|ZARDOZ (director/writer: John Boorman; cinematographer: Geoffrey Unsworth; editor: John Merritt; music: David Munrow; cast: Sean Connery (Zed), Charlotte Rampling (Consuella), Sara Kestelman (May), John Alderton (Friend), Niall Buggy (Arthur Frayn), Sally Ann Newton (Avalow), Bosco Hogan (George Saden); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: R; producer: John Boorman; 20th Century Fox; 1974-UK)|
|"Weird, fatuous and tedious
fantasy futuristic sci-fi cult film."
by Dennis Schwartz
In the year 2293, in the Outlands on Planet Earth, there appears in the sky a floating giant stone head of Zardoz, god of the Brutals. The Brutals live in the wasteland following Zardoz's proclaimations that "The gun is good! The penis is evil!" An elite group of Exterminators are provided guns delivered through the mouth of Zardoz to keep everyone in line. When a Brutal Exterminator called Zed (Sean Connery) hides under the mandatory grain that is given to Zardoz, he emerges from there to see naked bodies wrapped in plastic. Zed instinctively shoots the one living person he sees, Arthur Frayn (Niall Buggy), an immortal who created the god Zardoz for the Exterminators to obey. The rebellious Zed finds an opening in Zardoz to enter the Vortex. Zed becomes the liberator of the soulless immortals who live in this part of the world, who become both afraid and fascinated by his powers. The immortals soon realize he carries the seed that can end their immortal world with death.
The film rails against the young intellectuals who use their technology to enslave the masses, and how religion is used to get a stranglehold on the population.
The film is a muddled mess. It even makes a humorous reference to The Wizard of Oz as the one true book.
REVIEWED ON 9/10/2016 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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