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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

ZARDOZ

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 105 minutes, two audio commentaries, isolated score track, theatrical trailer, radio spots, booklet

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

 

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox/ Twilight Time

RELEASE DATE: 4-14-2015

Zed (Sean Connery) is an exterminator for Zardoz killing the Brutals so they don’t breed, but one day Zed sneaks into the Zardoz head and ends up in the land of the Eternals who live forever protected from the rest of the world behind the shields of the vortex.  ZARDOZ is a visually imaginative low budget sci-fi movie from writer/ director John Boorman who would go on to direct EXCALIBUR (which is the film people will most remember him for).   This is the movie he made after he couldn’t get a live action version of LORD OF THE RINGS off the ground (the 1970s seems to be full of sci-fi and fantasy novel adaptations that never got made until years later by someone else).  It uses some effective non-CGI special effects and in-camera back screen projections to create this sci-fi/ fantasy dystopian fable.   The production design is wonderful along with a great cast including the ever ageless Charlotte Rampling. ZARDOZ is a visual masterpiece with metaphysical and allegorical themes that are very relevant today.  It examines how immortality could affect the human psyche and emotions while also examining the class struggle between the rich (the Eternals) and the poor (the Brutals).  It is also interesting to see how Zed’s presence corrupts the Eternals.   I do wish they could have re-edited the movie and left out the prologue which spoils a big twist halfway into the movie.  It is still a classic 1970s sci-fi movie back in the days when sci-fi films didn’t have to rely on $100 million plus budgets to create their worlds.  Track this down on blu-ray before the 5000 copies sell out (and the price goes up in the collector’s market) or DVD (which is very cheap).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The audio commentary with Director John Boorman talks about the production and the story, but it does have lots of dead space as Boorman seems to be watching the movie at times.

The more interesting and insightful audio commentary is with Film Historians Jeff Bond, Joe Fordham, and Nick Redman which is full of analysis on ZARDOZ along with mentioning details about Boorman’s production of the movie where Boorman said the prologue was a mistake (which would have left a big reveal for later in the movie instead of upfront). 

 

Also on the disc are the original theatrical trailer, radio spots, and an isolated score track.  Inside the case is an eight page booklet containing an essay by Julie Kirgo with stills from the movie.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  ZARDOZ is a visual masterpiece with themes that are every timely today and you should check this limited edition before it sells out fi you want a very intelligent sci-fi movie on blu-ray.

 

This review is 5-26-2015 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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