If it's crap ... We'll tell you
There are some things in life in which, no matter how much is said, words fail to truly capture the essence of it; Zardoz is one of those things.
Zardoz is a 1974 science-fiction (?) film written, produced, and directed by John Boorman (coming fresh off the heels of Deliverance), and starring Sean Connery, who wears outfits so ridiculous in this film that not even a hipster would wear them. It honestly hurts my brain trying to understand what exactly this film is about. The best description/interpretation I can give is this: Sean Connery goes inside a giant stone head and finds the meaning of life. It’s like The Matrix if it was devoid of all coherence and sobriety.
Sean Connery plays a ruthless hunter (called an “Exterminator”) named Zed, who goes inside the giant floating stone head of the Exterminators’ god, called Zardoz. While inside he kills some guy and looks around to see some frozen (?) bodies placed along the sides, until the head lands near a village where plants grow in plastic bubbles. He gets captured by the locals, who study him and treat him like an animal, until they find out he’s more intellectually capable than they are and is therefore a mutant. Instead of killing him, which one of the local women, Consuella, wants to do, another woman, May, decides to give him all their knowledge. Somehow, in the end, he becomes this all-knowing being who brings death to the locals, since they were apparently immortal. There’s also stuff about a Vortex, Pathetics, and crystals—DO YOU KNOW HOW PAINFUL IT IS TO WRITE THIS SHIT DOWN?! MY HEAD HURTS!!!
However, despite the overwhelming lack of an intelligible story (and Sean Connery’s outfits), the film actually isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The acting is actually pretty decent from everyone, including Sean Connery. There are also some pretty neat set pieces and visual effects; for example, towards the end of the film, Zed is somehow able to reverse time so that he and his friends can escape, which looks pretty cool even though it makes no sense. Another example is a scene near the end in which Zed absorbs all the knowledge of the immortal people (called the “Eternals”, according to Wikipedia); this scene is, put simply, a complete mindfuck. (There are other similar scenes, but this one stands out the most.)
Overall, the story makes absolutely no sense, but the visual effects, the acting, and the way the film addresses certain themes (death, immortality, religion, etc.) save the film from being completely horrible. However, as stated in the opening sentence, no words can do this film justice; you just have to see it for yourself.
RATING: 2 out of 5