Zombies of Mora Tau 1957
Zombies of Mora Tau 1957 directed by one of the masters of B-movie horrors, Edward L. Cahn, combines elements of horror, adventure, and mystery. The film stars Allison Hayes as Mona, Autumn Russell as good girl Jan, Gregg Palmer, Joel Ashley, Marjorie Eaton as the Grandmother who awaits her sailor husband’s return even though she knows he’s one of the zombies, and Ray Corrigan.
The story is set in the coastal waters off the African continent, near a diamond mine. A team of people, including a marine salvage crew and the mine owner’s daughter, arrive at a sunken ship, the Mora Tau, which is rumored to contain a valuable cargo of diamonds.
However, the salvage operation becomes perilous when it is revealed that the sunken ship is guarded by the walking dead who guard the treasure, These zombies are not the flesh-eating creatures commonly associated with modern zombie films.
As the salvage crew and the mine owner’s daughter attempt to recover the diamonds, they must contend with the zombies, who are under the control of a mysterious figure. The film unfolds as a suspenseful and atmospheric tale of survival, as the characters face both the threat of the zombies and the lure of the valuable cargo.
Zardoz 1974 is a fantastical science fiction film directed by John Boorman (Deliverance 1972). The film is known for its surreal and dystopian themes. The film stars Sean Connery and ’70s siren Charlotte Rampling.
In 2293 Zardoz, is an uncanny, omnipotent “God” who speaks from a massive floating stone idol of an imposing god-head, who rules over a barbaric race called the Brutals, who live a primitive and violent existence and struggle to survive in the grim landscape in the Outlands. The Brutals worship Zardoz as their supreme deity.
In this distant future, the Earth is divided into two distinct societies: the Eternals, who live in a technologically advanced and utopian community, and the Brutals, who inhabit the wastelands outside of the Eternals’ domain. Yet the movie actually features five identifiable groups of people: Brutals, Eternals, Renegades, Apathetics, and Exterminators.
Zardoz preaches that the Brutals will be transformed once after they die and go to the Vortex, where they will live a euphoric life as immortals. He has amassed an armed named the Exterminators, armed with guns, as Zardoz’s philosophy is that killing is good, and breeding is the root of all evil. But the truth is like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is Arthur Frayn, who hails from an advanced race of The Eternals who exist in that paradisical life in the Vortex.
The Eternals truly are immortal as they do not age and their bodies undergo reconstruction if they “die”. This elite group is immortal, never to see an aged moment, and if they should die, they become regenerated. In contrast to the rest of those who live a harsh life, The Eternals do get to bring life into their world as they have evolved as a society, striving through a democratic watchfulness but they are immune to disease or sin, and those who transgress are subjected to the aging process.
Arthur seeks to control and study the movements of the Brutals, and using Zardoz he can achieve that mission, but once entering the Outlands he is cut off from the Vortex and all communication with the Eternals.
Zed (Sean Connery) one of the Exterminators has somehow managed to break through to the Vortex and the Eternals’ society when he stows away inside the Zardoz head, but the Eternals decide to keep him alive so that they can study him and figure out if his infiltrating the Vortex was a freak occurrence before putting him to death.
Amongst the Eternals is May (Sara Kestelman), their head scientist who sees Zed as he is a link to the Brutals. Charlotte Rampling as Consuela is a thrill-seeker who views Zed as an animal whose purpose is to do his work as the hand of the law. The Eternals must protect their Utopian society at all costs.
Once inside, Zed disrupts the Eternals’ tranquil existence and challenges their immortality. He becomes a symbol of change and rebellion, leading to a series of profound and surreal events.
Writer, producer, and director Sir John Boorman made this movie after an early attempt to film J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” was canceled. Studios balked at the projected cost of the project as he envisioned it. When the same thing happened to Boorman again several years later, he made Excalibur 1981 instead.
Cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth filmed scenes with the lens wide open, fog filters on the camera, and smoke machines on-set to achieve a diffused, impressionistic look. It worked on first-generation prints, but when the film was duplicated for release, the image quality was so bad it was almost unusable. The studio forbade any cinematographers from using that process on future movies.
Reportedly Charlotte Rampling, looked forward to her sex scene with Sir Sean Connery then was disappointed when it was over and done with so quickly.
Radio spots were narrated by Rod Serling.
Zardoz was filmed on location in the Irish village of Garrykennedy.
John Boorman would later admit that he was under the heavy drug influence while writing the film and during production. He also claims that not even he is sure what parts of the film are about, mainly due to the haze of drugs he was in at the time, and feels that several scenes are pointless
Burt Reynold’s who was a big box-office star at the time, who had previously worked with Sir John Boorman on Deliverance 1972 was the first choice for the lead role of Zed. He bowed out due to illness. According to an article in the 11 April 1973 edition of Variety, the illness was “overwork”.