The Last Man On Earth
Directors: Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow
Year: 1964
TRT: 1:26

Reviewed: 1/25/2024

My take on this film is severely tainted (heheh, taint). I love the source story is was based on, “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson. They’s done at least 3 major film adaptations so far (including The Omega Man in 1971 and more accurately titled I Am Legend in 2007), and they all fail on significant points. The story itself, published in 1954, is one of those few stories with an ending that just kicks you in the head and gut simultaneously, like a Twilight Zone episode. It’s not surprising that Matheson did go on to help Rod Sterling write quite a few of those episodes after the first season. But this? What the fuck is this? Gahbage.

The worldview is set up quickly, desolation. Dead bodies strewn here and there. Nobody about. Shit, even the local community church has taken the time to update their sign to “THE HAS END COME” (I have a sneaking suspicion The Walking Dead had a little homage to this). And then the introduction of our main character, Vincent Price. What’s his character’s name? Can’t remember, even after reading the story it’s based on. Because it’s Vincent fucking Price, actor extraordinaire. But what he really is? A punk-ass weak bitch. And after 3 years of fighting vampires, guess what? Still a weak-ass punk bitch. Somebody gotta speak the truth on this one. It doesn’t get better from that. And don’t even get me started on the police station “armory” that comes into play. Sad.

I don’t know if it’s because of the year it was made (I’m sure that had a big influence), but damn it’s weak sauce. Vincent Price’s ham-fisted performance does the film little justice, between the stilted voice-over and even worse melodramatic acting. Key plot points from the original story glossed over or “improved” by the screenwriters. Here’s an idea: STICK TO THE FUCKING STORY, you asshats. Funny to look up the Wiki on the movie to see that Matheson hated the adaptation so much he used a pseudonym for credit. Doesn’t surprise me, quite the disappointment overall. Watch if you want pure drama-cheese. It’s quite whiffy in that regard. And a goddamn poodle? Who casts a poodle unless you want the audience to hate you?

Great Scene: Well, some of the exterior scenery is kinda nice. But the standout probably is the nice way they book-ended the flashback scene.

Most Fucked Up Scene: Kid on her deathbed, and Vincent says “Maybe she shouldn’t go to school.” Gee, you think? And the sniffin garlic scene. Who could realize garlic could be so sexy?

Media Notes: Streamed. Even if there were extras, I wouldn’t watch em.


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