The Quiet Earth Reviews
Still, some interesting moments, though it's better to see the original.
On the other hand, if you're viewing this film's Flixster page, you see a cast list of more than one person and an official trailer that shows the three main characters. So, it's no secret that scientist Zac eventually discovers at least two other survivors: an attractive redhead and a Maori brute.
With this preamble out of the way, let's say "The Quiet Earth" spends most of its time making the viewer imagine what he would do if he were alone on Earth and had all of civilization as his personal playground. The filmmakers create a convincing depiction of an empty metropolis, and we see Zac both indulge himself with empty luxury and, more pragmatically, try to diagnose what went wrong and see if there is any solution.
The other two characters behave less wisely, which is somewhat frustrating, but perhaps they should be forgiven -- after all, they're not scientists. But whatever misgivings the film accumulates are largely erased by an awe-inspiring close that is "2001: A Space Odyssey"-like in its majesty and provocative ambiguity. And up until those final minutes, you'll have no idea where the story is headed. So, please be patient.
This review could not be complete without adding that composer John Charles turns in a classy, orchestrated score that perfectly accents the story's poignancy.
"The Quiet Earth" is an engaging and low tech science fiction movie that takes a creative approach to depicting a suddently empty world with one memorably trippy effect.(And relax, there are explosions.) This was made in 1985 when the Cold War was still ongoing. At this point there were scientific proposals like the Strategic Defense Initiative which was some sick person's idea of a good time. So, not only did people have to be afraid of nuclear weapons but also of scientists playing god by coming up with more creative nightmares. To reinforce this notion, the movie does have it share of religious imagery and themes. And I especially liked the ending, even if I have no idea what it is supposed to mean.
Zac is a scientist who wakes up one morning to discover that he is alone in the world. Initially he is stoked about this and does the kind of things that a lot of us would do. This includes driving a car through a mall like in The Blues Brothers, dressing in woman's underwear, drinking champagne for breakfast and moving into a penthouse suite. Admittedly the second example is an acquired taste but don't knock it till you try it is what I say!!! He goes to work and realises that what he has been working on may have been a contributory factor to what has happened.
He then starts to go a little bit mad in the head in his own company. He declares himself president of the quiet earth and gives a speech to assembled cardboard audience which included Bob Marley, The Pope, Elvis, Adolf Hitler and The Queen. He then later has a moment of clarity and does some experiments where he deduces that the very fabric of the universe has fundamentally changed. He predicts another occurrence is likely.
Another part of human nature that is explored in this is our inner built desire to be social. What happens if we are denied this interaction, the politics involved in sexual attraction and how we can become wildly protective of this in the same way that you see on nature programs observing a pride of lions, herd of wildebeest or a gathering of chest beating primates down your local discothèque all presumably competing for the female that is wearing the least and showing the most. I assume that such matters are normally settled with a game of Hungry Hippos, conkers or possibly a round of Jägerbombs. How basic reason and sensibleness (made up word) might be disregarded the moment a bit of totty enters the equation and the testosterone levels rise.
An intriguing film done on a small budget back in the 80s and I liked how it achieved the sense of isolation. I also love films with open endings and The Quiet Earth doesn't disappoint in the regard.