STUDIO:  A&E Home Video
MSRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME:  94 Minutes
- Additional Scenes

The Pitch

The 547,500 Days After Tomorrow.

The Humans

None. We’ve gone and fucked off somewhere and left the Earth to deal with what we’ve wrought.

The new Honda hybrid is extremely eco-friendly, but gets approximately .0001 centimeter to the gallon.

The Nutshell

We’re all generally cognizant of the fact that our continued depletion of finite natural resources and our penchant for armed combat in lieu of discussion and human understanding (not to mention the awesome belief that no matter how much we fuck things up here, there’ll be another life that never ends where everything is handjobs and cheesecake) is leading down a path to destruction. It’s a matter of conjecture as to the when’s and why’s of this, but it is a near certainty that there will come a time somewhere down the line where humans will eclipse their fifteenth minute of fame and dissolve from the landscape altogether. This documentary aims to show us what will happen to the buildings, cities, automobiles, and animals we leave behind in the centuries following our dismissal.

The Lowdown

One of the unfortunate realities of life is that at some point it must end, and it’s no different for societies as a whole. History has proven that at some point we humans will end our sojourn here on planet earth, although there’s no way of knowing how or what will lead to this end*, it’s a near-certainty that we ‘can’t stop what’s coming’.  What this particular documentary aims to do is give us a glimpse as to what the Earth might come to look like in the post-man era.

Country Bears 2: Urban Cowbears

The biggest problem that plagues the production is their choice for how man vanishes, or more to the point their complete lack of one. Man is just completely eliminated from the picture here, with no bodies or remains left behind. It’s an odd choice, and I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that these scenarios were playing out under some sort of bizarre fantasy premise where we simply vanished from the face of the Earth, right down to the domesticated dogs being left inside their homes. More than likely we’re going to play a huge hand in how we’re ultimately destroyed, but the documentary would have to be somewhere in the ballpark of forty-five thousand hours long to try and cover what Earth could look like under any number of catastrophic contingencies. 

That’s not what the film is after, and even if it takes a bit of time to swallow the premise of people simply vanishing without leaving some mark of destruction in our wake, it’s a pretty fascinating look at how quickly the Earth will rebound from our attempt at domesticating it. In only a matter of centuries, cities will crumble and vanish behind thick vegetation the world around. Some of our monuments will last slightly longer than others, but the prevailing message the doc is looking to get across is that our time here on Earth will more or less be erased from the history books once the post-man era reaches its fifteen-hundredth year. The notion that there will be nothing left to speak of our culture or who we are as a people (our move to paper from stone tablets, while much more wieldy, results in almost all records of our existence being pretty damned fragile) will be either comforting, depressing or infuriating depending on your temperament. I was mostly the former, as I thought it was kind of cool to see how the Earth will reclaim its land with time and it’s comforting to know that my DVD copy of You, Me and Dupree will be dust long before any sort of archaeologists could begin to search for it in our aftermath.

Affordable housing now available on the lower East side!

While digressions into the chemical composition of cement may not sound like an exciting way to spent an hour and a half, this documentary manages to be interesting while still playing into our desire for apocalyptic mayhem and destruction (shit is ablaze and crumbled in our wake), which is ably communicated by special effects-laden sequences detailing the decay of all that we left behind. Even if it probably won’t be applicable to how the Earth will actually manage to deal with our eventual end (if only we would go so quietly into the night without managing to screw things up even worse), it’s still an interesting look into how life perseveres, with or without us. 

Day 175: Bloodthirsty maniacs claw at my door, screaming for a fluff piece on Star Jones’ apartment or a one paragraph Leah Rozen review of The Lake House.  I burn the last of the ‘Fashion Police’ pages for warmth as I fall asleep to the sound of a human being gnawing on another’s flesh as they scream for mercy…

The Package

The cover art is a decent representation of what the documentary tries to showcase, which is the decay of modern cities with nobody to look after them any longer. The picture quality is solid and the audio is decent, but isn’t mind-devouring.  For extras, you get a fair amount of deleted material that was probably cut from the finished product for time reasons, but is just as fascinating as what remained in, so it’s worth taking a gander at.

6.7 out of 10

*In the interest of full disclosure I’m running a three-option parlay in Vegas with nuclear holocaust, new ice age and the coming of Galactus, all in succession.

“Hey Ken, this is just like that Duran Duran song, you know what I’m talking about?”
“Oh, you mean Rio?”
“No, the other one…”
Girls on Film!”
“Yep, that’s it.”