Sinbad and the Minotaur DVD

Sunday, 06 February 2011 13:58

This bold new take on the legend of Sinbad stars Manu Bennett of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and “30 Days of Night” fame. Sinbad and his merry band of ruffians track down the chronicles of pirate Captain Minos, an ancient parchment detailing the location of the golden head of the Colossus of Rhodes. Hot on their tails is evil sorcerer Al-Jibar (Steven Grives – Beastmaster, “Highlander II: The Quickening”).

Sinbad steals the map from Al-Jibar and rescues a buxom princess called Tara (Holly Brisley – Home and Away, “Scooby-Doo”). Together with Sinbad’s crew they must locate Minos’ trap-ridden labyrinth on a secluded tropical island, defeat the terrifying minotaur that lurks within and outwit Al-Jibar and his malevolent henchmen. The rewards are great, but the risks are greater. To give you an idea of the tone and production values of this movie, imagine a feature-length episode of Xena: Warrior Princess or Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, with a marginally higher budget and slightly bloodier action that a ‘12’ certificate affords.

Sinbad and the Minotaur comes to DVDLike those classic TV shows, “Sinbad” has a very energetic, playful and adventurous heart that in part makes up for its limited resources. Manu Bennett is well cast in the title role, and presumably had little to do to make the jump from Spartacus’s Crixus to Sinbad. They share the same cocky swagger, bulging muscles and fearless glint in their eyes, though Sinbad naturally has a less colourful vocabulary and refrains from walking around completely naked! Tara is similar to the female companions of Indiana Jones, and proves quite capable of using her feminine wiles to diplomatically bend people’s wills instead of relying on the brute strength approach favoured by Sinbad.


The forces of evil are equally compelling, though one wishes that Al-Jibar was slightly more menacing and a little less like a pantomime villain. He possesses some impressive magical powers such as telekinesis and mind control, but it is his right-hand man Seif who steals his thunder. Jared Robinson (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyager of the Dawn Treader”, K9) is superb in this ghoulish role. Seif’s nickname is “The Undying”, and with good reason as he receives countless mortal wounds but is able to regenerate by feasting on the flesh of fallen comrades.


The titular minotaur appears to be crafted entirely in CGI, and thankfully the effect is quite impressive. Rather than a half-man, half-bull hybrid, this minotaur is instead a hulking, dragon-like bull that shakes the very foundations of the labyrinth whenever it is stirred from its slumber. Possessing fierce red eyes and cloaked in a slight shimmer, this heavily armoured monstrosity is far more than a flash in the pan, though the slightly erratic direction sometimes fails to fully convey the interaction between it and the actors.

Director Karl Zwicky (Farscape, K9) obviously prefers to keep the action moving briskly along, though his quick cuts and scene changes sometimes leave one a little disoriented.

All-told, this is a fun addition to the mythology of Sinbad. In comparison to classics like “Jason and the Argonauts” it struggles to match their scope and epic feel, but as an entertaining way to spend a Sunday afternoon it hits the spot quite nicely.

The only extra on the disc is a trailer which reveals a little too much. If you buy or rent this film, I recommend you stay away from the promo until after you have seen the movie itself!

“Sinbad and the Minotaur” (2010) is out now, courtesy of Chelsea Films. The main feature has a running time of 90 minutes approx, carries a ‘12’ certificate and the DVD retails for £12.99, or less from

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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