Saturday, January 18, 2014

Z.P.G. (1972)

AKA: Zero Population Growth

Director: Michael Campus

Writers: Frank De Felitta, Max Ehrlich

Composer: Jonathan Hodge

Starring: Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin, Don Gordon, Diane Cilento

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Smog covers the earth. The oxygen is depleted. Love is encouraged. But the penalty for birth is death.

Plot: Centuries into the future, the world is overpopulated and polluted and on the verge of collapse. The government's of the world are desperate and so make the painful decision to ban the birth of babies for 30 years. Brainwashing and robot substitutes are used to quell the yearning for children with the death penalty as the ultimate deterrent. Despite this, one couple have a baby.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

This one's a really slow go but it's got some interesting sci-fi themes set within a bleak future.  It's got a lower budget LOGAN'S RUN (1976) vibe but only less exciting and with zero action.  The only real drama occurs when friends of Russ (Reed) and Carol (Chaplin) are told about their baby.  Now George (Gordon) and Edna (Cilento) go from wanting to hold the baby and spend time with it to wanting it for good.  Naturally this doesn't sit well with Russ and Carol.  It's gets worse for everyone at that point. If Russ & Carol are discovered, they will be executed with their baby.  It makes for some nice, tense drama but that's really the highlight of the picture and it comes at the end.  I won't spoil what happens next.  While it's got some reasonably interesting sci-fi story, it moves so slowly at times that it feels like it should have been about twenty or so minutes shorter. Still, it's a 70s UK sci-fi picture which all spells WATCH ME in this house.

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