I honestly don't know what to say.

Sean Connery... Sean FRICKIN' Connery!

John Boorman’s Zardoz is a truly bizarre 1974 Sean Connery-film. It is not the surreal nature of this movie that is the reason for my confusion right now – it is whether or not I actually liked this movie; I honestly don’t know what to think.

While I ponder on that for a while, I might as well try to explain the story of Zardoz; it takes place in the year 2293 AD, on a post-apocalyptic Planet Earth, where a group of warriors known as the Exterminators worship the god Zardoz, who teaches them that the gun is good but the penis is evil. Sit back down!

One of these Exterminators, Zed (Sean Connery), decides to enter the floating stone head of Zardoz, for unknown reasons, and eventually he consequently finds himself among a group of surpreme beings known as the Eternals; they are immortal, although they don’t in fact want to be. Zed, a trained bringer of death, has ended up in a bizarre place known as The Vortex, where the people can’t die (yet somewhat interestingly, they can age), but wish to.

Before they learn that Zed has the “power” to rid them of their eternal life-curse, they treat him like a dirty animal, humiliating him as much as one can humiliate a thong-wearing Sean Connery.

You know, when you really think about it, the phrase “The gun is good, the penis is evil” does make sense – the penis creates life, but these guys don’t want to live any longer, and so the gun seems like a good way out. This is what makes me truly confused; does the movie technically count as a comedy that takes itself amusingly seriously, or is it a deep and intelligent film that suffers from a far too goofy surface? Did I like it?? Did I??!

One of the Beethoven-music moments... yup.

I’ve seen countless movies. Not once before have I been at such a loss for words. I like it yet I hate it. I enjoyed it. Yet I did not.

Did I like Sean Connery? As always, yes – he doesn’t always appear to be having a good time as Zed, though. Did I enjoy the visuals? Sure. Did I like the music? Well of course I did; all of it either mimics or is Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, after all. Was I interested in the story? Fairly. Yes, some things about Zardoz I enjoyed, but the big question remains: is the tone right?

Aside from the dialogue and occasional quirky characters – which reminded me of Brazil – let alone the costumes, Zardoz does take itself seriously and does come off as somewhat deep. Is it supposed to be funny or thought-provoking? I’m not at all sure if even John Boorman himself knew what kind of movie he was making.

I’m not going to recommend this movie, though it’s definitely a fascinating exprience that will leave many people confused. I like movies with a confusing story, although I’m not very fond of movies that don’t seem to know what they’re doing. But I still enjoyed most of Zardoz; I am just not sure if it was for the right reasons, and I don’t think Boorman knows either.

You know what? I think I’ll just say: if you long to see Sean Connery look particularly goofy, check out Zardoz!

???/5

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