The story behind John Boorman's 1974 cult classic, Zardoz

Originally published at: The story behind John Boorman's 1974 cult classic, Zardoz | Boing Boing

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For those of us already familiar with illicit drugs in the 70’s, this movie was hugely, weirdly, fun.

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There is a certain trend in these YouTube videos nowadays, too many of them have monotone narration. I get it, these guys are amateurs, but I am definitely not clicking “like” or “subscribe” or whatever. The information was good and solid, sure, but I found the voice simply irritating.

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The script for the narration in the video is not very well put together either with lots of redundant repetitive information, and the reading itself is not great with plenty of strange pauses. About the information offered about the movie itself though i did find it interesting, particularly the fact that Boorman underpaid Connery and then had the gall to charge him rent while making the movie. Geeze what a dick.

If anyone hasn’t seen the movie, it’s not great and confusing but its the kind of movie you want to watch high or drunk with a group of friends. And the “twist/reveal” about Zardoz being a lie and being based on The Wizard of Oz is amazing(ly terrible). Also a big catalyst for change in the movie is that Connery’s character has such a strong libido that it’s responsible for the collapse of the advanced sexless/intellectual society… yeah. The movie is hilarious and painfully bad to watch :joy:

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It was as if he was trying to force himself into the Uncanny Valley by trying to sound like a computer-generated voice. Zardoz may be extremely weird, but real life in 2021 is strange in its own way.

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It’s sad about the nudity in this film. The orgy vibe would make for about the best MST3k or Svengoolie ever.

Watched it with my wife, couldn’t stop making orgy jokes in my best Bond voice. Such a natural fit of schtick.

Too spicy for Svengoolie, but they could edit that out for MST3K. I remember some movie with Rea Dawn Chong where they used an umbrella to block her swimming nude. Though they could just edit out the scene as well.

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I love Zardoz because I finally found out where the sample from the beginning of this song comes from.

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Riff Trax is pretty much the MST3K guys without having to be beholden to IP issues or a parent company since they just do comedy audio commentary for movies. From what i checked they haven’t done a Zardoz one but they do have on their site a link to another group that did make fun of it (i haven’t listened to it so i can’t say how funny it may or may not be)

Edit: looks like they have no interest in commentating it

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Weirdly, I always loved this incoherent, boobie filled, hot mess. It has some truly great set-pieces, and not bad performances, and some interesting ideas, but leaves you with sooooo many whats? whys? what just happened? huh? The script massively exceeded the production’s grasp, and even more so the budget, that it is actually quite remarkable what they actually were able to achieve.

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The biggest surprise for me about Zardoz is that it actually has a coherent plot with internally consistent logic and character motivations and everything.

Usually when something this bonkers ends up on screen it’s because someone had budget constraints or the studio forced edits and changes. This movie was clearly something else. For better or worse James Boorman clearly got to put his unique and original vision on screen.

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It is as, if the pauses are in, the wrong places. It, reminds me of-text to-speech-algorithms.

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Hey come on, spoiler alerts!

:stuck_out_tongue:

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The twist is covered in the video too :stuck_out_tongue: and honestly it’s a twist that is not that hard to decipher, the real enjoyment is watching how bonkers the movie is.

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My biggest issue with the movie is that it felt like it wanted to be more clever than it really was, gave me a feeling that the director made a really self-important pretentious art house film. But then again i can’t complain because otherwise we would’ve never gotten this insane movie :joy:

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The 70’s in a nutshell. Sorry Boomers.

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Maybe you just haven’t watched it enough times yet.

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I am just going to leave this here and run away.

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:stuck_out_tongue: i’ve seen it maybe 3 or 4 times, i’m probably due for rewatching it one of these days. It’s a running joke between me and a friend of mine

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Its also the source of most of the samples in this grate Orbital track

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