The Last Man on Earth (1964)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
I Am Humdrum

A few years ago, you may all recall a movie done by Will Smith called I am Legend. That movie was based upon a book of the same title – but did you know the story has been adapted into a movie four times? Those movies, of course, are The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price, The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston, and I am Omega, starring a bunch of no names in an Asylum production ripoff of I am Legend. I’ve seen them all, and I can glady say Will Smith’s version is the best, but The Last Man on Earth is easily the most faithful to the original story (which I have also read). That’s nice, but the fact is…it’s still a boring piece of garbage.

So get this, the world ended in 1965 right? So, for the last three years, Dr. Robert Morgan has been surviving, patrolling the city, killing vampire/zombie hybrids, and buring the bodies just to make sure they don’t come back later…and he does this day in and day out. Back in the day, he used to be a scientist trying to figure out the cure for the outbreak, but for the most part, he just wanders around doing the same thing, staying alive, and talking to himself melodramatically. That is…until he learns something very interesting about what he thought was outside.

Alright, so this movie can and will bore you to tears. I will say this, though, the book that it’s based off of is really interesting. It’s not a horror book, not by a long shot. Instead, it’s really interesting and written out with a lot of scientific explanations that really made everything seem realistic. The movie didn’t really have a clear goal of what it wanted to be though – and for the most part, just had Robert doing the same thing every day while being an over-actor to make things, I don’t know, more serious? I’m not entirely sure why they took that direction though – it seemed sure of itself during flashbacks when it was clear that he was a scientist trying to figure things out – but during the “present”, he never once continued his research. He just…existed to exist.

This is partially the fault of the casting crew that for some reason, insisted upon Vincent Price to play the lead character. We get it, he’s a horror film junkie with an equally creepy voice, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good actor. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The world sucks, man, why are you over-acting in every scene. Staring off into the distance with that forlorn look on your face. I didn’t buy that you were lonely and scared. I didn’t buy that you were a scientist. I didn’t buy that you used to have a family, nor loved them either. Worst of all, I didn’t buy that you cared about the project. Creepy voice man. That’s the best praise I can give you, though.

As for the zombie/vampire hybrids. The book made a better case for what these were, but I think the movie just basically gave off the idea that they’re simply vampires. I beg to differ. Yes, they are repelled by mirror, garlic, sunlight, and stakes, and yes they talk – but have you seen them move in the movie? They walk with outstretched arms and slowly shuffle their feet. They don’t have fangs and when they do talk, they talk like they’re dead too – and can’t seem to even figure out how a doorknob works. I’m sorry, but vampires know how to use the door. They know how to use their brain. It’s pretty clear to me that these were a cross between vampires and zombies. Which in general, is a very cool concept. That’s one of the strongest points in the film…but my god, I can’t stop laughing when they talk. It just sounds so stupid. “We know you’re in there…come out…come out”…*laughs*

The Good:

The concept of the story is good. Really good. Heck, four movies came out of the same book – I’d say that’s pretty impressive. A man being alone in the world…but secretly stalked by impossible creatures at night. It’s the stuff of legends…hence I am Legend – and perfect horror film material.

The Bad:

It’s really cheesy and really boring. There doesn’t seem to be much of a point for most of the film, Vincent Price can’t pull off any of the right reactions, and even though it’s short…you don’t honestly know if there will be an ending to this movie.


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