With this review, we land on number 6 of Umbrella Entertainment’s Beyond Genres Collection with the engaging The Quiet Earth. Released in 1985, directed by Geoff Murphy, The Quiet Earth has been compared to The Twilight Zone, and there is no better way to describe this apocalyptic flick.
Scientist Zac Hobson wakes up at precisely 6:12 AM and finds that he is the only man left on Earth, or so he thinks. He does the usual stuff that pretty much anyone would do when put in a situation like this. He moves into a bigger house, takes what he wants and does whatever he wants. However, as the days go on and no one hears his message on the radio, his already fragile mental state starts cracking. All of this is compounded by the fact that the company he worked for is responsible for the weird phenomenon that made everyone disappear. His guilt is making things worse as he feels partially responsible for everything that is happening. As he slowly unravels, he is saved by finding another survivor, a beautiful redhead named Joanne, played by Alison Routledge.
Side note: If I was in this situation, I’m pretty sure my luck wouldn’t be that good, and instead I would end up meeting a fat, ugly old man who loves to hug a lot. End side note.
The pair starts trying to find other survivors, and do end up meeting the most badass dude ever, Api (Pete Smith). Seriously, he wears a bone earring and jogs in leather pants. Baddddassss. Unfortunately for Zac, this badassery has the potential to steal Joanne away from him. It’s the leather pants for sure.
Love triangles aside, Zac figures out that the world’s existence has a time limit and they have to work together to figure out how to save the few remaining people left alive or hopefully reset something that would bring everyone back.
Clocking in at 91 minutes, The Quiet Earth doesn’t feel slow one bit. I felt captivated by the story and the plight of Zac. The ending of the film may leave some questions up in the air, but I think it completed the theme of despair quite nicely.
Umbrella Entertainment provides a solid Blu-ray release with some nice looking video and clean-sounding audio. The film has been released on Blu-ray from Arrow Video in the UK and Film Movement in the US. Using the fantastic caps-a-holic site, which sadly doesn’t compare the Umbrella release (yet), the Arrow and Film Movement transfer both look similar, but the Film Movement seems to have some DNR applied as the grain is almost gone, which means the Arrow release slightly edges out Film Movement. I believe Umbrella Entertainment’s quality leans more towards the Arrow release. UE’s extra features include an audio commentary with writer/producer Sam Pillsbury, a theatrical trailer, and a newly restored trailer. Unfortunately, none of the features from the Arrow nor Film Movement releases are included.
The Quiet Earth amazed me and kept me glued to the screen. I was enthralled by the story and didn’t want the movie to end. A feature-length Twilight Zone episode is exactly how I would describe it. Umbrella Entertainment’s Blu-ray release is a solid package for Aussie fans, but if you own the other releases, it can be a tougher choice.
The Quiet Earth amazed me and kept me glued to the screen. I was enthralled by the story and didn't want the movie to end. Umbrella Entertainment's Blu-ray release is a solid package for Aussie fans, but if you own the other releases, it can be a tougher choice.
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