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Adverse Video Review: Zardoz


Oh, Sean, Sean, Sean, how I loved thee in this film, let me count the dead bodies.

Okay, everyone wants to be Bond or at least they pretend they are in the shower so they can kick ass and take names while humming that notorious Bond tune. But I have some bad news for you folks: on one occasion or another our Bonds have disappointed us. Granted, Zardoz does have its brilliant moments, trying to get over Sean Connery with long hair in a braid and a red Speedo running around killing people is a hard thing to do. And no, ladies, the film was not made when he was young and buff and the Bond we oh so love. The film was made in 1974, that’s 3 YEARS AFTER Diamonds are Forever!

I’m going to say it. That’s right, I am going to say it. Connery’s performance in this is worse than Roger Moore playing an over-the-top gay guy who hits on Cuba Gooding Jr. in Boat Trip.

Bringing new meaning to 1970s films, Zardoz takes British avant garde, fantasy, and what-the-hell to a new level. On paper, this UK blunder has potential, in practice just try to get all the way through it without grinding your teeth.

[ad#longpost]Think of how cool this movie could have been. Think of the future; now think of a society of telepathic intellects who are immortal due to cloning; think of how they have isolated themselves from the harshness of the outside world in a wacky utopia–a utopia that seeks to preserve the achievement of all humans. A utopia where they are so closed off, that some telepaths become walking drones of empathy, and there’s a man in a flying stone head, who (yeah, this is where it breaks down) governs the outside world. Zed (Connery) works for said man in the stone head as a servant or killer or slave or slave driver to a false god, Zardoz, that the man has created to control the “regular humans.” Why does Zardoz do this? Because the telepaths need grain to eat, duh!

Now, if you haven’t stopped reading yet—you know I simply just can’t care enough to finish talking about this film, it is that bad. It is so terrible that you will beg for the “twists” in the film to happen. It is so terrible that my brain won’t let me remember parts of it. The only thing I can picture is a group of telepaths in roman-like garb standing around a table shaking their bodies and hands, eyes wide open, heads rolled back, because they are all in a telepathic link. It sounds cool, but trust me, it is really, really, really unnerving. So unnerving that you want to reach through the screen and slap each and every one of them, several times. Then maybe slap Connery and the director, too, while you’re at it.

Sean Connery in Zardoz
Told you.

So, do yourself a favor and don’t buy it. No, seriously, don’t even rent it. Find a buddy who has Comcast OnDemand, go to their house, and watch it for free. Now make sure your buddy picks you up and drives you to his place because you don’t want to spend a dime in the process of watching this film, trust me. In fact, go rent Xanadu instead and take a great nap.

Directed and Written by: John Boorman (Excalibur, Deliverance, The Tiger’s Tail)

Cast: Sean Connery (the Original Bond), Charlotte Rampling (The Wings of the Dove, bunch of foreign films), John Alderton (Calendar Girls), Niall Buggy (Casanova, The Libertine), Bosco Hogan (Tara Road, King Arthur)

MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 105 minutes

Average Film Rating: 5.5 out of 10
Bad B-Movie Rating: 3 out of 10

Bob-o-Meter Rating: My Eyes!!!… Why!?… Meh… Good… Great… Yes!… Badass… Awesome… Holy Shit, Man!