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The Quiet Earth

The Quiet Earth -

A movie that deserves to be called that other Twilight Zone movie from the 1980s, it's a prime example of nailing a first attempt with it being New Zealand's entry into sci-fi. It owes a lot to Omega Man, I Am Legend, etc., but I think it surpasses those movies, mainly for why I bring up The Twilight Zone: it has a more satisfying mystery and it is more thoughtful, especially in terms of its spirituality. I can't say anything about Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth because I haven't seen it, but Bruno Lawrence surpasses Heston and Will Smith as this movie's last man. Besides how well he expresses Zac Hobson's guilt over possibly being responsibile for his unfortunate situation, he's more convincing when it comes to how that much loneliness would impact one's sanity. I don't want to reveal how bonkers the height of his solitude gets, but I'll at least give you a hint: a nightie is involved. Even though New Zealand was obviously not as involved in the Cold War as the U.S. was, the way the movie uses it as a backdrop deserves credit; besides, it's nice to see the conflict from a relative outsider's perspective for a change. The movie also matches its more popular and larger budgeted brothers not only for how empty its world seems, but also for going big whenever Zac makes it a toddler's playground, if you will. Also, it only has a few special effects, but the ones it does have are delightfully trippy and hold up despite the movie's age.

This advice may be impossible to follow, but I would encourage you to not look at a poster or the DVD cover of this movie because it spoils the ending. Without hopefully spoiling it even further, I'll just say that it may be on par with 2001: A Space Odyssey's for how it is bound to stay with you and for how well it encourages discussion. It ends up being "where is everybody" sci-fi that deserves to be mentioned alongside the other movies I've mentioned and the best TV episodes in this sub-genre. Oh, and it manages to do this without the use of vampires or mutants, believe it or not.