Zardoz (1974) | John Boorman’s dizzy space oddity gets a 4k restoration
John Boorman’s futuristic 1974 fantasy Zardoz ranks of one of one of the most original and peculiar British sci-fis, but also one of the most decisive. Four decades on, Arrow in the UK have given the film a fantastic 4k restoration release on Blu-ray.
Beyond 1984, Beyond 2001, Beyond Love, Beyond Death
It’s the year 2293 and, wearing a red mankini and thigh-high boots, a pony-tailed Sean Connery plays Zed, a warrior from a polluted wasteland, who stows away on a flying godhead (Zardoz) to bring life and death to a 300-year-old gated community of intellectuals and scientists led by Charlotte Rampling’s Conseulla.
A warped, weird and very trippy re-imagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where the stone-age meets sci-fi in a rugged (Irish) landscape, Zardoz is certainly eccentric and packed with imagination and exciting visuals, but it was a commercial failure and panned by critics as pretentious drivel. This Arrow re-release, however, makes it ripe for reappraisal, and not just for the curiosity value of seeing Connery in a red nappy and John Alderton in pink tights.
Photographed by Geoffrey Unsworth (2001: A Space Odyssey) and designed by Boris Karloff’s great nephew Anthony Pratt (Excalibur), British sci-fi has rarely looked so deliciously odd – welcome to 2293: A Space Oz-yssey.
Zardoz lands on Blu-ray on 21 September 2015 from Arrow Video.
• New 4K digital restoration by Twentieth Century Fox, supervised and approved by John Boorman
• High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
• Optional English subtitles
• Audio commentary with Boorman
• Interviews with Boorman, actor Sara Kestelman, production designer Anthony Pratt, special effects creator Gerry Johnston, camera operator Peter MacDonald, assistant director Simon Relph, hair stylist Colin Jamison, production manager Seamus Byrne, and assistant editor Alan Jones
• Newly filmed appreciation with director Ben Wheately
• Theatrical trailer
• Radio spots
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
• Collector’s booklet containing new writing, archive interviews and production stills.
Posted on September 22, 2015, in British Film, Might See, Might-See, Sci-Fi and tagged Arrow Video, Ben Wheately, Charlotte Rampling, Dystopia, John Boorman, Might See, Sci-Fi, Sean Connery, Zardoz. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.