Zed (Sean Connery) is an exterminator for Zardoz
Brutals so they don’t breed, but one day Zed sneaks into the Zardoz head and
ends up in the land of the Eternals who live forever protected from the rest of
the world behind the shields of the vortex.
ZARDOZ is a visually imaginative low budget sci-fi movie from writer/
director John Boorman who would go on to direct EXCALIBUR (which is the film
people will most remember him for). This
is the movie he made after he couldn’t get a live action version of LORD OF THE
RINGS off the ground (the 1970s seems to be full of sci-fi and fantasy novel
adaptations that never got made until years later by someone else). It uses
some effective non-CGI
special effects and in-camera back screen projections to create this sci-fi/
fantasy dystopian fable. The production
design is wonderful along with a great cast including the ever ageless
Charlotte Rampling. ZARDOZ is a visual masterpiece with metaphysical and
allegorical themes that are very relevant today. It examines how immortality
could affect the
human psyche and emotions while also examining the class struggle between the rich
(the Eternals) and the poor (the Brutals).
It is also interesting to see how Zed’s presence corrupts the
Eternals. I do wish they could have
re-edited the movie and left out the prologue which spoils a big twist halfway
into the movie. It is still a classic
1970s sci-fi movie back in the days when sci-fi films didn’t have to rely on
$100 million plus budgets to create their worlds. Track this down on blu-ray
before the 5000
copies sell out (and the price goes up in the collector’s market) or DVD
(which is very cheap).
The audio commentary with Director John Boorman
the production and the story, but it does have lots of dead space as Boorman
seems to be watching the movie at times.
The more interesting and insightful audio
commentary is with
Film Historians Jeff Bond, Joe Fordham, and Nick Redman which is full of
analysis on ZARDOZ along with mentioning details about Boorman’s production of
the movie where Boorman said the prologue was a mistake (which would have left
a big reveal for later in the movie instead of upfront).
Also on the disc are the original theatrical
spots, and an isolated score track.
Inside the case is an eight page booklet containing an essay by Julie
Kirgo with stills from the movie.
ZARDOZ is a visual masterpiece with themes that are every timely today
and you should check this limited edition before it sells out fi you want a
very intelligent sci-fi movie on blu-ray.
This review is ©5-26-2015
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments
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