Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) (1972)

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Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) (1972)

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:35 pm

Z.P.G. (1972) - This was rarely shown on TV;
I'd heard about it since the mid-seventies and finally had a chance to see it on the Sci-Fi Channel back in 1995 or so. Then, a DVD release finally happened about a year ago.
This film follows along the same lines of other seventies sci-fi pictures in predicting a rather unpleasant future Earth, usually based on our present disregard for the planet's ecology (Soylent Green; No Blade of Grass; Silent Running). I recently read a comment on IMDb which also made the case that Z.P.G. could be regarded as a prequel to Logan's Run (or, Logan's Run is an unofficial sequel to this). However, Z.P.G. lacks the energy of those other films.
The scenario presented here is quite grim. Pollution is so bad that everyone wears gas masks when outside; any exterior scenes are always smothered in what must be smog, like a continual mist. At the start, the government issues an edict which does not permit any more births. Women are heard wailing & screaming. The tone is ultra-serious but I found a lot of the concepts to be slightly absurd. Women are so desperate for the feeling of holding a child, they mollify themselves with creepy-looking dolls as substitutes. Strange zoos or museums depict stuffed animals such as house cats, which are obviously now extinct.
All this sound intriguing, another glimpse into a possible dark future for our civilization, but most of the film is sleep-inducing. Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin star as the couple who decide to have a child anyway, even though, if caught, the penalty for them is death. They, like most everyone else, sort of sleepwalk through their roles. Don Gordon and Diane Cilento play another couple who cause them a few problems. The ending, though dull like the rest of the film, is tantalizing to those familiar with Logan's Run. This illegal child of their's - could it not grow up to be Peter Ustinov's character in the latter film? It does fit together. BoG's Score: 4.5 out of 10

Here's an interesting site which spotlights this film: (click image)  
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