Zardoz (1974) (part 15 of 15)
Connie and Z-Dawg walk over to the fountain where Topless Chick is leading everybody in the Time Warp. Yep, I guess there’s the matter of a little flash-forward still to be taken care of.
Connie extends her arms forward as Topless Chick addresses them all. “Death approaches,” she says. “We are all mortal again! Now we can say yes to death!” So throw out all your old CHOOSE LIFE shirts from the 80’s! And get rid of all those FRANKIE SAY RELAX shirts while you’re at it!
“Now, we must make our farewells!” Now the time has come to say goodbye to all our family! “To each other, to the sun and moon, trees and sky, earth and rock! The landscape of our long, waking dream!” She once again calls Z-Dawg the “Liberator” and asks him to “liberate me now, according to your promise!” Babe, considering how often you showed your boobs in this movie, I doubt anyone could make you much more liberated than you already are.
In response, Z-Dawg takes out his gun and aims it right at her. Connie yells, “Do it! Do it!” Damn. Peer pressure’s a mother. He lowers his gun and says, “All that I was… is gone.” Then a shot rings out and Topless Chick collapses.
The gathered crowd gasps and moans and cries out as Topless Chick plunges into the water. This part wasn’t staged very well, but apparently it wasn’t Z-Dawg who shot her. Z looks around confused, wondering who did it. Guess who?
Yep, it’s the Lollipop Guild! Remember them? The Janus Mask Guys suddenly jump out from the trees and starts arbitrarily shooting people. One girl eagerly cries out, “Kill me, too!” A Janus Mask is all like, you don’t have to ask me twice, and he wastes her with a shotgun.
The Eternals all eagerly come at the Janus Mask Guys, who cut them down left and right. Then some Janus Mask Guys ride up on horseback and start picking them all off one by one. Some run through the crowd randomly running people through with swords. Z-Dawg, apparently wanting to preserve his piece of ass, grabs Connie by the hand and leads her away from the carnage.
Then we see the big plastic tents for growing marijuana suddenly go up in flames [?] in a raging inferno. Cut to May on horseback with her caravan up on top of a hill. She hears the shooting off in the distance, and looks back down at the lake with a tear in her eye, like she’s an Indian who just saw me drop a Doritos bag on the ground.
Cut back to Friend and Arthur Frayn. Arthur says, “Let’s kill each other, Friend!” Now that’s music to my ears! Frayn calls this “proper regard for irony.” Yeah. Whatever he says. He then pulls out a dove [?] and says, “One last trick?” Friend happily goes to pet the dove, when suddenly he takes a bullet right in the chest. [!!]
At this, Frayn looks really horrified for some reason. Again, didn’t they actually want to die? Friend collapses to the ground and yells, “Success! It was all a joke!” And then he dies. Wow.
Then Arthur Frayn finally gets it right in the back, too. Then Top Hat Renegade gets it, then Apathetic Chick gets it, and she naturally tumbles to the ground with her boobs falling out of her shirt. Was that shot really necessary, Mr. Boorman?
Then it’s back to Janus Mask Guys blasting away at anything that moves. So, I guess if you’re making a movie and you’re stuck for that perfect ending, just kill everybody. Hey, it worked for Tarantino, right?
Cut to Connie and Z-Dawg running through the woods, until they come to the crashed Giant Stone Head. The two of them run into the mouth and, once inside, Connie takes Zed by the hand and they start making out. [?]
Then it’s back to the murder and mayhem, and the whole time, the Renegade band is standing outside and playing their instruments [!]. Thanks to the Lollipop Guild, eventually the trio is reduced to a duo, and then to a solo, and then nothing. Then we spot our old friend George Saden, begging and pleading to die. Eventually, he gets a sword slashed across the back of his neck which finally shuts him up.
Eventually, all of the Eternals are wasted, and their bodies litter the lawn around the mirrored pyramid. One Janus Mask Guy calls out for Z-Dawg, while we get a close-up of Friend’s corpse, and a shot of Topless Chick’s body floating in the fountain. And wouldn’t you know it, she’s somehow found a way to be topless again, even after death.
The Janus Mask Guy continues to cry out Z-Dawg’s name at least twenty times. This “artfully” segues into a sweaty Connie writhing around and calling out Z-Dawg’s name. Unfortunately, it’s not what you think. No, we’re about to witness what is probably the most pretentious part of the whole movie, and that’s saying a lot.
Inside the cave-like interior of the Stone Head, Connie is lying down with her shirt open below the chest, revealing a prosthetic pregnant tummy [!!]. Z-Dawg sits beside her, just staring at her and holding her hand. And looking, I might add, suitably freaked out.
We immediately cut to a topless Connie now breastfeeding her baby, and Z-Dawg sitting beside her and wearing a weird Dickensian overcoat.
Then we cross-fade to them still sitting there, both a little older. The kid is now sitting between them, looking to be about 2 or 3.
Then we cross-fade to them still sitting in the same place, all a little bit older, and the kid is now about eight and has a total Adam Rich haircut. Wow, do you get what’s happening? They can get old and have kids! Well, in case you don’t get it, or even if you do, it’ll continue to be hammered deep, deep into the ground over the next couple of minutes.
Next, they’re a little older and the kid is a pre-teen. Next, the kid’s a teenager and he looks like a younger version of Jon Mikl Thor. Jon Mikl Thor looks at his two parents, then is all like, I’m Audi 5000, so he gets up and walks off. The two reach out hands to try to stop him, but he keeps going, so they link hands with each other. Oooh! The symbolism!
Then, Connie and Z-Dawg continue aging in time-lapse photography. Next, they look like the old couple from The Princess Bride, only using some of the worst “old age” makeup I think I’ve ever seen. Finally, we cross-fade to two skeletons [!!!] holding hands. Unbelievable. Well, hey, this is what happens when you just sit on the same ledge in a cave for your entire life. Eventually, you just waste away to nothing.
Then, they disappear completely, and we zoom in on Z-Dawg’s gun, held to the wall by cobwebs and now rusted through. There’s a brief credit listing where the movie was filmed, and that, at long last, is the end of it.
In a usual recap, this would be the time when I would do a little wrap up to make sense of everything we’ve just seen. But, with Zardoz, I think it’s best for all of us to just move on. Let the healing begin, folks.