The Quiet Earth (1985)
Genre: Apocalyptic Drama Sci-Fi Mystery (New Zeland)
Starring: Bruno Lawrence (UTU, Goodbye Pork Pie), Alison Routledge (Her Majesty, Rain)
Directed By: Geoff Murphy (Young Guns II, Freejack)
Overview: A man one day wakes up to a quiet planet, wondering if he's the last man on earth.
Acting: It can't be bad because of the New Zealand accent, because then that would be racist, and besides, I know how great other New Zealand actors are. Oh right, maybe it's just that this is clearly a low-budget production that had me fooled until some director decided that this crappy portrayal and that messed up take didn't need to be reshot. And this from the guy who directed Freejack! I man come on! Mick Jagger? Buster Poindexter? Shouldn't we expect more?
Cinematography: There's some of that low-budget attempt at special effects, like decent explosions and believable gory dead folk. There's even some interesting locations, like a palatial home, a science lab complex, all the things you would expect to find from a talented location scout... I guess it sounds a little like I'm impressed that they could get a tanker truck and shoot a scene in a radio station, but what else am I going to praise? The camerawork? HA!
Script: After running the whole "I wouldn't [enter whatever thing here] if you were the last man on Earth!" thing into the ground, you realize there's not much to this. When there IS dialogue, it's low-budget terrible. Yes, we get an idea that humanity needs companionship or it goes nuts pretty quickly, but my God this is written like a bad horror movie that a high school student whipped up ten minutes before it was due.
Plot: Atypical right down to the end. Except for the reason the world ends up the way it does, we have exactly as you would have written it: Guy wakes up not realizing what happened, figures it out, just so happens to work for the big secret lab that's been doing related experiments, then spends the rest of his time looking for a reason to live. For as much as I'd love to, I won't ruin the completely predictable middle. As for the end, I was glad it came when it did.
Mood: Don't let that most-amazing cover art fool you, it's nowhere as cool, peaceful and serene as it could or should have been. It's been a long time since I've seen a movie where people don't act human. It was a good run. It ended here. As soon as the second act starts it falls apart into a non sequitur of stupidity. Ooo, I like that, I think I'll remember that. Maybe it's the whole Post-Apocalyptic thing that's got me jaded. it's one of my favorite genres so I've seen a whole lot of it, meaning I expect more than "oh my God it's just me! I guess I'll do exactly what everyone else would do for the rest of the movie.
If that was me I'd be all "My name is Master of the Universe, you are my slaves!"
Overall Rating: 58% (The Theater Was Probably Empty Too)
Aftertaste: I forced Girlfriend of Squish to watch it even though she was sick of it half way through, but to Hell with suffering through this alone, I say! Look, it wasn't that bad when you compare all the horror I watched after this... the completely terrible B-Grade Horror we watched just to laugh at... Ok, this blew.
At least it was Post-Apocalyptic, right?