Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Connery, Alderton, and Kestelman
ZARDOZ (1974). Written, produced, and directed by John Boorman.

In the year 2293 Earth has undergone a great many changes. In the "outlands" there are masses of comparatively uncivilized "brutals" who are hunted down and killed by "exterminators," who are given weapons by a great floating stone head that calls itself Zardoz. One of these exterminators, Zed (Sean Connery) climbs into the head and winds up in a supposedly more peaceful enclave called a "vortex," where the people are immortal and sexless and many long to die; there is a mixture of new technology with primitive culture. Scientist May (Sara Kestelman) determines that Zed is a superior, mutated specimen of humanity, while Consuella (Charlotte Rampling of Deception), who may or may not be her lover, thinks he should be destroyed. Half of the community wants to be impregnated by Zed while the other half wants to kill him. Whatever allegory may have been intended, Zardoz (the title comes from "The Wizard of Oz" because Zardoz is just a human male and not any kind of god) is monumentally stupid, and doesn't sustain interest. Connery's performance is more than okay, but you wonder why he took this silly assignment unless he felt a need to boast -- or boost -- his virility. Niall Buggy is Zardoz and John Alderton plays a condescending "Friend" of Zed's. Boorman also directed Exorcist II: The Heretic, which was at least a little more entertaining.

Verdict: Pretentious and rather dull twaddle. *1/2.

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