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SEAN CONNERY IN JOHN BOORMAN'S EXPERIMENTAL 'ZARDOZ'

Sean Connery as Zed in ZARDOZ Year: 1974 Rating: ***1/2

After scoring big with DELIVERANCE, adventurous and intrepid director John Boorman wound up with the bizarre futuristic fable ZARDOZ, a picture that could never be made today...

About a raping and pillaging (and raping) barbarian, part of a raping and pillaging barbarian race, violently riding horseback along the beachy outskirts of a world run within a hidden wilderness Utopia of sexless intellectuals, that never (really) age...

And the coolest sequence has Sean Connery's resilient muscular/shirtless title character discovering his way there, stowed inside a giant floating god-head statue; and then becoming an experimental neanderthal that these flaky neo-hippies can study — in particular the gorgeous and stubborn Charlotte Rampling and scene-stealing arthouse beauty Sara Kestelman, both shrewder than passive male counterpart John Alderton, who all share scenes with Connery's Zed when he isn't alone, investigating what makes this strange land tick, dating back to the 20th Century — with a twist literally built into the title: A cerebral STAR TREK meets TWILIGHT ZONE that needs far more pockets of action throughout endless philosophizing so heavy-handed, it's nearly impossible for an audience to fully grasp... at least the first time around.

Sean Connery (this written on his death day) with John Alderton and Sara Kestelman in ZARDOZ

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