village who was capable of killing the Minotaur, and thus the leper lied to Theo about Fion's survival in order to trick him into coming to the island.
Theo eventually discovers that the labyrinth is connected to an underground natural gas vent. When the Minotaur threatens to kill Theo, Tyro sacrifices himself as an act of redemption. Theo tempts the Minotaur into attacking him, and in the process the Minotaur breaks its left horn, but continues to charge after Theo. As Theo runs back towards the gas vent, he scratches the walls with Fion's iron amulet and generates a spark that ignites the whole labyrinth, and dives into a pond of water where Raphaella was waiting for him. They emerge from the water as the flames die out, but the beast is still alive and attempts to charge at them again. Theo takes the monster's broken horn from the rubble from where the vent was, and just as the beast attempts to kill him, stabs the Minotaur through the mouth; the monster continues charging until it hits a collapsed rock formation, which drives the horn through the Minotaur's head and finally kills it.
Theo and Raphaella collect their fellow survivors - Morna and Turag - and leave the collapsing labyrinth. Once out, they find Deucalion near death from the gas explosions, which have made the palace collapse as well, and Raphaella smothers him to death, ending the cycle of fanaticism. Morna, now revealed to be the narrator from the film's beginning, finishes the tale with how the Minos' empire faded with the death of the Minotaur, and how Theo himself became a legend for killing the monster.
- Tom Hardy ... Theo
- Michelle Van Der Water ... Queen Raphaella
- Tony Todd ... King Deucalion
- Lex Shrapnel ... Tyro
- Jonathan Readwin ... Danu
- Rutger Hauer ... Cyrnan
- Maimie McCoy ... Morna
- Lucy Brown ... Didi
- James Bradshaw ... Ziko
- Fiona Maclaine ... Vena
- Claire Murphy ... Nan
- Ingrid Pitt ... The Sybil
Deviations from Classical Greek mythology
There are several major changes that were made in this story as opposed to the original legend. In the myth, the king was Minos of Crete himself (Deucalion was Minos's second son), who had been married to the queen Pasiphaë who gave birth to the beast; this had been the consequence of a divine curse from Poseidon, while the gods play no part of import in the movie. Theo, the protagonist of the film and based on Theseus (a demi-god, rather than a humble shepherd), had no interest in killing the Minotaur at first. Furthermore, the name of king's sister in the film, is in fact Ariadne in the legend, and Deucalion does not show any signs of wanting sexual relations with her in the original text. The daughter also gives Theseus a golden string to help him navigate the maze, as well as a sword to kill the Minotaur. Finally, at the end of the story Theseus is given the hand of Minos' daughter as a sign of goodwill and thanks for killing the beast.
- List of historical drama films
- List of films based on Greco-Roman mythology
- Minoan civilization
- Bronze Age
- Greek mythology in popular culture