The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Last Man on EarthLet me start off by saying that Vincent Price is an idol of mine. He is truly one of classic Hollywood’s most famous scary men. He has done it all and more, but I will save my ramblings of Vinny for another time. The Last Man on Earth is the truest version of Richard Matheson’s I am Legend (which Will Smith fucked up royally). Just on a side note, I am Legend was also the inspiration for George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, for those who didn’t know. 

   The story goes as follows, a strange plague hits the earth and turns the survivors into vampires, with the exception of Robert Morgan(Vincent Price), a scientist who many years before contracted a fever that made him immune to the plague. Morgan’s daily routine is to clear the streets of dead bodies and to seek out the vampires, who sleep by day, and drive stakes through their hearts. At night he wards off the roaming vampires with mirrors and garlic. One day he meets Ruth, a young woman who is apparently also immune, but he learns that she is one of a group of vampires who possess a serum that provides them with temporary relief from their vampirism. Morgan returns Ruth to normal by giving her a transfusion of his own blood. She informs him that members of her group are coming to destroy him, and, although he warns them that he is their only hope for a return to normalcy, they ultimately kill him.Vinny

  The low key visuals of this film help focus the thread of the story. This isn’t a Hollywood effects extravaganza, but it doesn’t need to be. This all about the writing. There’s the attendant horror of Suburban streets strewn about and the repetition of horrific tasks that make up the lead character’s daily life. The teetering of his mind: from a scientists sanity and need to organize his life and the incessant call to insanity being the Last Man on Earth ( only to find how true that really is in this case ). This does have a slightly rough European quality, with the soundtrack not always meshing up, but the musical score and cinematography are quite amazing. This is a film that dwells on your feeling of empathy, especially if you have lost loved ones or beloved pets. It doesn’t dwell on causes so much as effects. Compare this to other early science fiction and it fits in quite well as somewhere between fantasy and horror. But honestly you WILL enjoy this movie. Vincent Price fan or not, although you should be.

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