Comfortable and Furious

Zardoz (1974): A Love Letter from Holland

Don’t you just hate it when movies are all logical and comprehensible? That you’re watching something, and you go like: ‘yeah, that person just did or said something, and now, that other person did or said something, and it all makes perfect sense!’ Ugh. Boring! Well, if you happen to be one of those rather curious beings, then fear not, dear reader, ’cause I got just the movie for you!

What’s it about?

Oh, you want a plot? Well, uhm, okay… let’s see now… So, okay, somewhere in the near future, society has gotten all weird. It’s been divided into two groups, the Immortals, and the Brutals. The Immortals live in a place called the Vortex, where they have nothing to do, and almost literally are bored to death, because they’re immortal. See what I did there? 

The Brutals, on the other hand, live in some sort of wasteland, where they grow food for the Immortals, and worship a flying stone head called Zardoz, that says that guns are good and penises are evil, because one shoots people dead, so that’s good, and the other makes more people, and that’s bad. Then it vomits a load of guns and ammo, so the Brutals can kill other Brutals. Or something. Now, one of those Brutals, a man called Zed, is a little cleverer than the others, and one day he hides inside the stone head, kills its operator, who is sort of the god behind the god, so to speak, and hitches a ride into the Vortex. 

There he is captured by the two leading ladies, who slap him on a table and read his mind. It turns out that Zed is the result of some careful planning of the now dead-but-regrown Arthur Frayn, the god-guy, who wants him to topple the government of the Vortex, because humanity is getting nowhere, what with them being immortal and all.

Confused, yet? Try watching the thing. Anyway, in the end, a bunch of people get killed, and Zed and Consuella, the leading lady, have a baby. They are now no longer immortal, so they age and die, and everything is good again. Because, you know, immortality is bad. Or something.

Who is in it?

Sean Connery plays Zed! What? No! Yes, he is! But, didn’t he, like, star in SIX James Bond-movies, before this? In which he played the quintessential coolness himself? Yes, he did. Why, then, did he do this movie? Well, no one knows for sure. I read somewhere that he was trying to reinvent himself after the success of the Bond-movies, and that might be true, but I also read somewhere else that he and Charlotte Rampling, who is also in it, playing Consuella, had some fun experimenting with LSD in their younger years, and I think that explains a lot more, regarding this movie. 

It seems that John Boorman, the director, first wanted Burt Reynolds to play the lead role, but he had to pull out, due to illness. Yeah, right… Well, the joke’s on Burt, because now Sir Connery will be that man that, after spending more than a decade playing ‘Bond, James Bond’, now gets to run around in bright red underpants, forevermore.

Also, Charlotte Rampling is in it! This ravishing and somehow hauntingly beautiful woman, who starred in such great films as Assassin’s Creed, Babylon AD and Basic Instinct part 2, and who has been described as ‘hypnotic’ and ‘enigmatic’ is also in this movie. LSD, people. Don’t do it. It will fuck you up.

Who directed it?

John Boorman. Before this, he directed the classic and excellent Deliverance, and because of that, he sort of got a blank check from the film studio for his next project. Also: drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.

What does it all mean?

Absolutely nothing. Also: drugs are bad, mkay? For some people, at least.

And finally…

In order to write this, I’ve watched this movie. The whole thing. I’ll admit, it took me a few days, but I did it. So, have some consideration, will you? With me, first of all, but especially with all the people who worked on this thing. Forgive them; for they did not know what they were doing.

Should you see this movie?

Oh, yes. Absolutely, definitely, unequivocally yes. 






One response to “Zardoz (1974): A Love Letter from Holland”

  1. Obi-Two Kenobi Avatar

    Ding-dong the witch is dead
    Which old witch? the wicked witch
    Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead
    Wake up you sleepyhead
    Rub your eyes, get out of bed
    Wake up the wicked witch is dead
    She’s gone where the goblins go
    Below, below, below
    Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out
    Ding Dong’s the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low
    Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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