“Zardoz” (1974) (105 mins) Sci Fi/Fantasy/Drama.
Sean Connery, Charlotte Rambling, Sara Kestleman, John Alderton, Niall Buggy.
Director: John Boorman.
Written by: John Boorman.
Filmed in County Wicklow – Glencree; Luggala estate and interiors at Ardmore Studios.
In the distant future (2293 AD) Earth is divided into two societies. The Vortex is an isolated, heavily guarded, community of immortal scientists and intellectuals called the Eternals. Outside the Vortex lies a desolate world laid waste by war and pollution, peopled by the Brutals, primitive savages and killers who worship a fearsome god, Zardoz. But one rebellious Brutal, Zed (Sean Connery) is determined to survive on his own terms, which could threaten the balance of civilization…and possibly destroy it.
Available on VHS and DVD.
“Zeppelin” (1970) (101 mins) War Drama.
Michael York, Elke Sommer, Anton Diffring, Andrew Keir, Peter Carsten, Marius Goring.
Director: Etienne Perier.
Filmed mostly in England – Bedfordshire, and Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire; also Wales and Malta. The aerial scenes were shot in Ireland (a dogfight was filmed off Wicklow Harbour).
The outbreak of World War I places Scottish officer Geoffrey Richter-Douglas (Michael York) in an uncomfortable position. Although his allegiance is to Britain, his mother was from an aristocratic Bavarian family, and he spent his summers in Germany as a child. When Geoffrey is approached by a German spy who offers him a chance to defect, he reports the incident to his superiors, but instead of arresting the spy they suggest that he accept her offer – and become a double agent. In Germany, among old friends, Geoffrey discovers that loyalty is more complicated than he expected, especially when he finds himself aboard the maiden voyage of a powerful new prototype Zeppelin, headed for Scotland on a secret mission that could decide the outcome of the war.
Available on VHS and DVD – quite scarce and expensive.
Simon Delaney, Don Wycherley, David Pearse, Janice Byrne and Rory Keenan.
Directors: John Carney and Kieran Carney.
Filmed in County Wicklow – Avoca, with interior bar scenes shot in The Harbour Bar in Bray.
Zonad (Simon Delaney) is from space…probably. Or so the Cassidy family assume when they discover him passed out on their living room carpet and why wouldn’t they? He has a red latex suit, a visor on his helmet and a cholesterol level that’s off the scale. Offering to put him up during his mission to earth, the Cassidy family make Zonad feel very welcome – and in the case of mother Mary and her teenage daughter Jenny, they make him feel very welcome indeed… Or at least they do until fleet commander Bonad arrives – all shiny and new in a blue satin jumpsuit – and then we’re locked into a collision path of earth-shattering proportions.
Verdict: Despite being a big fan of Simon Delaney, this is 75 minutes of my life that I want back – some of the worst rubbish I’ve ever seen and that’s really saying something!
Available on DVD.