Porn Parody Theater: The 300

The 300 box

Ever wonder what happened after the events of Zack Snyder's 2006 mega-hit 300?

Well, I guess we know what happened after the events of that movie because the titular 300 all died. That's not a spoiler. That's history. 300, that ultimate slice of beefcake, told an ultra-stylized and not really historically accurate version of The Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) wherein the Spartan army of only 300 men managed to hold off a Persian invasion of thousands for several days before succumbing. In the movie version, Spartan king Leonidas was played by Gerard Butler as a screaming, pep-talking frathouse leader, and his Spartans were cape-wearing hoo-rah Marines with the most chiseled abs this side of gay porn.

300 Brazilian boxThe porn parody of 300, merely entitled The 300 (released by Caballero, and directed by J. Gaspar), is surprisingly not gay porn, and doesn't focus on the men so much as some newly-invented women who may have been present at the Battle of Thermopylae. In 300, the Persian king Xerxes was envisioned as a bald, nine-foot tall giant, encrusted with chains and piercings, and sporting no small amount of mascara. In The 300, Xerxes is still bald, still tall, still encrusted with chains and piercings, but is now played by a fierce actress named Morgana Dark, who additionally sports a set of wicked head tattoos and a pair of white contact lenses.

In this version of things, the 300 Spartans were not all slaughtered, but merely captured to be the sexual playthings of Queen Xerxes (natch), although there only seemed to be about 11 men on screen at any given time; any of you hoping for a 300-man gang-bang will be sorely disappointed. But it seems to me like 11 men would be plenty for any casual consumer of pornography. Despite the chains and piercings, and its whiff of fetishism lingering from the original, The 300 is surprisingly straightforward; it doesn't linger on its own more fetishistic aspects, and doesn't make much of the chains other than to show someone having sex in them.

300 boxThe story segments that interlink the sex scenes are maddeningly brief, vague, and – dig this – in Portuguese. Yes, The 300 is in fact a Brazilian film that was ported over to the U.S. wholesale by Caballero pictures without the benefit of dubbing or subtitles. They did think to add a spoken prologue and a closing piece of narration – á la the original – but the scenes themselves have no such explanation. I'm kind of extrapolating the story here.

A few notable details: Queen Xerxes tools around with a real barn owl. This is the first time I've even seen a live owl in an adult film. It's only on screen for a few moments, but it was pleasantly evocative, reminding me of Bubo from Clash of the Titans. The 300 Spartans were conveniently numbered in this version, carrying shields with their corresponding Roman numerals on them. Leonidas (in a flashback) carries shield number CCC. It makes me wonder who carried shield number XXX. The score in The 300 seems like stock music that has been re-used in porn films for decades; it sounds like the theme song to the “Pole Position” cartoon from 1984. Write your own Pole Position joke in the comments section below.

So as far as I can tell, The 300 only repurposed the events of the original film to add a few females, and to include an orgy before the ultimate execution. Indeed, apart from the gender-flip of Xerxes, this film could exist in the same continuity as 300. Perhaps this can be seen as the stop-gap in between 300 and Rise of an Empire. For my money, it's the best in the series.  

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Witney Seibold is the head film critic for Nerdist, and a contributor on the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can read his weekly articles Trolling, and The Series Project, and follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.