The Quiet Earth

"Extraordinary"

The Quiet Earth Review


Post-apocalypse movies aren't exactly scarce. Even down under has more than its fair share of these films: The Road Warrior being the prime example of the genre.

The Quiet Earth takes a much softer and less explosive route to examining life beyond the pale. Here we have New Zealander Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence), who awakes one morning to find he's the only guy around. Literally. The rest of humanity -- and all animal life, it seems -- has simply vanished. Zac spends the following days in predictable stages of coping: Confusion, research, gluttony, insanity, and rebuilding -- until a fetching second survivor, Joanne (Alison Routledge), shows up at his place.

Just when you think the movie is going to turn into a love story (blech!), director Geoff Murphy spuns the film into a new direction: A third survivor is found along with a cause for why they managed to survive and a theory about why "the effect" occurred. The end plays out as the trio races against time to stop the universe from ripping apart completely.

Heavy stuff, and Murphy does amazing work with a deft script that, despite minimal dialogue and even fewer characters, keeps you engaged for its full running time and, incredibly, leaves you wanting more at the end. Murphy's later credits (Young Guns II, Under Siege 2) wouldn't indicate such an ability to produce powerful action/thriller/dramas on a tiny budget -- and my, what special effects! that score! -- but never you mind. The Quiet Earth is a cult classic of the good variety. There's not a moment of schlock or goofiness, and its topic (a metaphor for nuclear annihilation) is just as prescient today.

Check out the new DVD, which features a helpful and lively commentary track.



The Quiet Earth

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th October 1985

Budget: $1000 thousand

Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Production compaines: Cinepro, Mr. Yellowbeard Productions Limited & Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Sam Pillsbury, Don Reynolds

Starring: Bruno Lawrence as Zac Hobson, Alison Routledge as Joanne, Anzac Wallace as Api's Mate, Pete Smith as Api, Tom Hyde as Scientist

Also starring:

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