Saturday, July 19, 2008


Zardoz; Science-fiction, UK/ Ireland, 1974; D: John Boorman, S: Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Aldertorn, Sally Anne Newton

The year is 2293. Zed is an ordinary man who works as an Exterminator: his assignment is to kill disobedient slaves while his boss is god Zardoz, who appears in the shape of a gigantic, flying stone head who orders them to give it food. The skeptical Zed secretly sneaks into the head and kills it's pilot Arthur. The head descends into an idyllic village on a meadow where Zed finds Arthur's friends, elite people of telekinetic powers whose aging process has been stopped by their computer. A woman, May, decides to study Zed and use him as a servant. He discovers there are also outcasts there, as well as that they are all incredibly bored. He destroys the computer and the Exterminators kill the elite people, while he gets a child with one of them and dies.

After the giant success of his film "Delieverence", unusual director John Boorman managed to finance his personal fantasy film "Zardoz", an self-indulgent allegory about religion and human ideals, one of the most bizarre movies of the 1970's. The extremely complicated story is in retention of logic, yet has sense when one thinks of it just as an reflection about religious dogmas and exploitations, starting off with a giant stone head Zardoz that is worshiped by humans as a god. Zardoz - an anagram of "The Wizard of Oz" - tells them: "Weapons are good! Penis is evil!", obviously displaying it's secret agenda of trying to persuade them to kill each other as much as possible. The main plot starts when Zed (a solid, though rather confused Sean Connery) enters the village of the elite class of people who have special powers, but without emotions or sexual urge, thus there is one rather elaborated satirical scene in which Consuela shows Zed inserts of naked women on the big screen, upon which he gets an erection and she stares at it, having never seen one before. A very brave and surreal futuristic farce made with audacity that shows the elite people as bored with their godlike powers and life as senseless without pleasure or troubles, but with an incredibly hectic ending (the elite people can't wait to finally die), offensive mood and catastrophically thin characters.


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