Spectacular, ambitious, eccentric, and many things one can't describe. Zardoz is a hypnotizing film about theatricality, about the fake nature of cinema and stories, even the ones we believe to be real. In the end it boils down to entertainment, about finding something to avoid boredom. Just like Arthur Fryan (Zardoz) does throughout. Of course, being the illusionist can get boring after a while, and then what?
I must agree with everyone that it is a pretty complex film. One that you need to watch a few times to understand its plot theme but also truly artistic and enjoyable for the serious artistic sci-fi fan.
Unapologetically strange and risible. Despite its amusingly dated production design and philosophy, and its tripped-out visual flourishes, Zardoz boils down to a rather reductive and facile rehash of familiar cautionary tales. The weirdness and silliness is fun, but it tries the audience's patience with performance art scenes. http://filmcapsule.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/zardoz/
I don't care what anyone says, I love it. I don't think it's sillier parts negate its merits. I'm not going to defend Connery's costume but it works in context to the film's Roman-influence universe and it helps deflate SC's charisma so that the viewer sees him the way Rampling & her ilk see him as a simpleton. Amazing retro set design and lots of ideas make this bold science fiction and one of Boorman's best.
One of the most ambitious sf movies ever with details that would sustain whole other movies tossed off in an aside. It's an English pastoral 2001, a vision of humanity's collapse and rebirth. It's also the ultimate 70s sci-fi film, with ecological collapse as its background. (The score by early-music pioneer David Munrow is quite intelligent too.)
Reaches a new high in movie ridiculousness. Pretentious, silly, and incomprehensible - and not even fun in a cult movie kind of way because it takes itself way too seriously. But how could anyone think a movie featuring Sean Connery running around in a leather diaper shooting at giant flying stone heads could be taken seriously? This one even tops Boorman's own 'Exorcist II' as one of the worst movies ever made.
Existential masturbation whose motivation is shrugged off in the opening monologue and thereafter has an 'end of term' feel to all the play of gods, penises, guns and any other phallic objects it can reference. It's very humourless and we've visited this allegorical territory many times. Visually striking, not least of course the image of Connery in a loincloth which veers the interest away from the existential.