The weekend before memorial day, a good friend of Leah's got married, and so as my wife attended to her bridesmaidly duties, I was left to hang out in our rather nice hotel room, armed with nothing but my Macbook, a TV-out cable, and a few thumbdrives full of films.
In the annals of eschatological film, there is one film about which I have found surprisingly little analysis. It is universally reviled, its very name turned code for a great old shame in one's past. And yet, none of the internet critics whose angry rantings have become my favorite television genre (Which probably says more about the state of television in 2010 than it does about internet critics) have done a detailed analysis. So far as I know, no one has yet indulged in the ancient and worshipful ritual of the rifftrack for this movie.
It is a film set in a post apocalyptic world, a world where one man dares to stand against the gods themselves, and strike a blow for freedom, and that man... wears a red diaper.That man is Sean Connery, and that movie is Zardoz.
dir. John Boorman
Starring Sean Connery
But we're not actually going to be reviewing Zardoz today. You see, after a promising opening scene, in which a disembodied floating head spoilers the plot for us, and we have an exciting scene in which a flying stone head called Zardoz tells his followers about the relative merits of the second ammendment when compared to those of the free love movement (Zardoz is a Republican), prompting me to realize this film's social relevance: If, in 2010, you find that your political views align closely with a flying stone head which vomits guns, you should perhaps reconsider them.
But then Sean goes flying off in the stone head away from this post-apocalyptic civilization, and the whole thing becomes very cerebral and confusing and dull and, I strongly suspect, takes a stab at ripping off Kubrick, especially right at the end. The whole thing just left me dazed and mumbling "WTF?" continuously for about two hours. Which is, I believe, longer than the actual film.
So, that's about it for Zardoz. There's a few moments coherent enough to be worth mocking, but for my money, it would have been a better bad movie if Zed (That's Connery. Had this review gone the distance, I was hoping to do a sight gag replacing him with other famous Zeds in media, such as Chief Zed from Men in Black, Zeddicus Zul Zorrander from Legend of the Seeker, Zed the guy from Pulp Fiction and Lord Zedd from the Power Rangers) had just stayed in the wasteland and had ribald adventures there. But hey, they can't all be winners. Maybe next time I'll have better luck when I review--
I say there, boy, has the tea party already started?
For those of you not in the know, Naked Zombie Sean Connery is the boss of level 2 of the game Samurai Zombie Nation, an old Nintendo game in which, due to what I can only assume is a misplaced comma, you play not as "Namakubi, the great head of the samurai", but rather as "The head of the great samurai Namakubi". I'm not sure if it was cause or consequence of Naked Zombie Sean Connery's ascendency to memehood, but The Spoony One did a rant about the game, and, coincidentally, that rant was released on my birthday a few years ago. So go watch that if you want more information about this Terrible Old Classic of Eight Bit Gaming, because personally, I never made it past the first stage.Oh crap. It's Naked Zombie Sean Connery. (To Leah) Honey? Have you been letting internet memes in the house?
Now there, boy. I've come to help you review my cinematic masterpiece, Zardoz
Ah. So you're not here to savagely kill me with your battleaxe and then eat my brains?
Please, now, boy. I haven't eaten brains in years. Not since Medicine Man
Glad to hear it. So, if you're not under the control of the evil Darc Seed, then, um... Why are you naked?
Well, why not, lad? I've always been a firm believer in letting them swing free. Except in the Amazon. There's a fish there that will swim right up you. Now, are we going to review Zardoz or not? Have you gotten to the part where they hold a special seminar on my ability to sustain an erection? I had to use my own erection for that scene of course; Viagra hadn't come out yet.
Um, actually Mr. Naked Zombie Connery, I was just telling my readers that I wasn't going to be able to review Zardoz.
It's Sir Naked Zombie Connery, actually, boy. But you can call me Sir Naked Zombie Sean. But why aren't you going to finish my film?
(Looks around for a defensive weapon in case Sir Naked Zombie Sean takes offense) Sir Naked Zombie Sean, uh, do you understand the sort of reviews I do here? I mean, they aren't, generally, especially favorable toward their subject matter.
I know that, boy. I've been around the block. I've seen that show with that Joe and his Tim Servo and Cow.... Mmm... That Gypsy, she was quite the filly.... (shakes head) It's all an affectionate ribbing, I've been to a roast before, m'lad.
Yes... Well... You see, that's the problem.... I just couldn't find anything really good for mocking. It was just... Well, truth be told, there were a lot of parts I didn't really understand. I-- I'm sure you could offer an informative perspective--
Ach, I doubt that, boy. I don't think anyone on the set really knew what was going on in that picture. Of all the films I've worked on, that one was the one with the second highest budget for cocaine.
What was the first?
A Bridge Too Far. I bet you were expecting me to pick one of the silly ones, weren't you, boy?
So anyway, I'm really sorry that I won't be able to review your movie today. It's really great that you'd come here to review it with me and all... My mom really loves your work.
Ah yes, boy. Your mum. She was quite the filly.
Ri-ight. So, um, thanks for coming and all, and I--
Boy, it's just... Well... I did fly all the way out here from Scotland...
You flew here? They let you though airport security with that axe? And naked?
Of course not, boy. I brought my own transport. By the way, do you think it's okay if I park my giant flying stone head at the end of the street?
I'm sure it'll be okay if it's just for a couple of hours.
And it may have vomited up a few assault rifles on your front garden...
You're trying to say that you'd like to review a movie with me, aren't you?
Well, boy, so long as you're suggesting it. You know, I have done quite a few other movies. Highlander 2 for instance
Oh no, I am not reviewing Highlander 2. Leaving aside for them moment the fact that far better critics than me have already done it (Most recently, The Spoony One), I didn't actually think that the movie was all that bad.
Not that bad? Have you been hitting my stash, boy? I'm a senile, randy, reanimated corpse, and I find that turdburger indigestible!
Well, sure, the plot's a little weak and the villians are obnoxious assholes, but it's got a few fun moments.
By god, boy. Planet Zeist?
Y'know, yeah, that was dumb. But look, we're talking about a movie called Highlander, where you, the quintessential Scot, play an Egyptian Prince, with a Spanish name who teaches Japanese Kenjutsu to a Highland Scot played by a Frenchman. Saying you were all really aliens frankly clears a lot of stuff up. And on balance, yeah, I think that a bizarre and outlandish explanation is a lot better than every other Highlander sequel at sidestepping that whole "There can be only one" thing. I remember all my friends saying how great Highlander 3 was because it ignored Highlander 2 -- but you really expected me to believe that at the end of the first movie, he's just, what, mistaken about having won the prize? Dumbasses.
Oh, and besides, I really liked that scene where you punched the globe.
Ah yes, boy. I smashed through that globe like a young girl's maidenhead.
Yes, well, okay. So, no Highlander. We could maybe do Outland, but you'd have to come back in a week or two so I can get it from Netflix.
Sorry, boy. I've got something important to do next week.
Your mum, boy.
I knew it was coming, and yet I had to ask anyway. So, I do have something we could review today -- not one of your films, sorry. But I watched a couple of other films while Leah was at the batchelorette party. There's a shot-on-video horror movie based around some jiggly, trashy-looking women with chainsaws. And there's a science fictiony sort of thing about a white creamy substance which tries to take over the earth... And I am in a lot of trouble either way aren't I?
You know, boy, I once produced a white creamy substance that tried to take over the earth.
And with that, thankfully, it's time for the jump. When we return, Sir Naked Zombie Sean and I are going to go wading hip-deep in the sexually suggestive goo pit that is... The Stuff
dir. Larry Cohen
Starring Michael Moriarty, Paul Sorvino, and Garrett Morris as "Chocolate Chip" Charlie Hobbs.
I'm in a lot of trouble...