Review: Zardoz (1974)

Best Bad Quote:

“Penis is evil! The Penis shoots seeds, and makes new life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was.”


Many consider Zardoz to be a strange choice of projects for Sean Connery having been so widely known as the cornerstone of the James Bond franchise.  I, on the other hand, know exactly why Connery starred in Zardoz.  Upon reading the script and realizing that every woman was going to rip their clothes off to have a piece of him, all Sean wanted to know was where to sign.


It’s difficult to tell you what Zardoz is about.  It’s especially difficult after a few cocktails in your system, but I’ll see if I can recall from my foggy, rum-coated psyche.  In the distant future, the Earth is separated into two groups, the Brutals, who obey a stone head named Zardoz who tells them to kill everyone, and the Immortals, the civilized people who live in their utopia-esque bubble.  When a rogue Brutal, Zed (Connery), discovers that the God he has been worshipping is a sham, he sets out to find these Immortals in the Vortex and get to the bottom of things.  Zed causes immediate unrest upon his arrival, throwing the peaceful Immortal society into a tizzy.  As the Immortals use their mind powers to learn from Zed, the fate of their peaceful society hangs in the balance when they learn that Zed may be able to deliver the gift that many of the Immortals are seeking, the gift of death.


I have no idea if that synopsis made any sense, because nothing about this movie makes a helluva lot of sense.  Based on the fact that Zardoz opens with a floating head wearing a blue doo-rag and a drawn on goatee addressing the camera, I’d be willing to bet my life that this movie was written by someone who enjoyed their occasional acid trip.  This movie was made in the mid-70’s and the time-stamp of that is everywhere, from the androgynous men wearing purple crushed velvet outfits, to the symbolic death of the hippie counterculture (Immortals.)  The writers must have also been really, really horny.  Sex, is a recurring theme in Zardoz which manifests itself in actual naked bodies lining the walls, Sean Connery wearing a red speedo and matching red bandoliers that seem to drive both the men and women crazy with lust, and eventually leading to a massive potential orgy.  Oh, and don’t forget the gratuitous shot of soapy breasts being caressed in an effort to cause Connery to go from six to midnight.


Is this movie good?  No.  Is this movie bad?  Kind of.  Is this movie intriguing?  Yeah, for the most part it is.  We found ourselves oddly drawn into the bizarre narrative curious to see what the fuck was gonna happen next.  Not to mention that Connery is probably the only guy who could pull off that outfit and still appear manly.  So if you’re interested in lots of nudity, some bizarre 70’s sci-fi, and hallucinogen induced visuals, you should definitely give Zardoz a whirl.



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