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Zardoz (1973)

Cast: Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, more...
Director: John Boorman
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Foreign, Science Fiction , Fantasy, UK
Running Time: 106 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

A resident of 23rd-century Earth becomes involved in a revolution after discovering the hidden truth about society's rulers in director John Boorman's sci-fi drama. Sean Connery plays Zed, the central rebel, who begins the film as a member of the Exterminators, a band of skilled assassins who exact a reign of terror over the lesser Brutals. The Exterminators answer only to their god, a gigantic stone image known as Zardoz. Haunted by doubt about Zardoz's true divinity, Zed chooses to investigate. His disbelief is confirmed when the god proves to be a fraudulent tool of the Eternals, a secret society of brilliant immortals who pretend to divinity in order to exploit the masses. Knowing the truth, Zed sets out to reveal the hoax and destroy the Eternals' unjust rule. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A big ol' pretentious mess, but a fascinating one by ColonelKong August 8, 2003 - 8:38 PM PDT
9 out of 9 members found this review helpful
John Boorman obviously set out to do his damndest to make a very mystical and prophetic film (it was shot by the same cinematographer as 2001: A Space Odyssey), and while he didn't quite succeed, the results of his efforts are pretty interesting in their own way. This is one of those films that pops up frequently on lists of the worst movies ever made that I actually liked quite a bit when I finally saw them.

It's definitely not without it's flaws, not the least among them the fact that the profound and important message that Boorman seemed to be trying to get across is that utopian societies don't work. I'm not an especially profound guy, and I could've told you that! It's frequently pretty silly, and sometimes doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but all the same, I have a fascination with this movie that really can't be explained rationally. In some ways, it feels a bit like a very rough draft of Boorman's more coherent later film Excalibur (Boorman wrote the first draft of that film's script in the '60s), so fans of that film may want to check out Zardoz if they haven't already. It also arguably has some similarities to Ken Russell and Nicolas Roeg's films.

And yes, it does start out with a flying stone head expounding on the goodness of firearms and the evilness of male genitalia, as pretty much every review of Zardoz ever written will point out.

An interesting failure by rakdaddy May 1, 2002 - 3:00 PM PDT
12 out of 12 members found this review helpful
This is definitely a cult flick, and, man, it's a small cult. No one can argue its uniqueness; I mean, any flick that starts off with a giant floating stone head that issues forth wisdom like, "The Gun is Good; the Penis is Evil" has some heart. Heart, however, can't always make up for things like wooden acting, a lack of story, and Sean Connery with a Fu Manchu mustache and ponytail, running around in thigh-high boots and a speedo, raping and killing (though I can see why some people would be into that). This is best viewed with friends who like playing MST3K, even better under the influence of alcohol and other mind-altering substances. Hell, it might even be a masterpiece under those conditions.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.08)
183 Votes
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