You should well know by now that the clubhouse whole heartedly supports the efforts of its community, especially indie creators, so when illustrator and SK Anthology contributor Dragan Kovačević asked if I wanted to take a peek at his latest film project I went all in. A week or so later and I found myself prepared to go where no man has gone before… The Place Where the Last Man Died, directed by Ivan Peric. Along with Kovačević, who also appears in the film as The Priest, and several others they have formed a smal production company called Dream Division.
A “retro-futuristic” look into a post-apocalyptic world, The Place Where the Last Man Died manages to play up its biblical parallels without becoming hypocritically pious. As its most obvious religious reference the film finds a man named Cain, an ex-military scientist and presumably the last man alive, resolved to find a place where he can die in peace. Whatever pity you may feel for the man, however, might just be extinguished by the fact that it was Cain who started the apocalypse.
He justifies his actions (to himself) as a way of purifying the Earth, a painless end to a pitiful existence, laying the blame instead on the entirety of the human race for not having taken full advantage of life’s gifts. Much to his surprise, though, Cain soon discovers that he’s not the last man alive after all and begins a new journey to ensure the utter extinction of mankind. Along the way he encounters several more survivors each of whom make him question the path that he’s chosen, none more so than a young woman named Evelin (Eve).
Although I’m not typically a fan of subtitles, I found the thick Croatian accents actually lent sort of a hypnotically ominous tone to the film which reflected the desaturated imagery on screen. Whether this effect was intended or perhaps just enhanced as a byproduct of two different cultures/languages, I’m not sure. Although the majority of the film takes place under the deafening oppression of silence (makes sense there wouldn’t be much sound at the end of the world) Kevin MacLeod’s score adds just the right touch of drama to the religious grandeur of the movie’s premise.
As the first feature length effort by Division, The Place Where the Last Man Died is a slow-paced movie whose somber story benefits from the proficiency of its sets, filmography, and sound design. While it struggles through action sequences, for the most part the cast does manage to convey as much credibility in front of the camera as Peric and Kovačević do behind it. I’ll be interested to see what lessons learned from this production will be carried forward to their next project which, as Kovačević tells me, is currently in pre-production.