Late Night Movie House of Crap: Zardoz

4 Aug

August 4, 2011

I have never seen this movie. I became interested when I saw it listed on Fox Movie Channel. Here is the description I got from my TiVo:

An exterminator of Brutals lands in the Vortex and mates with an Eternal in the year 2293

Right.

As my brother put it, that description didn’t bring enough to the table.

Here is what IMDB has to say:

In the far future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity’s achievements.

That’s a bit better but still doesn’t do it for me. Let’s see the plot summary.

In the distant future Earth is divided into two camps, the barely civilized group and the overly civilized one with mental powers. A plague is attacking the second group, after which its members cease to have any interest in life and become nearly catatonic. When Zed, one of the barbarians, crosses over, the tenuous balance in their world is threatened.

It is starting to sound like MST3K material to me but this is no way to judge a movie. Let’s see the trailer.

Oh wow.

The takeaway from that trailer? James Bond in a red diaper.

But I love those credits. LOVE them! They remind me of an old video game, and I am not the only one.

 And James Bond in a red diaper?

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21 Responses to “Late Night Movie House of Crap: Zardoz”

  1. Thomas Stazyk August 4, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Wow, this borders on the imponderable! My first thought was that it sounded like Battlefield Earth. Then I watched the trailers and got really confused. By 1974 when this movie was made Sean Connery could have been a little more selective in the movies he agreed to make. And John Boorman had already done Deliverance and made a name for himself. I wonder if this movie is worth watching because there’s more than meets the eye?

    Like

    • bmj2k August 4, 2011 at 2:22 am #

      I’ve come across a lot of people with a lot of different opinions. From the pieces I’ve seen I think I know the vibe it was going for and I want to see the whole thing. On the other hand, there was a lot that was cringe-worthy too. And I have to wonder why Connery would not insist on pants.

      I look at it this way. If I could watch A Clockwork Orange I can watch this. (And that is a film I will NEVER watch again.)

      Like

  2. Marc Barnhill August 4, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    You’ve never seen ZARDOZ? Wow, you think you know a guy…

    Like

    • bmj2k August 4, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      That movie had no appeal when I was young, and when I got older it never came on TV much. So that makes Tron and Zardoz I am behind you.

      Like

  3. Mac of BIOnighT August 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Zardoz is sensually beautiful, beutifully sensual, beautifully and sensually 70’s, and says a thing or two about the absurdities of religions and philosophies and humanity. Personally, it fascinates me.

    Like

    • bmj2k August 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

      I didn’t find many people on the fence about this one.

      Like

      • Mac of BIOnighT August 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

        Which means it’s worth watching anyway (once is not enough to judge, though, I warn you)

        Like

        • bmj2k August 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

          Ever see A Clockwork Orange? Amazing film but I will not watch it again.

          Like

          • Mac of BIOnighT August 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

            In all honesty, I found it dumb, irritating, boring, unemotional and if it had a point to make, then it was only clear to its author ’cause I saw none. No doubt about the director’s craftsmanship, but that alone is not enough for me…
            OK, now I’m gonna get killed. Sorry, I do not believe in human gods, those authors that you can never say “this sucks” about otherwise you’re an idiot. I do believe that many times the king is naked.

            Like

            • bmj2k August 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

              I am not one to defend that film, not at all, but I think part of the point was the seeming pointlessness and unemotionality (if that’s a word) of the main character’s utter brutality. I guess it was a commentary on the detachment of society. That said I watched it once, felt very uncomfortable, and I’m glad I saw it as a point of reference but that’s enough. And you are 100% right about human gods. I read Hemmingway and Faulkner in college (and a lot more since) and thought that Hemmingway is a beautiful writer but read too much at once and you sort of get hit over and over by the same point. And I am sorry, I thought then and still think now that Faulker’s The Sound and the Fury was an almost unreadable mess, and As I Lay Dying not much better.

              Like

              • Thomas Stazyk August 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

                The best part of that movie is the opening credits where they play that really cool music and slowly pan down from the main character’s derby hat to his face. Some of the dialogue was entertaining like when one gang member challenges another to a fight by saying “come and get one in the yarbles, thou eunuch jelly, thou.” But I don’t think I’d watch it again just to see that.

                I once heard that Hemingway referred to Faulkner’s books as “sauce writing” because apparently that was Faulkner’s normal state. Might have “leaked” into his writing.

                Like

                • bmj2k August 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

                  Clockwork has great imagery, for sure. and “sauce writing”? Well, I needed a drink when I was reading Faulkner…

                  Like

                  • Mac of BIOnighT August 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

                    I almost forgot: it does have one good thing, that’s Wendy (or Walter, don’t remember if she had already changed sex then) Carlos’ Moog soundtrack.

                    Regarding the point, OK, he showed that the character was totally emotionless and it might (might) have been a commentary on society, but I still find it uneffective and boring and wanting to shock for shock’s sake…
                    2001 doesn’t have a point, but it’s got a story. It’s the most boring, the most unique and fascinating film I’ve ever seen, I think, so while watching it is a chore, it is also rewarding. The same can’t be said (IMHO) about orange, which is more a lemon from my point of view in its self-indulgence.

                    Like

                    • bmj2k August 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

                      I pretty much agree on all of those points, but I’d call 2001 slow rather than boring- but it is close. One thing I like about it is that it takes its time. I hate when films seem rushed for time.

                      Like

                    • Thomas Stazyk August 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

                      Yes the soundtrack! Check this out:

                      Like

  4. Mac of BIOnighT August 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    From a technical point of view, carlos’ work was astounding!

    Like

  5. The Hook August 6, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Good choice!

    Like

  6. Steve Garcia October 23, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    This “review” is so retarded, I don’t know where to start.

    First off, this dude evidently never even saw the movie, so his comments are completely without merit – as in worthless.

    And calling it Bond in a red diaper, how dumb is that? Does he also refer to Indian Jones’ dad “Bond in tweed”?

    ESPECIALLY for its time, ZARDOZ was an amazing and bold effort, and Sean Connery thought enough of it to band with the very excellent director John Boorman (“Excalibur”, “The Emerald Forest”, “Hope and Glory”) and the ever hot Charlotte Rampling to make one of the most forward thinking sci-fi movies of the 20th century. As opposed to the simpy “ET” or the 2-hour teaser “Close Encounters”. Or the WAAAAY overrated “2001 – A Space Odyssey”.

    On the big screen (and they had REALLY big wrap-around screens in that day), the second scene still rates as my all-time favorite. I was freaking STUNNED and grinning from ear to ear, wondering “WTF is THIS?”. No spoiler here, so you have to at least see it in wide screen format on a VERY big flat screen TV to even approach what that was like.

    The opening scene where Arthur Frain introduces himself, is also in itself a mind-blower (at least back in 1974!). “I am Arthur Frain, and I am ZARDOZ. . . But I am invented, too. But you, poor creatures, who conjured YOU out of the clay?”

    The plot is VERY well developed, with immortals and microchips (“You hold me in the palm of your hand”), as well as the first forerunner of the inter-connected-ness of the Internet. Lots of boobs, sexy women, with frustrated sexuality underlying much of it (theirs? ours?), and thought-provoking concepts were so far ahead of the critics at the time that they could only pull out the weak and vague and self-condemnation term “pretentious.” That was THEIR loss.

    Occasionally through the ’70s and ‘8-0s I ran into intelligent people who had seen ZARDOZ, and every single one of them reacted with, “You’ve seen ZARDOZ, too? WOW, what a movie!

    So if the readers here want to listen to some shallow sick fuck review a movie he hasn’t even seen and take his word for it, it is your loss if you don’t go see this. It is available on at least one streaming movie site. GO find it and watch it.

    Consider that it was made in 1974 when you judge the special effects – 40 years ago. That was 3 years before “Star Wars”, and even Star Wars effects look pretty lame after 37 years.

    This movie was #1 on my All-time list for quite some time, but eventually supplanted by “LA Confidential” and “LOTR.”

    Like

    • bmj2k October 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Oh Steven, you potty mouth little boy. It is cute that you complain “First off, this dude evidently never even saw the movie, so his comments are completely without merit – as in worthless.” That’s some great reading comprehension you display, since the very first sentence of my post is “I have never seen this movie.” Bravo!

      “And calling it Bond in a red diaper, how dumb is that?” Dumb? Stevie, where is your sense of humor? Bond is Connery’s most famous role, so parodies like this are obvious. Please watch this, is you can contain your righteous rage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV5O6m_jBL0 This one too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGPR5KakGns

      “So if the readers here want to listen to some shallow sick fuck review a movie he hasn’t even seen and take his word for it, it is your loss if you don’t go see this.” I’ll point out again that my very first sentence said “I have never seen this movie.” So what did I talk about?
      – the description I got from my TiVo
      – what IMDB has to say
      – the trailer

      And I ask you, where did I insult the movie? I barely even mention the movie. Please, go back and read the post. You probably didn’t read it the first time. Try to find anything I said that was a critique of anything in the movie.

      “Consider that it was made in 1974 when you judge the special effects” Sheesh, all I said was that they remind me of an old video game. How horrible!

      Sorry if I offended you Steve. Come back when you know what you are talking about. But judging that you wrote that “lots of boobs” and “sexy women with frustrated sexuality” was so far ahead of the critics of the time, I can only assume that the last time you saw a Russ Meyer film your head exploded.

      Anyway, I hope you come back next week for my review of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, starring Han Solo in a hat.

      Like

      • Steve Garcia October 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

        “And I ask you, where did I insult the movie? ” I need point only at the title of the post.

        Your flippancy displays your disqualifications as a commenter.

        No need to return. Your responses are as ignorant as your title. You show that you aren’t worthy of or capable of an intelligent discussion. Not worth my time…

        Like

        • bmj2k October 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

          “Your flippancy displays your disqualifications as a commenter.” Yup, just as it disqualifies John Stewart. (I am certainly not on his level, but you have to admit, he is flippant.)

          “No need to return. Your responses are as ignorant as your title. You show that you aren’t worthy of or capable of an intelligent discussion. Not worth my time.” Apparently I am. Two comments! I eagerly look forward to your next reply. I’ll check back in an hour. 🙂

          By the way, you might find this link useful in your further pretensions of being an English expert: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/2350/difference-between-commentor-and-commentator

          Like

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