Z.P.G. (1972)

USA, 1972
95m, 96m, 97m, 105m
35mm film, Eastmancolor
mono, English

A British/American science fiction film directed by Michael Campus. The title refers to the term zero population growth coined by American sociologist and demographer Kingsley Davis to describe a condition wherein a society’s population remains stable, neither growing nor contracting.

Plot Summary

In the near future, the Earth is badly polluted and population growth is out of control. A global government is in place and decrees that no children be born for a whole generation in an effort to stabilise the situation. Couples are offered robot children, but one couple is so desperate for the real thing that they break the law and give birth to a real child.


Directed by: Michael Campus
© MCMLXXI [1971] Sagittarius Productions Inc.
A Sagittarius production
Produced by: Thomas F. Madigan
Written by: Max Erlich and Frank de Felitta
Director of Photography: Michael Reed
Supervising Editor: Richard C. Meyer
Editor: Dennis Lanning
Music Composed by: Jonathan Hodge
Costumes by: Margit Brandt Design of Copenhagen
Make-up: Lena Henriksen
Special Effects Director: Derek Meddings
Production Designed by: Tony Masters

Oliver Reed as Russ [McNeil]
Geraldine Chaplin as Carole [McNeil]
Don Gordon as George [Borden]
Diane Cilento as Edna [Borden]
David Markham (Dr Herrick)
Bill Nagy (The President)
Sheila Reid (Mary Herrick)
Aubrey Woods (Dr Mallory)
Wayne John Rodda (Metroman salesman)
Ditte Maria (telescreen operator)
Birgitte Federspiel (psychiatrist)
Belinda Donkin (daughter)
Claus Nissen, Jeff Slocombe (guards)
Dale Robinson (guide)
Victor Lipari (head waiter)
Michael Hildesheim (thief)
Paul Secon (tour guide)
Carlotta Magnoff (informer)
Eugene Blau
Bent Christensen

Alternative Titles

Edict – shooting title
The First of January – shooting title
Zero Population Growth – alternative title
ZPG, un mondo maledetto fatto di bambole – Italian title



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.19 p.32 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review (by Calvin T. Beck)
  • The Hollywood Reporter 21 April 1972 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin June 1972 p.125 – credits, review, synopsis
  • Shock Cinema no.10 p.17 – review
  • Variety 28 April 1972 – credits, review
  • Videoscope no.110 (Spring 2019) p.56 – review (70s sci-fi file by Rob Freese)


  • The A-Z of Science Fiction and Fantasy Films p.301 – credits, review
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.304-305 – illustrated credits, review
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.452 – credits, review
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.149, 152-53
  • Film Review 1972-1973 by F. Maurice Speed p.236
  • Film Review 1973-74 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.236
  • The Films of Oliver Reed by Susan D. Cowie and Tom Johnson pp.139-143 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Hoffman’s Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.407 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.442 – credits
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.556 – credits
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook p.147 – credits, review, synopsis
  • Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film and Television Credits Volume 2 pp.1174-1175 – credits
  • The Science Fiction Image by Gene Wright p.335 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.242-243
  • What Fresh Lunacy Is This? The Authorized Biography of Oliver Reed – by Robert Sellers pp.200-201; 484 – notes; credits