|Released||Jan 25th, 2012|
|Running Time||200 Min.|
|Distribution Company||Adam & Eve Pictures|
|DVD Extras||Dolby Digital, Interviews, Still Gallery(ies), Trailer(s), Widescreen|
|Cast||Marco Banderas, Brea Bennett, Jennifer Dark, Amber Rayne, Cassidey, Alexis Love, Renee Perez, Veronica Jett, Maya Gates, Nikki Kane, Reno, Charles Dera, Jana Jordan, Tristan Kingsley|
Watching a mainstream epic from the '50s or '60s, the viewer's initial reaction is, "They don't make 'em like that any more." In the case of The Four, they never made 'em like this—and considering the trouble the production had getting from the soundstage to the home video player, they may never make one like this again.
The titular Four (Brea Bennett, Renee Perez, Nikki Kane, Cassidey) are women of Sparta avenging the death of their king after the battle of Thermopylae familiar from the mainstream film 300. Queen Gorgo (Brea Bennett), mourning her husband King Leonidas (Charles Dera), flashes back to better, horizontal times with him before bargaining with a shaman for the powers of a warrior for all four—a service for which the shaman takes a comely blonde servant as payment.
The sex scenes waver between stylized and realistic, with soft focus giving way to tight close-ups and contemporary-sounding groans and squeals. Sometimes the scenes are back-to-back, like when three harem girls take each other on as a prologue to Alexis Love's set-to with Xerxes—Marco Banderas, a sash tied around his hips hiding his contemporary tattoo.
Interspersed with the sex scenes are sequences of dramatic exposition, including Brea Bennett vowing her revenge and imagining how sweet victory will taste, and Xerxes defiling his high priestess to punish her for failing to stop the Four.
As the Four get ready to attack Xerxes, the Queen leaves Plataea (Nikki Kane) behind to watch Xerxes' death from afar and go back to Sparta, passing along the story to her yet-unborn children. Approaching Xerxes' palace through a wilderness, Queen Gorgo meets the high priestess, who tells the Queen of a secret passage to Xerxes' chambers. As the Three avenge Sparta by killing Xerxes, Plataea sees herself with King Leonidas, leading to a triumphant coda as their son represents a reborn Sparta.
The moodlit, stylish photography and close-up scale takes the "intimate epic" approach familiar from cable TV's Spartacus series arcs. The lavish production values, original music and eye-catching editing work with stentorian scene-setting narration and introductory chapter titles build layers of depth.
A milestone production.