Director John Boorman’s gonzo dystopian fantasy stars Sean Connery as Zed, a pony-tailed, red-thonged savage from a post-apocalyptic wasteland who inadvertently gatecrashes an idyllic commune ruled by a group of hyper-intellectual sexless women.
Set in 2293, the film foretells a future split into two classes: the immortals (lithe gals privy to flowy dresses and topless horseback-riding) and barbarian "brutals” who worship a giant floating head of stone they call Zardoz, prone to making such pronouncements as "The gun is good, the penis is evil!” Determined to discover the truth behind the God Head, Zed stows away inside, and finds himself transported to the matriarchal paradise of The Vortex; the Über virile Zed quickly becomes a subject of fascination: first as lust object, then as their unlikely savior. Coming off the heels of his commercial and critical smash Deliverance, Boorman was given carte blanche to make this passion project; derided at the time as a crazed ego trip, Zardoz remains eminently watchable, with stoned-haze lensing by Geoffrey Unsworth (2001), and enough surrealism-on-a-shoestring visuals and mad prophet ideas to rival Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain as the ultimate ‘70s head-trip.
Director: John Boorman. 1974. 110 min. 35mm.
Part of the Doomsday Film Festival and Symposium. Pre-screening trivia and prizes courtesy of Arrow in the Head.
Ticket Price: $12, Film Club Member $8.
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