Zardoz (1974) (Blu-ray Review)

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Zardoz (1974) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: John Boorman
Starring: Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman
Rated: R/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Twilight Time (Limited to 5,000)

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In the distant future Earth is divided into two camps, the barely civilized group and the overly civilized one with mental powers. A plague is attacking the second group, after which its members cease to have any interest in life and become nearly catatonic. When Zed, one of the barbarians, crosses over, the tenuous balance in their world is threatened.

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Sean Connery is a cool cat. The man is my personal favorite James Bond and I always enjoy seeing the man on-screen. Now, seeing him in a movie like Zardoz is a whole other mixed bag of strange, odd, and down-right bizarre. It is a strange world this movie takes place in. Heck, in the opening minutes a giant head floats down from the sky to tell us that the gun is good, but the penis is bad! Connery plays Zed, a brute who isn’t above murder and mayhem, but he decides to break from the pack and get a closer look at this mystical Zardoz himself. When this brute goes and enters this other odd world things get really crazy. The movie becomes a prime example of its time. The film is an acid trip and a half at times and I’m sure that is reason enough for some love it and for others to hate it. Connery might be in an odd costume for this one, but if you aren’t too focused on some of the odd sides of this film, you have some really creative stuff and a good performance on top of it all. The movie is loaded with nudity and an odd sense of humor. There is even a very violent side to things, that when mixed all together with the cool visuals makes for a sight to see. It is a long way away from James Bond, but you get the feeling that is just what a man like Sean Connery wanted when he went into a movie like this here.

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There is even a love story buried down in the heart and soul of this one. It isn’t an obvious love story, but it manages to avoid being corny due to the weird and strange way it comes about. I’m not even sure we even are aware of it being there until it is just there. The thing to keep in mind with Zardoz is that there isn’t a lot of stuff that might make a lot of sense to a normal person. Not that anyone seeking something like this out will be all the way normal. I didn’t always understand what was going on during the film, but I was entertained and enjoyed it none the less. A film like this is the prime definition of what I’d label as a “Key-lime” pie film. Some will dig and others not so much, but given the limited nature of the Twilight Time release, I don’t think anyone will be seeking it out without knowing what they are getting here with a film like Zardoz. To sum it all up, it is a strange movie with cool visuals and cool characters. The plot isn’t always easy to follow, but I think it is still a sight to behold, for better or for worse.

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Extras

– Radio Spots
– Original Theatrical Trailer
– Isolated Score Track
– Audio Commentarie with John Boorman
– Audio Commentarie with Jeff Bond and Joe Fordham hosted by Twilight Time’s Nick Redman

Quality of Transfer: 97%

Screenshots from Blu-ray.com review