My friends on Facebook kept telling me things like "We watched a few minutes of it and turned it off" "It's horrible" "Do you want to randomly find yourself screaming 'No! Why!?!' for the rest of your life?" but these sort of warnings only made me bump it to the top of the Netflix queue.
The disc arrived in the mail yesterday and as soon Amy and my firstborn were asleep, I hurried down to the den expecting two hours of MST3K-level awfulness.
It was good. It wasn't bad.
The acting, costumes*, directing, cinematography, and editing were not award-winning, but were as good or better than many other movies I've seen that are much more highly acclaimed than poor old Zardoz.
A couple of the sets were a bit cheesy, but the special effects were actually good (allowing for the fact that this was a pre-Star Wars movie).
The plot is followable** and interesting. I was expecting an incoherent mess.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The part where Zed figures out what Tabernacle is, and goes to destroy it is a bit of a mind-bender.
So taken simply as a straightforward science fiction movie, it's average, but when you realize it's meant as a criticism of modern culture and class structure and subtly asks the question "What happens to a human race that has stopped evolving?" then you see the full scope of the film.
*OK, the red banana-hammock bandolier is a nightmare, but the rest are acceptable.
**May have coined*** a new word here
***Footnotes are awesome, but nested**** footnotes are super-awesome
It has some great imagery in it (you gotta love the giant floating head spewing guns and shotgun shells out of its mouth), but it tries to be Very Very Profound in that dopey sci-fi way and it's just not.
I've seen worse, though. It's no Event Horizon, that's for sure.
Event Horizon is so far from rocking that its very existence on a planet which also contains rocking things can only be explained by the curved space described in non-Euclidian geometry. Physicists theorize that what is happening is that the strong AH* field given off by the film actually warps the space-time continuum in such a way that coolness bends around it. This is why anything awesome that is visible behind a copy of Event Horizon displays a redshift.
This is why anything awesome that is visible behind a copy of Event Horizon displays a redshift.
I think I would have gone with brownshift. It would have fit your premise better.
Also, I might have mentioned how the suck increases geometrically as you approach Event Horizon, and that once you get close enough to begin watching it, you are now forever stuck in its suck and all time has ground to a halt.