Action / Sci-Fi / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Oliver Reed Photo
Oliver Reed as Russ
Don Gordon Photo
Don Gordon as George
Diane Cilento Photo
Diane Cilento as Edna
870.89 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 3 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Coventry9 / 10

Jaw-dropping Sci Fi

Films with a premise like "Z.P.G." are the most disturbing ones imaginable. This is the sort of science fiction concept that one day could actually become reality! Probably is a much less drastic format and fascist execution, but nevertheless the rudimentary principle of law-obtruded birth control is alarmingly plausible. In the distant future, when people standard have to wear oxygen masks to walk over the streets and visits museums to see what a 20th century domestic family diner looked like, the government suddenly decides that no couple is allowed anymore to produce any children for the next thirty years. This incentive is launched to put a stop to the destroying of the earth by overpopulation. The last legally born children are branded with a laser and all aspiring families are welcome to apply for a fully personalized child dummy. With removal from society as the harsh punishment for illegal pregnancy, the birth rate immediately drops back to Z(ero) P(opulation) G(rowth). However, museum actress Carol McNeil's biggest wish is to bear and raise a child. When she pursuits her will, her husband Russ – the almighty Oliver Reed – is forced to entrench his belly-developing wife in a hideout shelter and think up excuses for her continuous absence on the surface. But a severe crime like this can't be kept secret forever… "Z.P.G." is a tremendously astonishing film. It's often compared with "Logan's Run" and "Soylent Green" but this movie predates the both of them and it's immensely underrated whereas the others are more likely overrated. This is the type of absorbing Sci-Fi that gradually becomes more disturbing if you contemplate about it too much. The surveillance over the population is harrowing (for example: when you show interest in reading articles about parenthood in the library, you're promptly put in isolation for questioning) and the overall depiction of our future society is just downright depressing. People are stiff, emotionless and robot-like beings and unconditional friendship or even interaction between families doesn't seem to exist anymore. The purely fictional elements of the plot vary from pretty damn scary (the mechanical replacement kids) to silly & clichéd (live newscast reporting from a gigantic zeppelin floating over the Metropolis) but they always remain compelling. The most fantastic trump of "Z.P.G." is that the plot never stops evolving. Once the baby is born, other and even more challenging issues arise, like rivalry and all-overpowering sentiments of mother instinct. This movie is an incredibly absorbing Sci-Fi magnum opus that had my mate and I glued to the screen from start to finish. The atmosphere and despair and paranoia is so real you can almost taste it, the decors and set pieces (albeit occasionally cheap looking) are imaginative and the screenplay is so intelligently written that it covers every tiniest potential plot hole or possible default. Oliver Reed once more demonstrates what an incredibly versatile actor he was. His stern and masculine appearance truly adapts to all sorts of roles; even to a melodramatic one. "Z.P.G." was made at the peak of Reed's career, as he starred in numerous classic horror/cult movies around that time, like "The Devils", "Revolver", "The Hunting Party" and "Blue Blood".

Reviewed by Hey_Sweden6 / 10

Solid premise, so so result.

In the future, overpopulation has become such an issue that those in authority take some pretty drastic steps. Any couple that refuses to get with the program and stop having kids will be punished with public execution. Instead, people have to make do with dolls that prove to be highly inadequate replacement for flesh & blood children. Russ and Carol McNeil (Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin) decide to defy the law and do their best to raise a child in secret. Of course, it's only a matter of time before they're found out. Their neighbours & friends the Bordens (Don Gordon and Diane Cilento) learn their secret and their desire to be a part of this childs' life only serves to permanently scar the friendship.

While obviously done on a low budget, this is dealt with fairly successfully by having the outside world in this future be overcome by smog, forcing people to often wear masks. This gives this modest, reasonably entertaining production a certain degree of atmosphere. However, the film is never quite as involving as one would like. It's a little too slow and a little too static. It does succeed at being somewhat disturbing at times: first, whenever the authorities bring around their special killing domes, and second, when Russ goes to the library to learn what he can about premature birth, raising the suspicions of those in charge and leading to his being tortured.

Filmed on location in Denmark, "Z.P.G." gets by mostly on the performances of its four principal actors. Reed is commanding with his typical whispery delivery, and Chaplin is endearing as the young woman wanting a human child more than anything. The lovely Cilento and the under-rated Gordon are equally fine as the envious friends.

There is a sombre quality to the whole thing yet by the conclusion it does create a sense of hope and peace. With a bit more style and energy, this really could have been something special. As it is, it's good, if not great, and it does have a place among genre films of the time that dealt with the idea of dystopian futures.

Six out of 10.

Reviewed by jcplanells36 / 10

A forgotten movie

This film was exhibit in the Sitges Fantastic Festival 1972. Geraldine Chaplin was awarded as Best Actress for her play. The commentaries published in SF magazines of their time were enthusiastic. Unfortunately, the film was almost non-exhibit in Barcelona (one week in one theater of double program, and in 1974 in Madrid in the same conditions). Now, there is a DVD edition in Spain, but only in dubbed, not with original voices. This is a film very representative of its time, early '70. The same year when this movie was presented, another SF films ere "Solaris", "A Clockword orange" and "Silent Running": another kind of fantastic or SF films, very different of the SF and fantastic films of today (or even 10 years later...). It is curious to note that some guides and encyclopedias of fantastic films are not favorable to this film, and eve one of them indicates that the movie ends without no sense. At least, the DVD edition shows clearly that the couple arrives to an inland that is a radioactive cemetery, a bitter end for their history. Could be that some versions of the film omitted this end? Certainly, it is not a enjoying movie: it is very sad, very dark. The best scene is, perhaps, when Carole (Geraldine Chaplin) is going to have a baby in the cellar: a very good scene. Z.P.G. is a rarity of its time. It is also another conception of SF movies, now forgotten and missing.

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