(John Boorman, 1974)
Oh hell yes. A camp classic, and one that was universally misunderstood upon first release and for decades after.
Zardoz was the pet project Boorman did post-Deliverance, a sci-fi trope about the class system set up by humans once they achieve immortality. It features a ponytailed Sean Connery wearing not much more than a red Speedo and thigh-high boots throughout much of the picture. (Just Google “Zardoz + diaper” and you’ll get to see what I mean.) It sounds ridiculous, but Connery actually has the build to pull it off.
Zardoz features some strange effects — including an angry-looking flying stone head that spits rifles — and enough random acts of nakedness to keep an interest, but this odd vision of a warped future is hampered by a lack of budget throughout. Plus its confusing new-age script — let’s just say that crystals make an appearance — seems rather silly, but perhaps it’s simply dated, since it tends to fall in line with other 70’s science fiction.
Despite its flaws, it’s surprisingly watchable, and thanks to the commitment of the actors to Boorman’s vision, the campiness actually wears off. Overall, better than I thought it would be, but points docked for overuse of crystals, sheer kerchiefs and after the first 30 minutes, the utter absence of angry-looking flying stone heads.
Posted on August 17, 2009, in Film log and tagged charlotte rampling, john boorman, kooky weirdness, sean connery, the future still looks like 1976, underwear as outerwear. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.