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ZARDOZ (1974)

JULY 20, 2014

In my recent review of SNOWPIERCER, one of the movies I compared it to was John Boorman’s ZARDOZ and it inspired me to rewatch that film to see how accurate my analogy was. I was pretty darn spot-on and if you liked SNOWPIERCER, I suggest giving this 70’s sci-fi curio a chance and not dismiss it like so many others as too weird for its own good. 

Set in a dystopian 23rd century, Sean Connery is Zed a “brutal” assigned to rid the wastelands of the human detritus breeding within the ruins of the a world gone wrong. He and his brothers-in-arm are instructed by Zardoz, a floating stone head the size of a house that visits them from time to time to provide guns and ammo in exchange for the grains they harvest. 

Life in the wasteland is status quo until Zed discovers that things aren’t all what they seem. He sneaks aboard the stone goliath and is transported to a different zone where the rich have been living it up. They have figured out the key to immortality and are not pleased when Zed intrudes in their world. 

The immortals live in a well-ordered society free from the shackles of mortality. They have the abilities to read minds and share information through the mind, but they have squandered these talents and have become bored with life. 

When Zed brings the possibility of death, the immortals are divided and everything starts coming apart at the tenuous seams. 

Now mind you, ZARDOZ is one wacky movie and if you thought SNOWPIERCER goes a little off the rails, you will find that this film goes a lot farther into bat-shit crazyland. But it’s this that gives the film its charm and ultimately makes it irresistible. 

The themes and social commentary are evident all throughout and even if some of the scenes are hard to grasp, it all comes together in the end leading to a satisfying conclusion to this tale of hubris and hypocrisy. 

Plus there’s lots of nudity and what’s not to like about that?