The Quiet Earth (1985) Poster

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Hope over Hell
thorn-1926 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Instead of being yet another it's-the-end-of-the-world-so-let's-kill-everyone-left movie it beautifully illustrates human hope, self-realization and sacrifice.

We begin with Zac in his depressed, selfish self. On day one, we get a taste of how Zac must have treated the world when people were in it. Now that the people are gone a happier Zac moves through the Kubler-Ross stages, to the audience's amusement. Eventually he meets another person, a woman - Joanne. Joanne is the embodiment of nurturing, femininity and compromise, herself having been alone as long as Zac.

Once they find each other, Joanne and Zac form an alliance that quickly becomes romantic, quirky and easy. Then the third player arrives, Api, who seems far better prepared for living after the world has gone empty.

Two men and one woman - from the moment they all meet it's strained with only Joanne bridging the distance. Jealousy and suspicion begin, there are poignant examples of human frailty and attempts to reach out to each other, except with Zac. Zac knows something that neither Joanne or Api could possibly know and eventually, he has to tell them.

The tension of the living situation builds and hits an apex when Zac finally tells the truth, the horrifying secret that is not only the answer to how the people vanished, but to what is about to happen. The ending, Zac's decision to change who he was, to love Joanne and Api enough to put himself aside turns weirdly mystical in the final scenes.

Overall, the story is an allegory of what we do to ourselves, how we can overcome our tendencies for base, selfish behavior and learn to love. It's one movie I walked away from thinking about so much more then when I began it.
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8/10
I Always Liked This Movie
SeanHaff25 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw "The Quiet Earth" on Cinemax in the late-1980's (every Wednesday night, Cinemax would show foreign films). Yeah...as many other users have pointed out, this isn't your typical sci-fi flick (no monsters, no extended action scenes). But this movie is unique in that way -- it's a sci-fi flick without much sci-fi in it.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm a huge sci-fi geek -- but the thing that kept my interest while I was watching this movie the first time (and what makes it stick in my mind to this day) is the realistic way this movie deals with a totally unrealistic subject. Bruno Lawrence's reactions to his situation were not your usual Hollywood teen flick "Hey, there's nobody else in the world...let's party!" reaction. Instead, you see Zac (Lawrence) change from a man who couldn't care less about people into someone so desperate for companionship that it drives him temporarily insane (to the point of where he thinks that he's God).

Yeah...strangely enough, the addition of other characters into the picture actually hurts the story a bit, but it also allows Zac to explain to everyone what may have caused the world's population to disappear. It also gives Zac a reason to try to right a wrong that he had a hand in (thus redeeming himself).

The amazing beach/planet-rise visual at the very end of the movie is an image that has stuck in my head for all of these years. It's one of the few actual sci-fi elements in the film, and it has a great look to it (almost a modernized version of those classic "Forbidden Planet" backdrops). As enigmatic as the ending is, I always felt that it was a perfect ending for a movie that had an enigmatic beginning -- it basically brings the movie full-circle.

Sure, "The Quiet Earth" isn't your classic sci-fi movie...and it definitely is NOT for all sci-fi fans, but if you're looking for something different without all of the overdone Hollywood flash, you may want to check it out. I'm on a bit of a search thru my local DVD stores to find a copy of it, myself (I'm sure I'll find it in one of the bargain bins...because I doubt any video store manager will appreciate the quality of this forgotten gem).
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7/10
Engaging
BlackMonk30 July 2001
An engaging sci-fi drama about a man who awakens to find himself, seemingly, the last person alive on earth. What does he do? What would you do? Everything's free. You could drive what you want. Wear what you want. Live in the fanciest hotel or simply pick a house to move in to. No laws to obey except those imposed by reality.

But might it not get lonely? And what if you did find someone else?

I plucked this movie off the rental rack on a whim, not expecting much really, but I was pleasantly surprised. By no means was it a 'great' movie, but I think virtually anyone would find it interesting--certainly more so than the claptrap currently being churned out by Hollywood.
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10/10
Inbalanced Rationale
Magnet-218 December 1998
I should begin by stating that I LOVE this film, which may explain, if not justify the following comments.

This is an excellent exploration of the human mind in a fantastic situation, but more simply just a damn good science fiction thriller.

I would agree that the first half is the better part, but to those who criticise the second half as being cliched and unstructured I would argue that a new impetus is needed by the time Zac has lived out his various fantasies and flirted with insanity.

Where many appear to feel the film is confused and leaves many matters unresolved, that very ambiguity and bewilderment was what I enjoyed most. For most of the film you DON'T know where the characters have found themselves, whether they are actually alive or dead, or what reality they're living in.

In accordance with this fascination I found the ending superb, accompanied as it was by that haunting theme music. Maybe it came as a result of the writer not knowing how to end the thing but it was never going to be a film where everything fell into place by a few cunningly worded lines at the conclusion! Therefore I liked the fact things were left unexplained, unsatisfying though it may be.

In short, I would definitely recommend this film, which seems to be dusted off and screened late at night on a regular basis by BBC 2 (English terrestrial channel). I know it won't appeal to everyone, but there will be those surrealists who do love it, if only as a fun and bizarre Sci-fi.
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7/10
Good Science Fiction
caspian197814 March 2001
If you're looking for a science fiction flick that has nothing to do with little green aliens or intergalactic civil war, check out this film. A terrific story about a man waking up to find out that everybody in the world is gone. Vanished! He is the only one on Earth. A great part of the film deals with the struggle of having to be alone. Very original, very interesting, and very entertaining. Check it out.
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Still walks through my my memory after all these years
andersox20 March 2003
I'm another person who saw this movie in a small art theater on Balboa Island, CA, in 1985. "Quiet Earth" was so haunting that, while channel surfing 15 years later, I saw just a flash of the image of Zac awakening and recognized the film instantly. I settled in to watch the film again--even knowing the ending--and its impact was still incredible.

Maybe it's not for serious sci-fi fans but definitely for people who like movies with apocalyptic themes, such as "A Boy and His Dog".
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10/10
The Quiet Earth
wan-ed23 July 2005
This movie sticks in your mind for days. The opening scenes immediately pull you into this eerie, lifeless world as we see our hero driving around ghost towns, looking for signs of life. A terrifying concept that hooks you. There are classic moments throughout the first half of the movie as we witness the various states of madness our hero goes through before he accepts his situation and takes control. It's this part of the movie that made it a cult classic. As soon as the plot starts to thicken and the focus is taken away from his desolate existence, the magic starts to ebb. However, you are still left on the edge of your seat until you get an answer to any of the questions the story line produced. The end scene, is beautiful, perplexing but I've got to say, a bit of a cop-out. However, its' lack of answers keep you guessing. A superb, off the wall film, that stays inside you.
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9/10
Simply exceptional
nemo-13 March 2001
Warning: Spoilers
How would you handle it if you were the last person alive on the earth? This is the question posed by the Quiet Earth, also beyond this how would react knowing that an action or lack of one on your part had wiped out every living person on the face of the earth. Scientist Zack Hobson must deal with this reality when he wakes from his suicide attempt to find himself on the other side of an altered reality, alone. He at first goes quite insane, blaming himself for the accident because it was caused by the malfunction of a project that he was heading up. Later when he discovers two other "survivors" he formulates a plan that will reunite the two separated realities. The ending is one that will keep you thinking long after the credits have rolled.
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10/10
WARNING! SPOILER! Explanation of ending.
spike_steel12 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I see in the comments a few people did not like / understand the ending. I'd like to rectify this if possible. Due to the first effect when the planetary energy grid was set up, the survivors "either died or were shifted sideways into a parallel dimension" (where things are slightly different) according to Zack. The question before you is "What is death?" When Zack blows up the grid (dying in the process) he finds himself on what looks like a normal Earth beach. The beach is significant because it is where Zack goes to heal after his bout of madness. He emerges from the water in the earlier scene much like a rebirth. Again in the final scene you notice the clouds are very odd, and then a ringed planet rises over the water. Is this another parallel Earth, an alien world, or heaven? This ties in with another question in the movie, whether Zack and the other scientists are responsible for the effect, or if "God just blinked, and the human race was wiped out". All this can be summarized as: What is our place in the Universe, where are we heading, and do we have any control over it? Don't reject The Quiet Earth because it leaves you with questions; this is it's best quality.
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6/10
Not for action fans
Rob_Taylor7 July 2004
This movie has little action, instead focussing on the realities of being put in a situation where you are the last person on Earth. It deals with the mental problems that might arise and one man's descent into, and ascent out of, madness.

The science behind the disappearance of the whole human population is best ignored as complete nonsense, but otherwise the movie is solid enough fare.

Likewise the non-Hollywood ending appealed to me, even if I haven't the faintest idea what happened, or why.

And if you find yourself sneering at what the hero gets up to on screen ask yourself this - What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?
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10/10
The most incredible ending...ever
niara14 February 2005
I have not seen this movie in ages.

The ending stuns me to this day.

I honestly cannot remember how I came upon this film but it was most likely in the "$1 previously viewed bin" at the old RKO Video Store on 47th Street in Manhattan.

I still own this copy and refuse to part with it, no matter how much it fetches on ebay. I sincerely hope they release a DVD here in the u.s.

Reading the other comments brought the film back to me but I remember clearly watching his descent into madness brought about by being the only one left and that ending leaves you breathless.
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8/10
film with apocalyptic atmosphere
andre-716 April 2001
I love films with an apocalyptic theme. And this is definitely one of the better ones. Even though the basic story has been around quite a few times, e.g. "Omega Man, The (1971)", it is always interesting to see what has happened before and how it ends. Here, the emphasis is put on human relations, not so much on action. The scientific explanation for the "effect" is also somewhat implausible, but due to that rather authentic scientist Hobson I believed it anyways. And fortunately, the authors chose a non Hollywood-style ending for the movie!
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9/10
Intriguing
aplato14 December 1999
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Although it has some flaws such as cheap special effects and a less-than-perfect premise, it is a captivating and frightening story about being alone. The power play between the two men in the 2nd half is outstanding.

Many people are turned off by the very ambiguous ending. Personally, I loved the ending. It is the ambiguity of it that is so refreshing.
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Quite A Quiet Film
fandangonoir2 April 2008
This film is a lost gem.

Not many (or not nearly enough) have seen it and those who have mostly love it. Director Geoff Murphy's film career has gone right into the proverbial john since making this. Oh, he's still working, sure, but his later works (some of them) can't compare to this masterwork.

But if you like Last Man On Earth type movies this celluloid slice of sci-fi cherry pie is for you! It has one of those endings that will leave you dazzled and puzzled. It doesn't try and tie up all the loose ends and questions like a lot of films do. Its much like a Kubrick film in that respect.

Hopefully The Talented Mr. Murphy will make a film as good as this again someday. Here's hoping! And I loved the ass shot of the beautiful, milky skinned redhead (Alison Routledge) as well. Talk about cherry pie. Yum.

You will like the aforementioned shot too. If you swing that way.
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8/10
Great movie, until a stumble...
Tito-810 November 1998
Warning: Spoilers
There are some truly magnificent moments in this film, but unfortunately, most of them occur near the beginning. When Zac believes that he may very well be the last living human on earth, this film is powerful and absorbing. His behaviour quickly changes as the initial freedom of being alone transforms into loneliness, and eventually he becomes desperate to find another person. Sadly, once he finally finds that he is not alone, the film staggers badly, and in some ways it takes on a routine storyline, but staged in a less-than-routine setting. This film flirts with greatness, but the unsatisfying second half leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. It's still a pretty good film, but there is no question that it could have been so much more.
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8/10
Flawed but haunting
bulk-155 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When I first watched this in 85, two things really pulled me in: the first portion of the movie when Zac discovered he was completely alone and began exploring an empty world, and the idea that he was living in a universe where very basic things (like the charge of an electron) were starting to change. It seemed to open up all sorts of possibilities. Spoiling the purity of that concept, Zac's descent into madness seemed predictable and grimly uninteresting. The arrival of another survivor, and the disappointingly unconvincing human dynamic that followed, seemed like a cheap diversion, and I wondered if a studio or rewrite had forced a change in the movie's core concept. (I've never been able to track down a copy of the book on which this movie was based, so I don't know how much the movie branched away from that book.) A number of things didn't ring true. The proposition that the moment of death was the key to survival. The convoluted, poorly explained concept of a 'high tech' military power distribution project and the idea that it could somehow have changed the universe. The hackneyed statements about patriarchy and militarism, combined with painful stereotypes about male rivalry. There were a lot of unexplored ideas too, like what happens to a world suddenly abandoned by humankind (industrial pollution and fire would be rampant), or stripped of animal life.

Explanations for the 'effect' were murky and unsatisfying, too. The last seconds of the movie confirm what the earlier portions suggest -- and strangely, what never occurs to Zac as he struggles to explain the mystery -- that the world had not in fact changed, but that Zac (and the other survivors) were simply in a nearly parallel existence. Perhaps the world was intact and undamaged, but no longer accessible. Perhaps Zac actually did die in the original universe, leaving the entire storyline in ambiguity. Is it purgatory, a dream, or some quantum multiverse? The movie's end keeps all these possibilities open. Do Joanne and Api survive? You're left with the sense that they do, trapped alone together in the second universe. Zac finds himself in a third universe that is beautiful and unrecognizable. The last scene is breathtaking but lonely, as Zac stares in awe at the landscape, and then at his now useless tape recorder. Wherever Zac is, you know he's completely alone.

This is one of my favourite movies, despite its many flaws. The questions it raises stay with you long after the irritating inconsistencies fade. In it you will see the seeds of what might have been a great, lasting film.
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8/10
Excellent movie on a low budget.
johnson5029 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw this film many years ago and have been looking for it ever since - just bought it on DVD for 6 quid! (10 dollars).

I love these post-Apocalypse movies and suspect that this one was made on a virtually non-existent budget. The storyline is very cleverly unfolded as the film progresses - no boring preamble required - and Bruno Lawrence is excellent in the lead role. I especially enjoyed the scenes of excess once he realises that he is alone and do as he pleases.

Once he is joined by Alison Routledge at around the halfway mark, the whole film changes and Bruno's character becomes far more serious and sensible. We are now prepared for the fact that, if there are two of them, there may be more. Enter Api, the third survivor.

I feel that the film loses it a little from here on but I just love the ending. It makes no sense but allows you to put your own interpretation on it.

Favourite bits? When I realised that Zac had actually committed suicide just as Flashlight occurred - hasn't suspected that at all.
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A Classic Ending
Morpheus2k315 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing this movie when I was a teenager in an art house in Los Angeles.

I was in awe then and after having recently viewed a VHS copy of it at a friends, I can say it has withstood the test of time.

In short this is intelligent drama, intriguing SciFi, and at the head of the pack of "last man alive on Earth" tales.

I am only vexed that a DVD version of this hasn't been released in the US.

The ending has one of the most awe inspiring money shots since Charleton Heston and the Statue of Liberty at the end of the original planet of the apes.
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6/10
A Film That Should Only Be Seen Once
Theo Robertson23 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those movies that after seeing you'll be thinking hey what a great movie . It's a film that lingers long in the memory then when you see it again you're left thinking , oh I wonder why I liked it so much ? There's little dispute as to why I thought it so good first time I saw it and that's because of the very memorable ending which overwhelmed all the other elements of the film that came before it

TQE has a very old fashioned attitude to science as in " These nasty scientists have just gone and destroyed the human race again " which was common in 1950s sci-fi where nearly every alien menace was a metaphor for the atomic bomb . Yes science might have given humanity the power to destroy itself but it's also given us medicine , electricity and the internet so the good outweighs the bad

It's a film that has three distinct acts with one being Zac waking up to find himself alone and flirting with madness caused by his loneliness , the second act featuring Zac finding a fellow survivor Joanne and the third act dealing with sexual rivalries caused by a third protagonist Api joining the duo . It's not often you see all the men in the world fighting over a ginger and this is probably the first and last film you'll see this as a premise

In this type of film which concentrates on character instead of action and spectacle it's important that the casting is perfect but unfortunately I wasn't compelled by the acting . Bruno Lawrence is merely okay , Alison Routledge is bland and Pete Smith lacks the dangerous edge his character cries out for . I read online that Jack Nicolson was asked to play Zac but wanted too much money and perhaps the producers would have been better getting a well known bad boy actor to play Api

The film ends with a great image which makes the film . Of course when you're left to ask what it means in both he context of the film and a possible future for Zac you'll be be left scratching your chin . In effect this is one of these movies that is remembered for its imagery or rather one final image at the end . Everything leading up to it isn't all that good except perhaps for the deserted streets sequences
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7/10
I loved the ending!
Sonatine9719 June 2000
Warning: Spoilers
* SPOILER EMBEDDED AND SIGN POSTED HALF WAY DOWN *

A sci-fi film from New Zealand, a country not renowned for such things but nevertheless, Quiet Earth soon addresses all that.

Zac, a scientist, or astronomer, wakes up one morning to find himself very much on his todd. The neighbourhood, the town, the country and probably the world is all his.

After the initial rush of being able to do whatever he wants he begins to realise that materialism counts for nought without some form of human interaction. By the time we reach the middle of the film Zac is on the way to being 4 beers short of a six-pack!

So far so good. The film intrigues us, fascinates us, and makes us wonder what it would be like if we were in Zac's shoes. However, the second reel is somewhat of a disappointment.

Zac finally meets two other adults - a man & woman, and all three try to comprehend what has happened to the world, but also how the two men try to win the affections of the woman.

For about 40 minutes not a lot happens apart from lots of psycho babble, male posturing & bickering. Only at the very end does it really "hit" you, especially after Zac decides to blow up his research lab to see if it will cure Earth's problem.

******* SPOILER - MISS THE NEXT SECTION *********

The explosion is timed perfectly with a massive surge of solar energy from the Sun, which may have triggered the initial problem right at the beginning of the film when Zac and his scientists did some experimental work of their own against the Sun.

The explosion coupled with the Solar Surge seems to have created a wormhole - which is a cosmological possibility in reality - that sucks Zac through a space/time event horizon and dumps him on what seems to be another habitable planet on a differnt solar system -

the scene on the beach is truly inspired!!!!

******** END OF SPOILER PLEASE CONTINUE *********

For some the ending seemed vague, misleading, confusing; I suspect the director assumed the audience would be suitably aquainted with the surge towards the unknown when deciding to shoot this scene - justifiably so when you consider most of us were brought up on Star Wars & Star Trek films where wormholes & blackholes are taken for granted.

However, with the exception of the very last scene, the second half ruins the film - from what began as a promising adventure/mystery it ends up like a soap opera and we really don't care very much for the other two characters since they don't offer us anything of interest anyway.

However, its a film to watch for all its shortfalls - and there's always the fast forward button if it gets too abstract.

***/*****
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5/10
The first half hour had me...
hp-proli6 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This movie had a fascinating premise and started out well enough. It held my interest and engaged my imagination. And, it made me truly interested in what had actually happened to create this situation. So, it had great potential, despite its obvious low budget.

But, this movie basically ruined an otherwise decent science fiction premise by presenting us with what I will term as a "lazy" ending. It is as if the author started out with an inspiration for the story, but then lost it before he could complete it.

The final scene scarcely seemed as though it actually belonged to this film - like it should have been tacked onto the end of another low budget science fiction film, but not this one. We are left with a non-ending. We do not know what happened to everyone else on Earth or whether they were restored to their previous realities. We do not know what happened to any of the characters presented in the story, with the exception of this bizarre notion that Zac Hobson, somehow, ended up on an entirely different planet - but we have no idea how or why, or whether he was alone there, too. And, the final image for the movie is also the one they associate with the film. Why? What does that image have to do with the story or Earth, or anything, for that matter? It quite plainly does not belong with this film, period. What were they thinking?

Apart from Bruno Lawrence's performance in the first half-hour of the movie, the acting was bad, the characters uninteresting, and their interactions unrealistic. But, there is plenty of blame for this to be shared with the director.

The budget was too low for the visual effects to be of any interest. And, while the venue, New Zealand, is a spectacularly beautiful country, the cinematography was so mediocre as to bring everything within the camera's view right down into mediocrity with it. They desperately needed a visual effects department that truly had an appreciation of where they were.

I give it a five out of ten - only because I have seen much worse.
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There is another way to look at the Quiet Earth.
Osborne-217 April 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Consider Zac Hobson. He was working on a project which he knew was potentially dangerous. He didn't say anything, so he condemned himself to death and tried to kill himself... or was he already dead?

Suppose that he had really died, that the effect was not the result of the project he was working on, but was a half-way point between life and death? He ended up alone because he felt guilty and couldn't leave knowing that he didn't do anything to stop that project. So the effect gave him that chance. It gave him time to explore, go insane, and eventually recover. Then, someone shows up, just after he gets better.

Then, after Zac and Joanne become lovers, the effect intervenes again, by throwing another one into the mix to force Zac to face the truth of why he died and to tell the truth, to at least someone, about the project he was working on and to try to stop it.

What made me come to this conclusion what was Zac said when he was in the truck with Joanne talking. He said he had strange feelings, that he was the victim of a huge conspiracy, and that she and Api were sent to be his Guardians. Maybe they were. If so, then this story wasn't about the last man on earth, but about a man who is given a chance to fix a mistake he made, if only to himself.
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2/10
First half good, last half bad
admatha-767-52420017 August 2013
Honestly the beginning of this movie is great. I really liked Bruno Lawrence, and his travel through dubious sanity was hysterical and yet relatable. I know I'd wander around on a deserted earth finding better houses to live in and deciding how to live off the land and, yes, probably going slightly mad in the process. He did that very well. His balcony speech is delicious. But the instant other people begin to show up the whole movie stalls and never starts again. There are only two other people. They are uninteresting. The love triangle is uninteresting. The finale is ... sudden, and quiet honestly I haven't got the slightest freaking clue what that final scene is about. I read the summary of the book and I feel like it did a much better job of an ending. For the movie, it felt like they started with a great script about one man waking up alone in an empty world, then ran out of creative juices as soon as they had to focus on more than one character and just kept writing anything, *anything at all* for the remainder of the film. Then they hit the hour and thirty minute mark and went "thank god, I can end this!" and just slapped an ending on to what had been happening for the last 90 minutes. A highly disappointing end to a promising beginning.
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9/10
remarkable work, much underestaminated in portraying ...
robert-maj23 November 2009
Got this movie recommendation off a friend, and this movie for the time being I realized is really good. You can call it the original for the well-known mainstream movie "i am legend". This movie though has lot more to offer, interpersonal dynamics, a much smarter approach and the characters are intensely portrayed. The film focuses more on the human condition of a status quo, which is given from the first minute as a sudden introduction of the situation the protagonist has found himself. Although the climax and ending of the movie might seem controversial it is a worthwhile highly enjoyable portrait of human psyche when faced with inevitable circumstances which can live without costly special effects.
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8/10
Good sci fi
Cosmoeticadotcom19 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The 1985 sci fi film from New Zealand, The Quiet Earth, is one of the best of the 'Last Man/Woman On Earth' apocalyptic films. That said, since that is a sub-subgenre of film (subgenre being Apocalyptic films in the genre sci fi), it's merely a good film overall, for it progressively gets weaker as it goes on, as do all films in that vein. Like most films in this sub-subgenre, it falls prey to tropes that undermine it- the first being the predictability of sexual or racial conflict (two for two), and the second being following the Dumbest Possible Action, wherein characters do really dumb things no one would do in real life, just so the film can move along.

Of course, some slack must be given to films like this re: their scientific explanations for the depopulation of the world. In this film, it is ascribed to a Project Flashlight that the New Zealand government was working on in concert with the United States of America. It seems that a worldwide power grid was to be established via airplanes or satellites (it's never made clear- as it should be, lest the science bog down in irreality) and something goes wrong at 6:12 am, New Zealand time. The universe changes to the point that only those people who were near death at 'the effect' survive. The rest all vanish- save a few corpses who were likewise near death, then died slowly afterwards. Perhaps it was a quantum shift in reality, but it's clearly a stand-in for nuclear power- something that New Zealand banned around the time of the film. A thin vein of Anti-American Big Brotherism thus hangs over the film. The film owes much to prior Last Man films- such as the obligatory scenes of a shopping spree at a shopping mall (Dawn Of The Dead), the scenes in the church (The Last Man On Earth), sexual tensions between two men over the last woman (The Last Woman On Earth), racial tensions (The World, The Flesh, And The Devil), political brinksmanship backfiring (On The Beach), the Earth changed, but still the Earth (Planet Of The Apes), and there are also some great scenes unique to it- such as an airplane that seemingly fell from the sky and crashed into a building. But, the Dumbest Possible Action tropes- such as Api almost killing Zac in a car chase, or Zac simply not telling Api of Project Flashlight, and their shared assumptions that they alone are the survivors, is simply untenable- even if one suspends much disbelief. After all, if there are at least three survivors in Auckland alone, there would likely be dozens in New Zealand, and several thousand around the world- more than enough to repopulate the world; and worth seeking out. This is yet another unredeemed cliché of the Last Man genre.

Yet, despite all its flaws, I like this film more than I should, in relation to its artistic quality; possibly because in its flaws are the possibilities of what might have been a great sci fi film, in the hands of a better director with a better screenplay. As it is, though, The Quiet Earth is merely a satisfactory entry in the Last Man On Earth sub-subgenre. But, in a medium where even mere satisfaction is so rare, why complain too much?
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