Zardoz: when a ‘brutal’ unintentionally enters ‘the vortex’ he poses a major threat to the peaceful sanctuary, which is ruled by immortal ‘Eternals’. This my friends is drug-induced 1970s sci-fi on a scale you’ve probably not experienced before. The initial five minutes consists of a floating disembodied head explaining the set-up, then a massive talking stone head that vomits guns and ammo in exchange for grain… and the rest of the film is even weirder. If you’ve ever seen this unexplainable photo of Sean Connery in thigh high hooker boots, wrestling undies, bandolier belts, and a double-whammy ponytail / mexican bandit ‘tache combo, this is where it’s from. If you hadn’t seen that before, I can only apologise. On one hand the film muses over some high-brow questions about mortality, sexuality, philosophy, religion – and references films from 2001 to The Wizard of Oz. On the other hand you’ve got a nearly-nude anti-hero trying to make sense of his trippy surroundings, erection stimulus experiments, gratuitous boob shots every five minutes, and hordes of bored zombie pensioners milling around in tuxedos. Some of the special effects and camera trickery – like the projecting rings/floating heads etc – are great, even by today’s standards, yet other moments – like a hammy ‘learning montage’ – are beyond kitschy and laugh out loud terrible. Zardoz is the hardest kind of film to rate: it’s intentionally camp & outlandish; and deliberately indulgent, unruly, and confusing – to the point where it feels like nobody (stars, director, writers) really knew what was going on. The one thing it did get right is hitting the cult jugular; whether you love it, hate it, or are simply confused by it, Zardoz is a film that really has to be seen to be believed.
Real Score: WTF/10