2293. Zardoz, an unseen "God" who speaks through an idol, a large stone statue of a head, leads a barbaric race called the Brutals, who live a harsh existence in the Outlands. Zardoz tells the Brutals that once they die, they will be transported to the Vortex, where they will live happily as immortals. He has armed a small group, the Exterminators, with guns, as Zardoz's philosophy is that killing is good, and procreation is the root of all that is bad. In reality, Zardoz is Arthur Frayn, from a competing, more advanced race, called "the Eternals", who live in paradise in the Vortex. The Eternals truly are immortal as they do not age and their bodies undergo reconstruction if they "die". As such, they truly do not believe in procreation as their society has reached perfect equilibrium. Past human acts such as sex and sleep are obsolete in their advanced state. All major decisions are achieved through pure democracy. The Eternals, however, are not immune to non life threatening disease...Written by
Charley Boorman recalled that Sir Sean Connery stayed at the Boorman family house in Annamoe, County Wicklow, Ireland, for the duration of the shoot. At the end of each week, Connery would pay John Boorman's wife "rent" money, to cover the costs of keeping him. See more »
When the exterminators on horseback are killing the Brutals, tire tracks can be seen on the wet beach sand. See more »
I am Arthur Frayn, and I am Zardoz. I have lived three hundred years, and I long to die. But death is no longer possible. I am immortal. I present now my story, full of mystery and intrigue - rich in irony, and most satirical. It is set deep in a possible future, so none of these events have yet occurred, but they *may.* Be warned, lest you end as I. In this tale, I am a fake god by occupation - and a magician, by inclination. Merlin is *my* hero! I am the puppet master. I ...
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The pre-credits sequence featuring Arthur Frayn's disembodied head was added by director John Boorman after the movie was released, as an attempt to explain the plot to audiences that found it hard to understand. Boorman would later declare that the scene didn't work as he wanted it to.
The Spanish (Spain) released version cut part of the "boner" scene (the breasts-rugging and mud wrestlers on-screen). Later prints and current DVD and video releases are uncut.
I read that Boorman woke from a dream with the entire film whole in his head, as opposed to, say, Terminator, which started out as one scene(rising from the flames and advancing once again) and was written in both directions. Zardoz was a last gasp of the 60's and had flaws, but it is so unique a vision that it still stands out artistically. Most sci-fi film is marred by the same problem: avid older readers have seen these ideas since the 30's and not much can improve on a good idea, so all that's left is to pile on more special effects. The only film I still use as a benchmark is Forbidden Planet. But Boorman had James Bond in a diaper, the incredible Charlotte Rampling, minimal effects, nudity and attitude to bring this solid-sender to you. 7/10
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