Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zardoz (1974)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Zardoz (1974).

Yes. This is the one where Sean Connery runs around in red underpants and long leather boots. Yes. This movie has overdose of art movie esthetics. Yes. I could write whole post how bad this movie is. And no, I won't do that because I like this movie. Behind all that weirdness is interesting story. You have to pay attention to see it.

Movie happens in year 2293. Mankind has divided into two fractions: Eternals and Brutals. Eternals are former upper class and intellectual who moved to live vortexes away from rest of the humans. Movie does not make it sure why they did that. Running out of resources and overpopulation are hinted. Rest of the humanity have regressed into Brutals. It is not explained why rest of the humanity regressed into Brutals. One possibility is that one of the Eternals, Arthur,  has made them kill each others. This would point to overpopulation.

Arthur has large flying stone head called Zardoz. Zardoz gives guns and ammo to his chosen people Exterminators and urges them to kill others. With guns and ammo Exterminators rule world outside vortexes. This is all we know about world outside vortex because this movie is not about Brutals.

The scientist in vortex invent secret of eternal life. Because they can't die anymore they become Eternals. Scientists want that humans knowledge is not lost and destroy plans of Tabernacle which gives them eternal life. They don't want anyone turning Vortex off when they get bored with eternal life. But that will eventually happen. One reason for boredom might be that life in Vortex is some sort of hippie utopia. They aim for absolute equality. Everything is voted. Everyone's mind is connected to others minds and bad thoughts are forbidden. Penalty for crimes is ageing. Renegades have become old and senile. Others who can't stand living in Vortex have become apathetics. Apathetics just stand and look ahead. All Eternals are becoming apathetics or senile renegades. Some slower and some faster.

There are so many renegades and apathetics among Eternals that they have to make Brutals grow their food. One of the Exterminators, Zed, feels his god Zardoz has betrayed Exterminators by making them farm food. He was led to library where he finds The Wizard of Oz books. It hints that Zardoz is just large stone head made for fooling them. He hides inside Zardoz and flies to Vorted to get his revenge. When he gets there he will give death to Eternals who are looking for it.

This is what movie is about if you take away all the artsy weirdness. As I said earlier I like this movie. I like how this movie lets you figure out what it is about. There is always something new to be found. If you don't pay attention you will miss the point of the movie and you feel that this is one of the worst movies ever made. To be honest this is too much of a art movie for its own good. It worth seeing even after I have spoiled you like this. There is so much more in Zardoz than this.

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