How rare a thing; a thinking man’s sci-fi both stimulating and satisfying. Penned by Jerome Bixby known for such works as The Lost Missile, It, The Terror From Beyond Space, and some of the classic episodes of the original Star Trek and The Twilight Zone this, his last script, serves as a fitting testament to his talent.
The Man from Earth, directed by Richard Schenkman, is simplicity itself, harking back, ironically as it is, to the fantastic tales told around fires since time began.
John (David Lee Smith) is a college professor who has announced his unexpected departure from his position to a group of friends. Pressed for an explanation he reveals the truth to them: he is 14,000 years old. And from there things just get interesting. This is what’s called an ‘Elevator Script,’ meaning it’s confined to one location; in this case an isolated cabin. It is very talky, so if you need a good car chase or shoot-out every forty-five seconds to keep your interest, well best give this little flick a pass.
For my tastes, however, which are on the cerebral side, it is a feast. And boy did I enjoy gorging myself! It is amazing what a cast of solid actors can do when given a solid script. Smith is joined by John Billingsley, Tony Todd, Ellen Crawford, Annika Peterson, William Katt, Alexis Thorpe and Richard Riehle.
No Ewoks, no face-huggers, no laser blasts, just a rich and thought provoking film. Well, well worth a watch.
Editor’s Update: In trolling the Internet for a clip of The Man from Earth, I happened upon the one below. Additional digging revealed that by August 21, 2014, the Kickstarter campaign was successful. They attained their goal. There will be a Man From Earth: The Series by Richard Schenkman and Eric D. Wilkinson.
It is clear that our reviewer Ernest Kearney isn’t the only fan of this clever Indie science fiction film, which is available for streaming or on DVD. Take a look: