The Minotaur is one of history's most famous monsters. Birthed of legend in classical Greek mythology, the beast's most famous story is of his death in the labyrinth at the hand of Theseus, the god-founder of Athens. Beyond that, the Minotaur has appeared in numerous other mythologies and has popped up in fantasy writing the world over, from the backwards Minotaur of Dante to the Tauren of "World of Warcraft". Not to be left out, Hollywood has had it's own turn at interpreting the myth and displaying the mythological beast. Here are five minotaur movies.
A large number of films make use of the Minotaur, but a lot fewer actually focus on it. This 2006 horror film starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Van Der Water and Rutger Hauer pulled out the stops and decided to take on the Minotaur myth full-tilt, with a few minor changes in the story to make it the Hollywood horror film the producers dreamed of. Changing Theseus to Theo wasn't enough. The film has been mostly panned by critics and fantasy fans, thanks in no small part to the strange looking Minotaur the hero faces, but a quick pace, decent story and solid cast makes the film worth watching. Once.
"Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur" (1994)
Fantasy fans the world over fondly remember the long-running "Hercules: The Legendary Journey", but what isn't as well-known is the fact that the series began as a set of five made for TV movies, the fifth of which was "Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur". Although traditionally Hercules didn't fight the Minotaur but instead fought the Minotaur's daddy, the Cretan Bull, many people mistakenly attribute Theseus' deeds to Herc, and the showrunners capitalized on that. Serving primarily as a clip show for the four previous movies, a still-sexy Tawny Kitaen and the rollicking fun Kevin Sorbo always has on the show make it one fans shouldn't miss.
"The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete" (1960)
Filmed during the height of the Peplum craze, "The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete" is a classic Hollywood sand-and-sandals original. Films of this genre provide mostly well-toned man flesh in choreographed battle against either other well-toned man flesh or some strange beast. This film does exactly the same thing, thanks to the star's two-time Olympian physique and untrained actor earnest camp. Surprisingly, "The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete" is one of the only examples of the beast as a titular character during a time when Hollywood was obsessed with the mythology from where it came.
"Sinbad and the Minotaur" (2011)
If you want proof that the B-movie industry is showing no evidence of slowing down, you need look no further than this Australian Sinbad movie. In an industry where low scores by reviewers equal bigger bragging rights, this film's 3.4 on IMDB and 12% on Rotten Tomatoes certainly affords a lot of rights. The 2010s are looking to be the decade of mash-ups, and this Arabian/Greek stew does its best to carry on the tradition of playing loose with tradition in favor of flesh and fun. Most ended up thinking of this as a miss, but a small group of B-movie fans (and "
"Time Bandits" may not be a Minotaur movie in the strictest sense of the word, but there are two reasons why a film in which a Minotaur only briefly appears is the anchor to a list about Minotaur movies. First, the Minotaurs in this film are iconic to a generation of moviegoers that haven't had many of the man-bulls to appreciate. Secondly, "Time Bandits" is at its heart a Minotaur movie. Specifically, it is a story of the labyrinth and the evil the maze holds. This time, however, the labyrinth is time (until-SPOILER-at the end the labyrinth is a labyrinth) and the Minotaur is evil. Pure evil.