Review: The Quiet Earth
Blu-ray: The Quiet Earth (1985)
This is the situation that Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) finds himself in when he wakes and slowly begins to discover that all is not as it was when he fell asleep.
After driving around trying to find other people, Zac succumbs to his isolation and does what most people would; moves himself into the fanciest house that he can find, eats the finest food, drinks champagne (with a raw egg dropped into it!) for breakfast, and generally indulges himself in everything that was previously off limits to him.
However, the lack of companionship and interaction with other people unbalances his mental stability and he finds himself on the edge of insanity.
His world is changed when a hitherto unknown female appears: Joanne (Alison Routledge), who was also under the impression that she was the only person left alive.
A relationship forms between them (as it probably would if you thought that you were the last couple alive) and all seems good in their lives…until another male (Api, played by Peter Smith) discovers them and an animalistic mental and physical battle begins as to who will be the alpha male, and also have the affections of Joanne.
Discovering that a government research project that he was involved with could well have been the catalyst for the disappearance of everyone, Zac begins to research what may have happened and concocts a plan to test his theory.
The end result is a final shot, that while being very ambiguous, certainly sticks in the memory long after viewing.
The Quiet Earth is a slow paced look at the human condition under extreme circumstances, and although the dialogue can be stilted at times, the characters draw you into their emotional plight and you can’t help but be empathetic towards them.
The 3 lead characters give solid performances, and the narrative constantly has you thinking what YOU would do in the same situation…personally I’d keep my champagne egg free!
A thought provoking sci-fi movie that doesn’t rely on aliens, ray guns or spaceships for its thrills, and another worthy addition to Umbrella Entertainment’s ‘Beyond Genres’ series of releases.
- Audio commentary with writer/director Sam Pillsbury
- Theatrical trailer
- Restoration trailer