My mini Sean Connery season continues with a 1973 cult film that I had never seen until reviewing it here. So here is my Zardoz Blu-ray review.
- Zardoz (1973)
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Directed By John Boorman
- UK Rating 15
- Released By Arrow Video
- Starring Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Niall Buggy
Now the first thing to say is this is at first glance a very confusing story told in a large part in flashback scenes from Zed (Sean Connery).
This is basically a story set in the future in the year 2293 where a select few the wealthy and intelligent have cracked immortality. However their immortality comes at a heavy price for the rest of mankind.
Zardoz visits the unfortunate or fortunate depending on your perspective, you will understand this when you watch the film. He appears as a large head seemingly a god like figure, commanding them to kill.
Zed (Sean Connery) is one of these killers who follow Zardoz instructions to kill the populace. However Zed discovers that the god Zardoz is actually a lie. The film is really the story of Zed’s quest for the truth.
A very confusing film certainly to begin with, you need to concentrate and even then it takes a while to reveal where the plot is going.
Style / Direction
The film is written and directed by John Boorman with the cinematography handled by Geoffrey Unsworth.
The style certainly matches the confusing story telling but this I feel is actually to the benefit of the film. The beginning scene in which the god like head descends is kind of mind-blowing and you are left in no doubt this will be like no other film you have seen. Now that can’t be a bad thing in my book.
Although I wonder what Sean Connery thought the first time he saw his outfit. It’s different and red but not much of it. I’m not sure it really works all that well, the other actors outfits however do seem to suit feel of the film.
Direction wise I think Zardoz could maybe have been tightened up a little removing a degree of confusion. It’s probably a film best seen a couple of times to be fair.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by David Munrow, the sound and music certainly add to the surreal feel the director was clearly aiming for.
Acting / Characters
This has to be Sean Connery strangest or weirdest role, he plays it well and makes proceedings serious when they could become farcical. He plays Zed an exterminator (of people) at the bequest of Zardoz.
The other key characters are Consuella (Charlotte Rampling) who is one of the immortals and seems opposed to the arrival of the savage Zed. Whilst her fellow immortals May (Sara Kestelman) and Friend (John Alderton) seem much more pleased with his presence.
The acting is pretty strong to be fair and in a film like this it really needs strong acting and personalities or it would probably lose the viewer early on.
Conclusion: Zardoz (1973) Film Review
Zardoz is a strange film, one that I’m in two minds about. On one hand I can see why this film has obtained cult status, on the other hand on first viewing at least it seems a little too vague and confusing for large parts. It does make thing somewhat clearer by the films conclusion and maybe a second viewing is needed.
With all that said John Boorman certainly delivers a strange vision of the future where a selected few become in effect immortal whilst the rest of society suffers.
Oh and there are lots of killings which turns out to be a really good thing. Now that’s a statement which shouldn’t be correct but in the bizarre world of Zardoz it actually is.
It’s a good premise for a film and I think is easily worthy of any film fans time. Sure it won’t be to everyone taste but the film world would pretty boring without these sort of films.
If you’ve enjoyed my Ransom Blu-ray Review so far you may want to take a look at these films:
- The Anderson Tapes (1971)
- The Offence (1972)
- Ransom (1974)
- Obsession (1976)
- The Package (1989)
- Rising Sun (1993)
Conclusion: Zardoz Blu-ray Review
Zardoz looks simply amazing, this is a near if not perfect restoration. The picture is free from dirt or damage and the colours look as they were intended.
Top marks to all involved in the restoration.
It’s a cult film so you would expect a few interviews and the like. Arrow put together a film buff / collectors dream package. Take a look at what’s included:
- Writer & director John Boorman – Interview
- Actress Sara Kestelman – Interview
- Production designer Anthony Pratt – Interview
- Gerry Johnston on special effects – Interview
- Camera operator Peter MacDonald – Interview
- Assistant director Simon Ralph – Interview
- Hair stylist Colin Jamison – Interview
- Production manager Seamus Byrne -Interview
- Assistant editor Alan Jones – Interview
- An Appreciation by Ben Wheatley
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Radio Spots
- Collectors Booklet
On to my movie rating for Zardoz (1973)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Zardoz (1973) is available now on Blu-ray
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster …
If you liked my Zardoz Blu-ray Review check back for more Connery Blu-ray reviews.
Summary: Zardoz (1973) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Zardoz (1973)
Duration: 106 mins
Director(s): John Boorman
Actor(s): Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Niall Buggy
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
Zardoz is unlike any film you will have seen and takes a little time to get your head around.