Not without precedent (see John Christopher's famous Centurians of Rome for example), "Spartacus" from Hungary and boy/boy specialist Csaba Borbely is an extremely well-crafted film (shot on video) telling a version of the historical story as a basis for vivid homosexual-sex. It's unfortunately mechanical, more of a museum piece to admire than an exciting (or arousing) work.
Part of the problem is language: Borbely does something that surprised me, almost the exact opposite of the way Fellini made his movies. The great maestro used to have his cast not worry about the enunciation of the dialog, since everything (as in some modern films too, like Lucas's original "Star Wars") was to be recorded later and post-synced. So his actors could even recite the alphabet and that was okay.
Borbely uses a different, but equally screwy, approach. The actors (all chosen as great physical specimens and great humpers) speak in whatever language they take as a first tongue, some in English, many in Italian and others in German or Hungarian, all subtitled in English here. Their acting is merely posing, unemotional and uninvolving.
Another drawback is that there is no physical action, no gladiator fights, talk of but no actual rebellion -everything that would be in a mainstream Action film is left off-screen (including the sound of the Colosseum crowd cheering, but no crowd ever shown). The closest to representing physical activity is an occasional shot of guys practicing their sword-fighting skills.
All of the scenes take place in the dungeon area where these Slaves are kept, and they while away their captivity by humping each other. Csaba's favorite motif is big (and many are huge) erect dicks sticking out between the cell bars, and even sex executed through the bars. Cell locks open magically to create threesomes or group sex on cue, and unfortunately despite all its historical trappings and dialog what we get is perilously close to an all-sex movie.
Oddest element is that the cast's footwear is wildly anachronistic (everything else seems just right). Their sandals have composite (or rubber) soles that are so glaringly modern in design of treads that I couldn't understand why this was done.
Cast is carefully identified with their character names in the end credits, but only two stood out (literally): the guys with the biggest dicks, as such a pecking order (pun intended) seems inevitable in porn. Evan Rochelle is amazing in this regard, and another actor with a dual career (not just boy/boy but boy/girl assignments) is the appearance of Dick James in vaguely the Woody Strode role. The actor has a BBC that goes over well in an orgy scene, in which he can't resist (in direct sound recording) doing all that Chatsworth porn-speak in English. I had previously seen James in some quality Mainstream porn: Nica Noelle's Cougar Club and David Aaron Clark's Asia Noir 6, so it was interesting to see him in such a different context.
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