November 8th, 2008

ZARDOZ (1974) ½ *

Sean Connery runs around in a red diaper and shoots lots of irritating hippie mofos in John Boorman’s laughably stupefying sci-fi shitfest.  Connery is Zed, an “exterminator” who hitches a ride inside of a gigantic statue head “God” named Zardoz.  It drops him off in “the vortex” where a bunch of “immortals” make him hang out and watch dirty movies to see how his penis works.  After he’s had enough of that, he hooks up with this other order of immortals who actually WANT to die and they’re hoping that Zed will give them “the gift of death”. 


You know, the science fiction genre is great because it allows filmmakers to make all these grandiose statements about the meaning of life and stuff.  By putting all of their metaphors and shit into a science fiction context, it makes the movie profound and what not.  Take Godzilla for example.  Godzilla was a metaphor for the atomic destruction that leveled Tokyo during WWII.  Zardoz on the other hand is just a bunch of random weirdness for weirdness sakes.  The amount of psychedelic drugs you would need to take in order to understand this crap would prove fatal. 


Zardoz is just plain awful.  Seriously, does Connery even READ the scripts that are given to him?  Between Zardoz, Highlander 2 and The Avengers, I’m going to go with… NO.  Sean, what were you thinking when you signed up to run around the moors of Ireland dressed like an anorexic sumo wrestler?  Then again, you can’t really blame Sean for taking the gig since he got to hang around a bunch of naked tarts for most of the film’s running time. 


Speaking of nude trollops, there are copious amounts of titties on display to keep you watching.  The breasts are made all the more lovely thanks to the excellent cinematography by Geoffrey (Superman) Unsworth.  Nothing else in the flick is worth two shits; except for maybe the dialogue.  Boy, are there some howlers in this one.  Zardoz easily gets the best line of the movie when he says, “The gun is good!  The penis is evil!”

BLOOD SONG (1982) ***

Frankie (Beach Blanket Bingo) Avalon stars as a flute playing psycho hatchet murderer who escapes from the asylum and starts hacking people up.  Donna (Angel) Wilkes is a leg brace wearing teenager whose life was saved by a blood transfusion from… you guessed it, Crazy Frankie.  Now that Donna has some of Frankie’s blood flowing through her veins, that means she has a psychic link to him and can see him murder people in her “dreams”.  Predictably, he comes after her too, which means she’s going to have to lose those leg braces and run like Forrest Gump if she wants to survive.


Blood Song features a really cool score that’s just about as schizophrenic as Avalon is.  At times it sounds like Halloween, other times it sounds like Jaws, and sometimes it’s reminiscent of Friday the 13th.  That’s okay though because it still pretty effective, despite its unoriginality.  The only complaint I had with the music was the thoroughly hideous love song, “All in Your Mind” by Lainie Kazan that plays while Wilkes is taking a thoughtful stroll in the woods. 


As much as I enjoyed this flick, I have to admit that it dropped the ball on a couple occasions.  The most obvious shortcoming was the finale.  Sure, the Final Girl scene where Frankie chases Donna through the sawmill was intense, but why do you need the scene where Frankie turns on the log splitting machine if no one’s going to be pushed into it and get turned into human sawdust?  Another thing that cheesed me off about this movie was that Donna kept saying she had “dreams” about Frankie but they were really more like “visions” because she was clearly awake when she was having them. 


That’s okay though because if you are like me and you hear the words, “Frankie Avalon stars as a flute playing psycho hatchet murderer” that will be all you need to know about this movie.  Blood Song contains enough scenes of Frankie Avalon playing a flute before chopping up people with a hatchet to make it a winner.  He even mows down somebody with a forklift just for the Hell of it too.  Frankie is excellent as the demented killer and really sinks his teeth into the role.  He actually manages to be kinda creepy in this film, especially during the scenes where he’s required to use a little boy voice. 


I wonder what Annette thinks about this flick.


AKA:  Dream Slayer.