From the mind and directorial talents of John Boorman — the astounding movie-master which brought us classics like “Excalibur”, the eminently unwatchable “Exorcist II: The Heretic“, and 1972’s Deliverance starring Burt Reynolds, and others — comes ZARDOZ!
Yes, just two years after the cinematic masterpiece that was Deliverance, Boorman delivers unto us the Hollywood uber-classic “Zardoz”! This time starring the ever inimitable Sean Connery. These two back-to-back cinematic offerings prove, if nothing else, that Boorman, in those years at least, possessed something of a penchant for casting films with lead actors who looked a hell of a lot like my Dad did during that time. (Seriously — Zed = Spitting image of my Dad circa 1974. Very creepy! Ok, lose the long pony-tail, but everything else is exact! Mustache included. And, oddly enough, around that same time, my Dad was notorious for being hounded by people mistaking him for Burt Reynolds and wanting autographs! Go figure.)
Zardoz tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic Earth — set in the year 2293 AD. Who knew that the fashionable men’s hairstyles of that future era would so closely mimic that of the 1970s? I’m sure that the most astute of our modern futurists would never have been able to predict it! Anyway, in this future time it seems that the planet is inhabited by a race (or is it merely a social class?) of ruling beings called “The Eternals.” They rule over another set of people — a group of sub-beings — known as “The Brutals”. Some of these Brutals are known as “Exterminators” — they’re sort of a warrior class, used by the ruling Eternals to do their dirty work for them. Sean Connery plays the role of “Zed” — one of these warrior Exterminators. All of them — Eternals, Plain-old-Brutals, and Exterminator-Brutals alike — worship, as their god, a giant stone head they call “Zardoz.” This giant stone head flys around and speaks, and does so through being piloted by one of the Eternals who goes by the name of Arthur Frayn. For reasons that are never explained in the movie, Zed (Sean Connery) hides himself inside the giant head and, while there, discovers and kills its pilot. Why? Don’t know why. The movie doesn’t say. But, once the giant-god-head-pilot has been murdered, of course, all hell breaks lose for poor old Zed, and a bunch of crap commences to begin! If you can locate any semblance of plot or story-line beyond that, we’d love to hear of your discovery! Zed spends most of the rest of the movie running around, killing people and raping women. Why? Don’t know why. The movie doesn’t say.
Oh, and the giant floating head god, Zardoz, by the way, apparently loves guns and hates penises. (or, is that penii?) At least, that’s what he says right before he vomits a whole shit-load of guns out of his giant, godly mouth. Guns, according to Zardoz, are good. Penises are bad (mmmkay?) Seeing as, of course, the penis shoots seeds. But the gun shoots death. Seeds are bad because the seeds grow into people and if this is allowed to go on, all un-fettered-like, the world may become over-populated, “as it once was.” You know? Like, in the past, man? Like, back in the time we’re in now — because, we’re assholes who breed like horny rabbits. But, guns kill off these asshole people, helping to make sure that wont happen. So, fuck penises, man! Guns are awesome, ‘n’ shit.
So, anyway… watch Zardoz. Or, don’t. What the hell do I care?