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ZPG: Zero Population Growth
ZPG Zero Population Growth
Actors: Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin, Don Gordon, Diane Cilento
Director: Michael Campus
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Mystery & Suspense
PG     2008     1hr 36min

Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin star in this dystopian vision of things to come. Under the weight of overpopulation, human society has begun to self-destruct. A policy of Zero Population Growth is forced upon citizens in...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin, Don Gordon, Diane Cilento
Director: Michael Campus
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Legend Films
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1971
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
See Also:

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Movie Reviews

Retro Futurism at it's bleakest
S. White | Sydney, NSW Australia | 07/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I loved this movie and can't really see what was so awful about it. There are times when movies are given the B rating and people seem to just go along with that. I thought Oliver was fab and that the story was sufficiently Retro Futuristic, A'la 70's style, to totally hook me when I first saw it on late night TV in the early 80's.I loved the staging and the sets, right down to the funky white (read for sterile) outfits and the sociological fly on the wall insight into the lives of the two protagonists desperate to enrich their seemingly emtpy lives/failing relationship by breaking the ultimate taboo. I guess in many ways I was primed for this kind of thing by reading lots of Ray Bradbury growing up and I adored the stark funky realism of the whole gas and curfew thing!Let me simply say that if you have an Arty eye towards Sci-Fi and the sociological, loved films like Soylent Green and Farenheit 451 then this movie will not dissapoint you! I loved it and I think *getting it* is what this movie requires from the viewer."
Interesting Precursor to "Children of Men"
Michael L. White | Westland, MI United States | 06/25/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Set in a dystopian future, Z.P.G. ("Zero Population Growth") tells the Malthusian tale of a world where the planet's natural resources have been consumed to such a critical level that the "World Federation Council" puts a 30-year ban on childbirth in the hopes of curbing the drain. All pre-edict children are marked, and any births after nine months of the edict result in the summary execution of the lawbreaking parents and their offspring. Throughout the smog-filled landscape, desperate people watch for errant infants they can turn in for extra food or oxygen.

In the world of Z.P.G., people spend their free time going to museums where they can see stuffed house pets, demonstrations of how gasoline was used to fuel vehicles, and films of forgotten relics like lakes and streams. Deprived of children, they also turn to technology for comfort. We first meet Russell McNeil (Oliver Reed, displaying none of his usual screen presence) and his wife Carol (Geraldine Chaplin) at Baby Land, a retail store where adults buy surrogate robot children that are creepy as heck as they slowly amble across the floor chanting, "You're my mummy!"

And while births are forbidden, that doesn't mean sex is discouraged. The government even passes out pornography, and state-funded psychiatrists are on call to encourage good behavior. Unfortunately, post-coitus a woman must check for conception, and she presses a handy-dandy "abort" button if such a misfortune has taken place. Kind of takes the fun out of it.

Eventually Carol can't take it anymore, and she insists on having a child. She's surprised by how supportive Russell is. They come up with an elaborate scheme to hide the child, keeping Carol in a concealed room like Anne Frank. It's only when Carol screws up by taking the baby out for an emergency clandestine doctor appointment that the McNeils' secret is discovered. Rather than turning them in, neighbors George and Edna Bordon (Don Gordon and Diane Cilento) blackmail them into sharing parenting with the baby. Eventually the Bordons want the child more and more to themselves, putting the McNeils in quite a quandary.

A response to Paul R. Erlich's 1968 The Population Bomb, Z.P.G. feels like a cross between THX-1138 and Logan's Run. Moreover, it's certain that some of the ideas in the film inspired PD James for her novel Children of Men. Written by Max Erlich and Frank De Felitta, this Scandinavian production has a nice look to it courtesy of director Michael Campus (The Mack), but even with the scope of its screenplay doesn't have enough story to sustain the running time."
Brilliant, but need it on DVD!
E. Botsford | Brooklyn, NY United States | 11/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A truly amazing film for lovers of 70's apocolyptic sci-fi. The movie is a must-see for everyone who relishes end-of-the-world, Soylent Green-esque environmental disaster films. Plus, who couldn't love the creepy psychiatrist and the baby-simulacra. One thing, WE NEED THIS ON DVD!"
Dour, bleak and of it's time...
Bob Eggleton | Providence, RI United States | 12/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an early 70's film that takes place in some unknown, futuristic society on earth. One might assume it's a future England, but there are enough Americans to make it seem it could be anywhere and that maybe so far in the future, borders and countries no longer exist. A totalitarian regime rules this society,it's leaders and enforcers hovering above the smog in some sort of flying machine that is all seeing/hearing and issues commands and announcements on a loudspeaker. To stop the total decline of society, birth is outlawed for 30 years and citizens wanting children are issued bizarre walking/talking dolls. Smoke and fog covers almost everything(which helps instead of building expensive sets)and we are shown museums which are propaganda driven to show the "evils" of the 20th century-one shows a family at a Thanksgiving table-with all kinds of burping and sounds of indigestion playing as visitors walk by and recieve lectures on how those indulgences led to the world they have now. A dinner out, in this society has all the choices of the 20th century-just served up in disgusting blobs of artificial protein paste from tubes. People are also allowed to smoke(why not? It's polluted anyway!)and view pornography to keep their minds off of children. One couple(Reed and Chaplin) however wants a child so badly they concieve one anyway and conceal the pregnancy and eventual birth, knowing that ultimately they must escape this society. In a scene that predates the Internet by decades, Reed attempts to gain access to forbidden information at a computer and in a sudden shocking twist, is literally wisked away to a secret room where he's repremanded, and and attempt is made to re-brainwash him to behave himself, but he holds on to his ideals. Eventually, Reed invents a ruse of him,wife and child, getting caught, and uses this to his plan of escape. We find out later,that this world survived a massive nuclear war-there is a memorial plaque for the burial of "The Last Polaris Missile" and that, in an ending that resembles CHILDREN OF MEN(2006), the family attempts to escape to a wilderness, they can be left alone. Will they get out?

It was a Scandinavian production,done at the obscure Sagitarius Studios-but features alot of British talents both on screen in in the crew(such as Derek Meddings doing some miniature work of the flying machine and a long shot or two of the smog-covered city) as well as Americans.

The film played off alot of Dr Paul Erlich's warnings of that time. Now here, in the 21st century with warnings about climate change, food shortage and so on, it's no wonder the film has found it's audience again."