Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom, 1974. John Boorman Productions. Screenplay by John Boorman. Cinematography by Produced by John Boorman. Music by David Munrow. Production Design by Anthony Pratt. Costume Design by Christel Kruse Boorman. Film Editing by John Merritt.
One of the most bizarre entries in the science-fiction canon for many reasons, not the least of which is the sight of Sean Connery running around a barren landscape in a red diaper and long pony tail. John Boorman’s painfully unsubtle allegory is about a futuristic civilization where enslaved labourers work the land and are controlled by a small group of advanced and enlightened humans in a remote citadel. The folks up top have convinced the peons that they are gods, a notion put to the test when Connery infiltrates the sanctuary of the privileged and reveals its hidden secrets. It’s actually loads of campy fun to watch, and there is a marvelous commitment to its strangeness that does not abate; it’s nice to see a film with a high concept never give in to the temptation to become an action adventure in its last third. Like most science fiction, it reveals more about its own time than anything prescient about the future, but as such even the dated costumes and makeup make it more pleasurable to endure.