A bewigged Sean Connery is Zed, a savage "exterminator" commanded by the mysterious god Zardoz to eliminate Brutals, survivors of an unspecified worldwide catastrophe. Zed stows away inside Zardoz's enormous idol (a flying stone head) and is taken to the pastoral land of the Eternals, a matriarchal, quasi-medieval society that has achieved psychic abilities as well as immortality. Zed finds as much hope as disgust with the Eternals; their advancements have also robbed them of physical passion, turning their existence into a living death. Zed becomes the Eternals' unlikely messiah, but in order to save them--and himself--he must confront the truth behind Zardoz and his own identity inside the Tabernacle, the Eternals' omnipresent master computer. --Paul Gaita
Feature Running time: 101 minutes
Subtitles: Hard of hearing English, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish.
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (16x9)
Sound Quality: English 4.1
DVD Special features: Still gallery, Radio Spots, Audio Commentary, Theatrical Trailer
Zardoz is simply unlike most other sci-fi. It's set in a sterile future, but this future is in lush countryside, not a grim rainy city or lots of white corridors. Some future inhabitants of Earth live in an apparent idyllic paradise, but to do so they manipulate the rest of the world into barbaric warfare - they give guns to a warrior class who murder, rape and enslave the general population. The upper class see themselves as peaceful hippies, but what they do to others and their own dissenters is unspeakable.
John Boorman's direction is fascinating. Some of the visuals are still stunning - the iconic flying stone head (which really ought to be on the DVD's front cover), the projecting ring, the colourful costumes - and there is actually a lot of humour in this film. It's also funny to see sci-fi featuring a world full of well spoken RP accents! Connery is a fascinating leading man - is he a curious hero? A rampaging threat to society? Or an animal, just out for himself?
Watch and see. If you care about "serious" science fiction (and why not, once in a while), then put down your plastic light sabre just for a few hours and watch something REALLY unusual.
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