A bizarre futurist fantasy which seems to have substituted itself when Boorman's plans to film Tolkien's Lord of the Rings fell through. Zardoz (joke ref: Wizard of Oz) is a vast, Blakean bust of a bearded Zeus which roams the air spewing arms and ammunition to its Exterminators on earth so that they may enforce the law: 'The gun is good, the penis is evil'. Liberated by the memory of a rape committed in the course of his liberties, one of these Exterminators (Connery) enters the godhead, kills the magician manipulating it, and finds he has penetrated the Vortex, a world of sterilised stasis established to preserve the sum of man's knowledge. At which point, poised to take off from its make love not war springboard, perhaps to explore the dichotomy between physical and spiritual forces, the script gradually falls apart into a mess of philosophical pottage under the whimsically pretentious Tolkien influence. But visually the film remains a sparkling display of fireworks, brilliantly shot and directed.
Cast and crew
Sally Anne Newton