I feel like I’m being pulled in a thousand fucking directions at once. Like, every day there’s someone or something else that demands all of me RIGHT THIS GODDAMN SECOND (goddamn giant monkey hands) and no one ever fucking stops and says, “Hey dude. What do YOU need?”. And it ain’t like I need a lot, y’know? I don’t need the adoration of the masses or anything. I need someone to help, not hinder. I need people to accept. Accept the fact that I get angry. Accept that I need to lash out. Accept that I need an outlet! I don’t need advice, I don’t need a contrary point of view, I don’t need to be told that I’m not allowed to be angry or sweary, I need to get all that out! Anger, hatred, fear—all those dark and scary emotions are POISON. And I need some form of…of release, otherwise I’m going to explode. I’m not going to hurt anyone with my anger—I don’t have that power. But I have to let it out. Or it is going to kill me.
Doradus is a world that lies on the edge of Known Space, somewhere in the Sirius Minor system. It orbits twin Type G-II stars, and as such is a hot, arid world full of danger and adventure.
Doradus is roughly the same size as Jupiter in the Terran system. It was long thought to be uninhabited, but recent events have changed that perception greatly.
This hot, dry world is mostly desert and mountainous terrain. There are two large seas, but they are thick with alkaline minerals and salts. The purification process is a complex and lengthy one, tended to by only a chosen, honored few. There are underground wellsprings that are free from the poisons of the surface, but these are jealously guarded, and in at least one area, a place of deep religious significance.
The Provisional Science Council maintains at least one outpost on Doradus for scientific research. It is thought to be a punishment rather than an assignment, for Doradus lies far outside of normal trade and commerce routes. Very few are pleased with the assignment, and only a true lunatic would request this posting.
The people of Doradus would be seen as backwards individuals—savage and warlike, with no true technology to ease the harsh lifestyle that Doradus brings. In truth, Doradans have access to various technologies that are held in high esteem and in great awe. Machinery is kept in a state of constant repair, as if it breaks there are very few individuals who can fix it. Sand, dust, and grit get into everything, so while weapons maintain a rigorous repair cycle, vehicles can sometimes be overlooked.
There are several species living on Doradus.
Humans: even in this, the most remote planet in the galaxy, humanity thrives. Most are descendants of a colony ship that crashed on the planet two centuries ago. Repeated requests of aid and evacuation go unheeded by the Science Council.
Warnocks: Warnocks are great, green brutes who live in the Deep Wastes and the mountains. Thick, ropy hair; tough, muscled bodies; brute force and ripping tusks—these are the hallmarks of a Warnock. Warnocks average anywhere from 5-6 feet tall, and often weigh upwards of two hundred pounds, and all of it is muscle. Warnocks live in a tribal society, and support their numbers by raiding. They maintain permanent settlements near the mountains, most notably the Clawscape Mountains.
Za-Men: the Za-Men are very like humans, with one exception: size. The average Za-Man stands just over 7 feet, with some topping 8. They are also heavy with muscle, very broad and strong. They are a simple, nomadic people, with most of their clans living in small tent cities in the Saarman Desert. They will typically stay in a place for a month, then pack up and move on. They have one place of permanence in all the world: The Temple of the War-Goddess. The War-Goddess is a figure from legend that will one day appear to lead the Za-Men to a land of water and joy. The Temple hides access to one of the few freshwater springs on Doradus. The Za-Men enjoy songs and stories, and fight and love readily.
Do you have problems with crime or crime-like events in your neighborhood? Are there monsters or mad scientists running amok near your schools? Is some bizarre combination shambling about—like, I dunno, Don Frankenstein is running the Monster Mafia while crime-scientists create new combinations of crime and monster?
Well, FUCK THOSE GUYS.
Give me a call. I will travel in my sweet ride and start monkey-flipping motherfuckers in a heartbeat. I LIVE for this shit. I wear this thing all day, every day, just in case justice calls and needs something’s ass kicked.
Right now you’re thinking, “what the tits does this guy know about monster and/or crime-fighting?”Bitch, let me share the news: FUCKING EVERYTHING.
Got a Dracula? Bam! Suplex his ass into the sun. Mobsters? I got a car that turns into guns. How many? ALL OF THEM. Got a rogue Frankenstein you just can’t shake? WHOOBA-DAOW, ironic Frankensteiner off the top rope, pin and done.
Look, I can do this all day. I have no problem drop kicking a werewolf and teaching vampire women to love.
So give me a call. I have no number. Just shriek into the night. I’ll hear you.
A bit of history for those not in the know: Zardoz is a 1974 sci-fi film directed by John Boorman (Excalibur, Deliverance) and starring Sean Connery (no. No, I refuse to put references here. If you don’t know who Sean Connery is, get off my planet.).
This film gets a lot of flak, primarily because it is weird as hell. And that’s a shame, because it actually has a lot going for it. Where to begin? We start with this fella:
That’s Frayn. He basically tells us we’re watching a movie, and he’s manipulated EVERYTHING. Which was a weird framing device, but whatever works. Yes, that is a painted on ‘stache and goatee. Remember this dude. We’ll see him later.
So now we get to the thick of it. Behold ZARDOZ, GREAT AND POWERFUL:
BAM! BIGASS STONE HEAD! ANGRY AS HELL!
Look at those teeth! Those EYES! Shit, this thing is AWESOME!! There’s all these guys on horses, and they’re wearing masks that look like this thing, and it stops and booms out the following:
“THE GUN IS GOOD! THE PENIS IS EVIL! THE PENIS SHOOTS SEED AND MAKES NEW LIFE TO POISON THE EARTH WITH A PLAGUE OF MEN AS IT ONCE WAS.”
Wait, what? The penis is…okay, okay, giant stone head. I was a little confused, but okay. Sure.
The noggin then barfs up like, a hojillion guns and pound upon pound of ammo, which the priest guys greedily scarf up. Then this:
SEAN CONNERY, FOOLS! He shoots the camera! And he’s dressed like this:
Look at it. I SAID LOOK, DAMMIT! If I have to see it, so do you! If you were and ass to women when you were alive, this is how the Devil collects you when you’re dead. Oh, my God, LOOK! It’s a red diaper, with gunbelts and THIGH HIGH BOOTS! And that ‘stache! So majestic. That is a hairy, hairy man.
For those curious, this movie came out just after Connery wrapped up playing Bond (it was his second post-Bond project) and he couldn’t get work. Imagine that for a second: a time when SEAN CONNERY COULD NOT GET WORK. This is what happens, Hollywood. THIS.
So Zed (that’s his name: Zed. ZED FOR ZARDOZ! Moving on.), it turns out, is hiding inside the stone head as it flies back to…SOMEWHERE (ominous foreshadowing!). Inside, he meets several well-preserved people and Frayn, our floaty headed painted mustache guy. And promptly shoots his ass dead.
A while later, stone head parks itself by a house and Zed escapes into…PARADISE! Actually, it’s more of a hippie commune. He enters the house of Frayn and is puzzled by all he sees:
But he also gets himself a shiny crystal ring that tells him stuff. Handy. Moving on, we meet the first of many psychic topless hippie chicks, and then Zed is captured and placed into a memory viewing facility.
Yes, those are nude people pressed against the glass. See, Zed is now inside the Vortex, a sealed off colony where people can’t die and aging is used as a punishment (more later). Our ladies up there don’t know anything about the outside world. They are also confused as to why he’s so brawny and hairy. The scene above is Zed narrating the last 24 hours of his life.
More boring stuff happens, the Eternals (hippies) use Zed as slave labor, and he is shown where the old ones are kept. See, instead of police or prison, the Eternals suffer aging for their crimes, but they still can’t die. Zed is a New Thing—he represents the ‘Gift of Death’.
The hippies also want Zed for his wang. That’s not a joke—being immortal, they have lost the need or desire to reproduce. They understand what a wang is for, but don’t know how to make it work. Like I said, I can’t make this stuff up.
So it turns out that it was all the big fake out from the beginning. Zed and his Exterminator brethren are mutants! Stronger, smarter, more dangerous! And this whole thing was a setup to get one of their own into the Vortex to destroy it from within: the Exterminators found out long ago that their god was a false one, and that don’t sit well with the ONLY GUYS IN THE WORLD WHO HAVE GUNS. Also, this happens:
Yep. Sean Connery in a wedding dress and what looks like the love child of Paul McCartney and Angela Lansbury. Is there a story there? Absolutely. But that image is way the hell funnier out of context, so I’ll just let it slide. Anyway.
Zed finally destroys the Tabernacle (the super AI that ran the Vortex) while some of the nicer hippies go off and start life anew. Zed and Consuela (who spent pretty much the whole movie trying to kill him) go off and have a kid, then grow ancient and die. The end.
Lordy. This movie gets an awful rap, and it absolutely deserves it. But…
There’s some good sci-fi elements wrapped up in this flick. The idea of an immortal society that can’t end its own existence is pretty cool. The fact that they bred a super soldier class to basically do that is also good. The psychics, the AI that runs it all…all of these are really good ideas, but this thing was just bizarrely executed.
I was first turned on to this flick a few years ago. While browsing in a used bookstore, I found the paperback novelization and read the back. The description was cool as hell, so when I found a copy of the DVD for $2, I snatched that fucker right up. THERE IS A REASON IT WAS ONLY $2.
This movie could have been AWESOME. It could have been a template for whole genres, but it wasn’t. Why? BECAUSE THE PENIS IS EVIL, and someone said, “John. JOHN! I GOT IT! Sean Connery in a red, heavily-armed diaper.” And John Boorman just…he just ran with it. Connery must have been STARVING for work. Can you imagine walking onto the set? This is how I imagine the conversation went:
Boorman: “Well, Sean, here we are. You got the script?”
Connery: “Yesh. I’m shuper exshited to be working on thish posht-apocalyptical film with ye.”
Boorman: “Sweet. Well, here’s your costume.” *holds out red diaper, boots, etc.*
Connery: “Well. I guesh the rent’sh not gonna pay itshelf. By the by—fuck you, Boorman.”*
*To preserve historical accuracy, read Connery’s lines with your best Connery impression. That will make the typed dialogue make a little more sense.
FINAL THOUGHT: If you get a chance to see Zardoz, do it. Not because it’s a great film, but because it does have a lot of neat stuff happening. The design work, the ideas of a post apocalyptic society, the big stone head. But also, because then you can say WITH PRIDE, DAMMIT: “I saw Zardoz. Top that. I dare you.”
But don’t say it to me. I saw Catwoman. In the theater. Oh! I think I smell a future review!!
I was woken up by another charley horse this morning, in my right calf. It led me to ask the following question:
Why can’t we have sweet robot legs, like Darth Maul in the new Clone Wars cartoon? That’d be cool. Yeah. Sweet robolegs.
Nothing really noteworthy here—just a smackdash list of movies I want to review.
-Masters of the Universe
-All the Schawzenegger Real Life Documentaries
-The Stallonian Campaign
-Higlanders and whatnot
Additional suggestions are welcome!
Wake. Groggily fumble, heart pounding—off. Alarms are meant to scare us into wakefulness.
Up and down through the night—exhausted now, I sit in the shower before I stand. This is a mistake. I nearly nod off.
I am leaving for work soon. My day will improve because I will make it so—but Hamlet said it best: “To sleep, perchance to dream.”