The movie I’ve selected today for the classic reflection comes all the way from New Zealand and is called The Quiet Earth (1985).
Directed by Geoff Murphy (Dante’s Peak, Fortress 2), and staring Bruno Lawrence as “Zac”, the story concerns a man who wakes up one morning to discover he’s one of very few people left on the planet.
We come to find out he’s a scientist who was working on a project called “Flashlight.” As he drives into town to his work at a large research facility he concludes, with much guilt, that it must be the result of his project.
This movie is not your typical post-apocalyptic film that might be replete with special effects and flashy dialog. Instead it’s more character driven and introspective as we see the what the affect of being alone has on Zac.
Bruno Lawrence is completely unknown in America and that’s too bad because he gives a wonderful performance here. (He collaborated with Murphy on several other NZ movies but sadly died of lung cancer in 1995.) Geoff Murphy has since made some films in America (Freejack, Young Guns II) but they are no where near as well done as this mostly unknown (in the USA) film.
(Added note from the editor) Curiously, it’s been noted that inspirations for the movie include the 1954 novel, I am Legend, and Dawn of the Dead. And if you find a way to catch this piece, be ready for a conundrum of … well, you’ll see. Over on IMDb, after over 11,000 votes, The Quiet Earth has a user ratings of a 7/10 score. It might just be worth checking out in some way…