It is the year 2293. The human race has evolved into two
divergent societies. The telepathic Eternals live in luxurious
but passionless isolation in a realm known as the Vortex.
Meanwhile the Brutals struggle to survive in desolate wastelands,
their numbers ruthlessly controlled by the Exterminators,
who carry out the bidding of a false god - Zardoz. Then one
day an Exterminator called Zed penetrates the Vortex...
describe Zardoz as a bit weird would be an understatement
of the highest order! Writer/producer/director John Boorman
(Deliverance, Excalibur) certainly makes a memorable
and bold statement with this eye-catching allegory about class
division and organised religion. There are some great images
here, from the famous flying stone Zardoz head to the beautiful
rural mansion and grounds, which provide the location for
the Vortex. By dressing the old building with odd-looking
inflatables, Boorman creates an environment that appears at
once old-fashioned and futuristic. In this respect, and in
the movie's very offbeat style, there is a distinct flavour
of the TV series The Prisoner.
Zardoz is without doubt ambitious, but some aspects
of it have not aged too well. Sean Connery looks rather ridiculous
dressed in Zed's red loincloth, although few other actors
could have pulled off that get-up better. On the subject of
pulling things off, it is difficult to resist sniggering when
Charlotte Rampling holds a seminar about penile erection,
a physical ability that has been lost to Eternal males.
character of Zed (a role originally intended for Burt Reynolds)
is a real anti-hero. This is a man who has murdered and raped
in Zardoz's name, although his enlightenment, which the audience
is a party to, exonerates him.
film print used for this DVD looks fairly clean and vibrant,
although a few blemishes remain. And there is a decent selection
of extras for the price: a theatrical trailer, four radio
spots and an audio commentary by Boorman, who provides backstage
revelations such as the Burt Reynolds trivia mentioned above.
is a movie that should be tackled with your brain either fully
engaged or else spaced out by alcohol! A worthy and high-brow
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