He brought the gift of death…

Well hello space cadets!

This week’s film is by request (proving I’m not the only one out there with deplorable tate in cinema)! It’s a confusing little gem from 1974: ZARDOZ!!!!

Sean Connery (in one of his proudest moments) stars as Zed, a barbarian of sorts from the other side of a futuristic world. His tribe believes the “gun is good” and spends most of their time raping and pillaging any nearby tribes or settlements they can find. They all worship a flying stone head as well… did I mention that? Anyhoo… one day he stows away on the floating god head and passes through the “vortex” to the other side of the planet where civilized immortals languish in boredom… and it just gets weirder from there.
If you like your men hairy and Scottish, Zardoz will not disappoint, as Mr. Connery spends most of the film half/sparsely clad. The acting is pretty rotten, the storyline muddled and the whole thing is like one big, bad, drug-addled dream. An experience every neophyte psychotronic film buff must endure… don’t hesitate to catch it if it shows up on a TV near you!

Are you digging the space weirdness? If you’re a fan of these shorts, why not follow the Meet Cleaver Theatre page on Facebook? You’ll find these episodes a ton more reviews from the past… everything from sci-fi to horror to exploitation! More crazy trailers, more stupifying commercials, even some music videos…

If you’re just digging the sci-fi and haven’t followed Pandoracon’s facebook page yet, you can find that here.

Follow them both, and follow your geeky bliss!

And now, on to our feature presentation…

Trivia Time!

The exterior shots at the very opening of the movie were taken right next to director John Boorman’s house in Ireland.

Burt Reynolds was the first choice for Zed, but he bowed out due to illness.  (can you imagine? Yikes…)

The government initially refused to allow the production team to import the guns for the movie into Ireland because of terrorist attacks occurring at the time.

According to director John Boorman, Sean Connery found it incredibly difficult to get work when he abandoned the James Bond role a second time after Diamonds Are Forever. Thus, Boorman was able to hire Connery very cheaply for this project.

The director also made a cameo appearance as a slave shot by Connery. Although Boorman was shot with a blank, he actually ended up with wadding embedded in his forehead, which took days to come out.

John Boorman made this film on the rebound, after his project to film The Lord of the Rings was canceled.

See you next week with more b-movie madness!
-Butch

8 Responses to “He brought the gift of death…

  • I love ZARDOZ! Truly! I think it’s an imaginative work, from a time when movies weren’t neccesarily designed to be “commercial”. (I can’t think of a more uncommercial movie, in truth.) I don’t find the acting rotten, and consider the whole experience a wonderfully written and beautifully photographed allegory. Our local art house will be showing it on the big screen on Wednesday, May 9th. I intend to be in the front row (or thereabouts).

  • Dear Carpathian! So good to see you in the digital neighborhood!

    Sounds like you have a local art house that actually has some taste! The only small cinema around here relentlessly shows ironic hipster “finding myself” movies and foreign political “feel-bad” movies. 🙂

    I agree that it is relentlessly un-commercial…and it does have that famous 70s strange-air about it (you know, strange starkness of films like “Silent Running” or “Idaho Transfer”) but I must admit, I still have a hard time sitting through the whole film.
    Would love to hear your view of the allegory of Zardoz…might help me to see from another perspective.

    Hope you have a blast at the showing!
    Cheers!
    Butch

    • You need but ask, effendi! My Thoughts & reveries essay for the month of May will be about the symbolism of ZARDOZ! (Put on your boots; it’s bound to get deep…!)

  • Profile photo of CaelynTek

    I have always loved this film. I to feel that the acting was fine. I wouldn’t say it was fantastic, but I would never accuse it of being rotten. I admit though, that I have an affinity for distopian/post apocalyptic films, but I became a fan of this well before I knew that. I believe this was one of those movies I saw in the early days of video rentals, either on beta or VHS.

    Ir remember my surprise when the L. Frank Baum connection was made. I thought that was fantastic.

    • Hi Caelyn!

      The House Cleaver also has an affinity for dystopian cinema! We should meet up sometime and trade apocalyptic films! 🙂
      If you dig films of that vein, I highly recommend “No Blade of Grass” which was just released on DVD a couple of months ago. While not as “high fantasy” as Zardoz, it possesses a similar quality.

      Cheers!

  • Profile photo of Calamity Dawn

    I have a fondness for dystopian literature. I enjoy dystopian film as well. Film’s like “Logan’s Run,” “Silent Running,” and others have always been in my wheel house. I admit, that when it comes to the more obscure films my knowledge is weak. I’ll add “Zardoz” to the list to watch… even tho’ the trailer left me a bit “I…he…but…I…it…she, uh…I wha’?”

    • Howdy Calamity!

      Thanks for dropping in! As a movie host it’s my duty to “rag on” films, be they deserving of goofing on or not. It’s all good-natured ribbing and should never dissuade anyone from checking them out. 🙂 By all means, take a gander at Zardoz, if only to witness Sean Connery in remarkably odd fashions.

      I hope to be covering both “Silent Running” and “Logan’s Run” in the near future! Both a couple of my favorites from the golden age of sci-fi cinema! Warning: I will make jokes about the Joan Baez song about “children are like trees” etc. from “Silent Running” *wink*

      Have a great weekend!

      • Profile photo of Calamity Dawn

        I was introduced to “Silent Running” by my hubby some many moons, many many many moons ago. It remains a favorite, but we don’t often revisit it, not unless we feel like opening up a proverbial vein or three… that movie impresses in many ways… well, I’ll save the rest of that comment for when you cover it, good sir!

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