Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Those of you already familiar with John Boorman’s magnum opus probably remember one thing about this film and one thing only:
Yep. That’s pretty much Connery’s get-up for the duration of the movie. The mind reels trying to sort out why a bro who’d made some pretty substantial waves of goodwill amongst cinema-types with his taught, deftly wrought Burt Reynolds thriller (Deliverance) would decide to follow it with a flick that offers little more than an opportunity for long tracking shots of Sean Connery in a hair weave and a cod piece. But is there more to this utopian nugget than cod pieces and matching ammo belts? Let’s find out!
  • Using the disembodied head of consummately smarmy Niall Buggy to introduce the film. = -4pts 
  • Giving Mr. Buggy unexplained and intricate sharpie-drawn facial hair (betting long that frat culture would gain ascendency by the 24th Century). = -6pts 
  • “Is God in show business, too?” as the final line of that intro, which comes dangerously close to directly blaming the existence of this movie on the Most High. = -1pt 
  • The Allegretto from Beethoven’s 7th is naturally brimming with emotion. Somehow finding a way to sap all of that emotion from the piece by recording the most tepid synthesized version of it possible = -12pts 
  • Having aforementioned smarmy Mr. Buggy pilot some crazy prehistoric looking stone flying head that stirs bloodlust amongst cod-pieced and already bloodthirsty future savages in a totally barren wasteland (most likely Scotland) = -46pts 
  • One of the best pep talks in recorded history about how it’s way cooler to kill people wearing sport coats than it is to have sex. = +15pts 
  • E.G., “The gun is good. The penis is evil. The penis shoots seeds, and makes new life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was, but the gun shoots death, and purifies the Earth of the filth of brutals. Go forth ... and kill!” = +21pts 
  • Sub-E.G., The whole reason for that speech hinges on the fact that at some point all the smart people in the world decided to live forever and stop having kids, and it was poor people (presumably mid-level managers from their tendency to all wear sport coats) who were plaguing the earth with their fecundity. = -19pts 
  • Sean Connery’s non-plussed first reaction upon finding out that the head’s filled with fully-grown human beings in what look like blister-packs = -7pts 
  • Sean Connery copping a feel on one of the blister-pack ladies. = -3pts 
  • The director’s shrewd decision to make sure Sean Connery’s first reaction upon seeing a man with sharpie facial hair is to shoot and keep shooting. = +13pts 
  • So, Sean Connery shoots this dude with hand drawn stubble, right? And the dude’s totally crushed about being shot, and “falls” out of the stone head. But also, while he’s falling, he kind of lingers in mid-air telling Connery that he could’ve shown him so much more (presumably, how to apply a douche-y mustache with magic marker). Flying never explained. = -7pts 
  • Connery arrives in a perfect utopian society where even the plants seem like they’re always on the verge of having an orgasm, and finds that they’ve replaced every “s” with a “z”. = +8pts 
  • A conversation between Sean Connery and a sentient ring he’s wearing about flowers that quickly segues into him oogling a topless be-freckled female horse-rider. = -5pts 
  • Connery somehow decides upon following the rider that killing her would be way more baller than giving her the old high hat. = -3pts 
  • Fortunately, her telekinetic powers overcome his more basic instincts. +4pts 
  • Giving women codpieces, too. = +25pts 
  • Connery, laying on some futuristic table, being studied by beings light-years beyond his intelligence and most likely intending to kill him, still looks bored and DTF like always. = +15pts 
  • The guy who acts as explicator par excellence to Connery as he navigates through this painfully anachronistic utopia is also regressively type-cast as a totally effeminate gay dude. = -50pts 
  • People who can’t handle the fact that sex and eating and being with other people are awesome have lost their zest in an endless tranquility, *literally* turning into zombies called “Apathetics.” = -4pts 
  • Connery totally puts it on the most attractive Apathetic he can find. Kind of like, “Hey, don’t care about nothing? How’s about I show you this excellent cold sore??” = +11pts 
  • We’re introduced to Charlotte Rampling and become 88% certain we’ve just surmised why it was that Sean Connery signed-on to the movie in the first place. = +12pts 
  • They don’t even do it. = -32pts. 
  • Some stuff happens where Connery realizes he was “chosen” from the beginning because one time when he was murdering sport-coated poors he found out that Zardoz (his God) was actually pulled out of Buggy’s ass from (SPOILER ALERT!) “The wiZARD of OZ” = -31pts 
  • Also! Buggy comes back to life, because as “An Eternal” he can never really die, he just turns into a weird-looking baby in a blister pack. Grody to the max. = -24pts 
  • In this perfect society, when you do something bad, your punishment is to languish in the boring-est supper club imaginable with old people listening to music that fell to the cutting-room floor when they were deciding what would make a totally bitchin’ score for “Are You Being Served?” = -4pts 
  • Connery’s animal magnetism creates a faction amongst those so perfect they’ll live forever, and it’s like half of them are totally okay dying as long as Hai Karate and cod-pieces will escort them to the next plane of existence (don’t even front, if Big Tam was wearing a scent, it was Hai Karate) = +23pts 
  • The Eternals start realizing that living forever is boring as hell, especially when they’re eating nothing but orgasmic kale and only getting erections from killing poor mortals. = -13pts 
  • There’s some shit about crystal skulls (or crystals inside of skulls), but not the kind that Harrison Ford thought were cool enough to make movies about a couple years ago. = -3pts 
  • Also, all those primitive bros start going buckwild on people with nicer cod-pieces than them. = +2pts 
  • Death orgy vs. orgy orgy? = +7pts 
  • Nary a sharpie-bearded savant to be seen by the end, and that butchered Beethoven’s 7th isn’t helping much. = -4pts 
  • The “gift” that Connery brings to the hoity-toity immortal smug-bugs is death… Which, all things considered, is way better than All Things Considered. = +16pts 
Total Score = -106pts
Available on: Netflix, DVD

Sean Connery’s garb is unavoidable and ever-present in this film, and those initially put off by his choice of wardrobe find themselves oddly soothed by it towards the end of the film. There’s a kind of magic in that. Zardoz, while ultimately ridiculous, dated, and philosophically immature, still has its bright spots, and is totally worth watching. You’re just going to want to make sure you have a scorecard present while doing so.

Score Technician: Paul Bower

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