64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
a (furrowed browed) product of its time,
This review is from: Zardoz [DVD] (DVD)Lets make no mistake: Zardoz is a British sci-fi film from the early 1970s. Let that sink in for a moment before judging this odd little curio too harshly. You may have heard about Zardoz - yes, it's from Sean Connery's oddly "forgotten" period (somewhere between James Bond and Highlander) - the same period in which he starred in the dark classic "The Offence". And, yes, he does run around in a vaguely nappy-like costume (but he still looks all smouldering and hirsute, which is good). Yes it has dated. And yes it is pretentious, smart-arsed, a bit confusing and thoroughly loopy, like a lot of dystopian '70s sci-fi. But after all the dreck that followed (the admittedly classic) Star Wars in 1977, I think these are lovable qualities. It's time to give Zardoz a big hug, for all its lumpy, smart-arse pretensions.
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.