Director: John Boorman

U.K.| 1973. Colour. Anamorphic. 105 mins.

Boorman’s only excursion so far into science fiction is a typically offbeat vision of an ossified, class-ridden dystopia; he took his title from that classic depiction of a gleaming paradise that proves to be ramshackle and phoney, The Wizard of Oz. After some unspecified, possibly nuclear holocaust, humanity is divided in two: the Brutals till the polluted Outlands, policed by masked Exterminators, while the immortal but sexually flaccid Eternals live within the forcefield-protected Vortex. When Zed the Exterminator (a ponytailed Sean Connery) penetrates the enclave like a sperm into an ovum, his concentrated virility brings sex and death to the elite, shattering their power. The film starts more hares than it finally has the patience to chase, but it offers a visually riveting experience.

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