This is my take on Ray Harryhausen’s Minoton.
According to ancient records, in the old city of Akragas ruled a terrible and evil tyrant king that was particularly fond on torture. This tyrant worshipped ancient and forgotten demonic gods, the most powerful one being often depicted as a black Aurochs. Sacrifices of blood were regularly offered in front of this god’s unholy altars, many being human lives.
The king was said to have commissioned the construction of life sized bronze statue of an Aurochs, hollow and fitted with a door in one side. The statue was intended to be a diabolical instrument of torture, where victims would be locked inside and a fire would be set under it, heating the metal until the person roasted to death. The account says it was fitted with an acoustic apparatus that converted screams into the sound of a bull, and that the first victim to die in such a fashion was the artisan that created the statue.
This macabre spectacle was said to become the king’s feast’s main entertainment, as well as the main altar to the dark god’s bloody sacrifices.
When old and fearing death, the king ordered a tomb to be built for himself, and a giant maze was dug under a secret cliff by the sea. He consulted his sorcerers and ordered them to prepare his body for eternal life, as well as to provide a champion to protect his tomb forever. Word was sent to summon the most formidable warrior in the world, with promises of unparalleled fortune and glory.
The biggest and strongest warrior of that time was then tricked and brought into the king’s court, where he was kept as an honoured guest and lived in luxury and debauchery while the very best craftsmen of his time were at work developing the most formidable suit of armour to fit him as a glove. When the armour was finished, he was drugged and trapped inside of the armour, that got riveted shut over his body. The suit was topped by a horrendous bull head, and he was in this way chained to a stake where he was slowly cooked alive in a dark ritual of necromancy. It is said that while his screams of agony boomed through the dark chambers, his soul was bound and condemned to rise again as a revenant guardian, forever watching the king’s tomb to keep it safe until the day his evil master would rise from the dead.
I remember watching Simbad when I was a kid and not understanding the film properly, but I was really scared and fascinated by Minoton. The same way, when I first heard about the brazen bull I knew it would make its way into one of my designs sooner or later.