Eric D. Wilkinson

the man from earth

I’d never heard of The Man From Earth before the Kickstarter campaign for its sequel came across my desk. At first, I thought I was reading about a follow-up to Nicolas Roeg’s sci-fi classic starring David Bowie. What surprised me more was that none of my FSR colleagues knew what it was, either. Yet this 2007 movie has a 7.9 rating on IMDb with nearly 82k votes. And not even enough reviews on Rotten Tomatoes to result in a score. The reason is that a lot of its fans discovered it through torrents, a fact that director Richard Schenkman and producer Eric D. Wilkinson admit they’re okay with considering the awareness and eventual success it brought to the film. Wondering if the sequel, The Man From Earth II: Millennium, would be worth promoting in this column, I watched the original this week. It’s streaming on Netflix if you’re interested. Scripted by the late Jerome Bixby, who wrote favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone and Star Trek as well as the basis for Fantastic Voyage, The Man From Earth is thinking man’s science fiction about a professor who confesses to his friends from the university that he’s been alive since prehistoric times. The acting (from an ensemble including Tony Todd and Richard Riehle) and directing is a little cheesy and given the single setting and all-talk narrative it seems better suited to be a short story or a play (it actually has now been adapted to the stage) rather than a movie — […]

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