The Quiet Earth (1985)
Nomination Year: 1992
SYNOPSIS: A boring man wakes one morning to find he is apparently -- quite literally -- the last person on Earth. Everyone else has mysteriously disappeared. He wanders around for a while, at first enjoying all the abandoned buildings and things, but eventually he gets lonely. After a time, he discovers that he isn't the very last one after all: a lovely woman and a large black man have also somehow survived whatever made the rest of humanity vanish. The three pal around and investigate. They discover that an experimental energy grid put up by the man's former company gave off a mysterious surge that somehow made everyone disappear -- except those who were dying at that very moment. It turns out that the protagonist was being electrocuted by his bedside lamp, the woman had committed suicide, and the black man was being drowned by someone he was fighting with, all at the very moment of the pulse. What's more: another pulse seems imminent! They figure out that they can stop it if they can destroy a key satellite dish, taking down the grid. The only problem is that the dish is huge, and the only thing they have on hand that can do the job is a tractor-trailer full of explosives. In the end, our hero gives the other two the slip (not too hard, since they were shacking up at the time) and drives the truck into the dish himself. BOOM! A noble sacrifice to save the other two and their love.
In short, that silence you hear is the sound of NO hands clapping...
- Crummiest Ending
It May Be Quiet, But It Ain't Earth
The protagonist decides to destroy the "Make People Disappear" Network by blowing it up, sacrificing himself to save the last two humans left on Earth. Is that the end of him? We don't know. Do the others form an Adam-and-Eve couple, or does the rest of humanity reappear? We don't know. We next see him wake up on a beach...somewhere. On the horizon, over the beautiful, sunset-tinged ocean, we see a resplendent city. Behind that are strange clouds and planets with rings, filling the sky as they rise majestically. Another dimension? Heaven? We don't know. All we know is that it's Hell for the audience.
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