The Last Man on Earth Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 30, 2014
Kind've a fun adventure/horror with Vincent Price battling alone against the hordes of the undead. Although fitted with a pretty decent setup premise it does fall back on hoary horror cliches at the end, which ruins it. Still, ole Vinnie (not one of my favorite actors) manages to hold your attention till the bittersweet end, well enough to warrant two (count'em) remakes.
Super Reviewer
½ February 11, 2011
Another siege in post apocalyptic worlds, the original adaptation of the book I Am Legend features a legendary villain and a different take on a clichéd variation, nowadays. Starring the incomparable B-movie villain Vincent Price in the role of the hero, he is seen as the last man on earth among a plague of epic proportions. The earth is taken over by a hoard of lifeless drones, categorized by either the claim that they are zombies or a strange mutant set of vampires. These can be seen in the 2007 remake starring Will Smith as well, but here they are simply portrayed as dowdy humans with greying skin. Price is a complex character because he is completely immune to the advances of the disease, while also having tried to cure it back when he was a research scientist with a large laboratory. Because he is the last living being, he finds he must evaporate every last one of them from the earth, starting in his own city and going block by block. The story is also told via flashbacks to when the disease began manifesting, his wife and child's fates, and mass evacuation and disinfecting of the city. The twist ending and subsequent dramatic denouement really hold the attention of the audience after the heavyhanded storytelling behind the sprawling backstory. The acting was corny, and there wasn't anything too original to unearth in this less is more style film. The one major problem I hold against it is the obviously flawed dubbing, which is the worst distraction. I did enjoy the simplistic narration, the hammy acting from Price, and the dreary nature of the setting. Really a gem of a small film that has lasted in many people's minds for decades after.
Super Reviewer
½ May 26, 2012
The first adaptation of Richard Matheson's horror novel "I Am Legend", this schlocky flick benefits greatly from Vincent Price's performance. Although he isn't cut out for physical acting, Price skillfully portrays the awful effects of loneliness and the challenges of finding the will to live in a world that has fallen to vampiric zombies. Despite it's obviously low budget, the film does a good job in setting up the mood of hopelessness. It does such a good job at executing somber atmosphere and mood that some of it's narrative shortcomings can be forgiven. If you can ignore the crude production value, "The Last Man on Earth" delivers as a somber post-apocalyptic mood piece.
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2011
Robert Morgan: You're freaks, all of you! All of you, freaks, mutations! 

"Do you dare to imagine what it would be like to be... the last man on earth... or the last woman?"

Now that I have seen all three of the movies based on the I Am Legend story; I can't say I really like any of them a lot. I think The Omega Man and I Am Legend are both decent, if really flawed films. As for The Last Man on Earth; I didn't like it at all. There wasn't a moment while watching it where I was either appreciating what I was seeing or enjoying what I was seeing. There's a fine line between this story being suspenseful or just plain boring, and this film hit on the boring side.

If I can say one good thing about it, it is that it does have a strong presence from Vincent Price. But the other two have stars in this role as well, with Charlton Heston in The Omega Man and Will Smith in I Am Legend. Vincent Price was never a bad guy to put in a movie back in the 50's and 60's. But his presence alone isn't enough to save an overall bad movie. 

Maybe had I watched it when it first came out back in the 60's, I would have enjoyed it more. Watching it now, it is really easy to see that it just hasn't aged well. The little family flashback to before the disease was so bad. Just horrible acting by everyone not named Vincent Price. The score was bad and really annoying. I just couldn't get into this movie at all. I'm glad I watched it, just because I like Vincent Price, but I don't envision myself ever watching it again.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
If you're a huge fan of Price, like me, you will want to see this movie. Not only is he the main character, but he's the only character for most of the movie since he's the last man on Earth. This is the first adaptation of the I Am Legend story, and my favourite because of Price's great performance and the cool style of the film. I love this movie, and I recommend seeing it. If Vincent Price is the last man on Earth, I want to be the last woman on Earth! :)
Super Reviewer
½ January 21, 2009
Groundbreaking horror that opened the door for films like Night of the Living Dead.
Super Reviewer
½ December 1, 2006
Robert Morgan: [filling up a bag with stakes] How many more of these will I have to make before they're all destroyed? They want my blood. Their lives are mine. I still get squeamish.

A quality film version of Richard Matheson's novel, I Am Legend. Probably the closest to the actual source material, more so than the Will Smith version and the Charlton Heston version for sure.

Vincent Price (an awkward casting choice, but who doesn't love him anyway) stars as the Last living human on earth. After the world has been devastated by a plague, Dr. Robert Morgan (Price) spends the days searching around town for supplies and killing the remaining inhabitants of the world, Vampires.

Robert Morgan: I can't afford the luxury of anger. Anger can make me vulnerable. It can destroy my reason and reason's the only advantage I have over them.

There is a lengthy backstory in the film that, despite dragging the film down, explains what has happened, and develops Price's character pretty well. It certainly helps that the films production, shot in black and white, with numerous shots of isolation, provide the film with a decent mood. The way in which this film was handled actually provided inspiration for Romero's Night of the Living Dead.

There are some campy moments, but this film is still pretty well handled.

Robert Morgan: You're freaks! I'm a man! The last man...
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2009
A Italian Horror Vincent Price Film. As we work our way through this film, I can see where many of the 2005-2009 movies got there ideas, 28 Days, 28 Week, 30 Days of Nights, and of course I am Legend. My copy of this movie came from the MGM Midnite Movies Collection, and the special features has a excellent interview with the writer of I am Legend. In this movie I am still wondering if we are chasing Zombies or Vampires. A plague inhabits the earth and people come down with a fever, then go blind and then die, Unless the bodies are burned they return. This is one of the few movies that the zombies talk and know who they are after, got kind of tired of hearing Morgan Open Up Morgan. This is not the best Vince Price movie but I am sure he has done worse. I can only give it 3 stars. But am glad its in my collection.
Super Reviewer
½ April 30, 2007
Fantastic adaptation of the original novel, the first one got it all right while the rest got it wrong.
Super Reviewer
½ July 27, 2007
The best adaptation of Matheson's apocalyptic novel. Vincent Price is as good as always, this time in a more contained role. the overall mood is effective, austere and creepy.
Super Reviewer
½ December 20, 2007
Richard Matheson's seminal sci-fi horror novel, "I Am Legend", published in 1954, is first and foremost, a character study, and any film producer must come to terms with that, if there is to be a successful adaptation from print to screen. The novel was adapted to screen in 1964 as "The Last Man On Earth"; producer Sidney Salkow, hampered by a tiny budget, intuitively did the best he could and came close to pulling it off! What Salkow did was convey the novel's mood, tone, atmosphere and plot in primitive fashion, crudely capturing the gist of the novel - that of one man, Robert Neville's confrontation with a horrendous existential dilemma - to be, himself, that is; or not to be, a plague- induced vampiric shell. While "TLMOE" was not entirely successful in translation, especially in the ending - co-scripter Matheson ultimately distanced himself from the final product - it nevertheless, clearly outshines a later, technically superior 1971 remake, "The Omega Man" in the aforementioned aspects. "The Omega Man", taken on it's own, is an interesting, entertaining film; but when referenced against the novel, falls flat on it's face. (Matheson himself stated that that film and his novel are two completely different animals.) In contrast, "TLMOE" fares much better when referenced: it shows that Morgan's (Neville's) battle is more with reactions within himself than with the vampires as a physical threat per se, as it becomes obvious that the vampires are slow-moving, dull-minded individually, and disorganized as a group, each instinctively and savagely interested only in HIS blood. Besides the perpetually nightmarish nuisance of the vampires, who have a collectively demoralizing effect on him, Morgan (Neville) must fight against the horror generated by the desolation and doom of a post-apocalyptic world, against the loneliness of being the last human on earth and against the agony of tragically losing his wife and daughter to the plague. In the final analysis, "The Last Man On Earth" could be likened to a series of crude, but brilliant brush-strokes of feeling-tones. As such it fully deserves cult-classic status.
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2007
A fantastic rendition of Matheson's "I Am Legend." Vincent Price portrays his character with a brilliant complexity. The cinematography and film shows a fair degree of age, but the plot and acting stand up impressively.

Perhaps the best "zombie" or "vampire" film ever made, managing to imbue a level of grace and thoughtfulness that no post-Romero film has pulled off since.
Super Reviewer
November 20, 2006
Heavy-handed and dramatic. But I love it.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2012
Vincent Price is...The Last Man on Earth. When a plague wipes out humanity, turning them into the undead, only one man remains uninfected and dedicated to wiping out the disease. Unfortunately, the storytelling is rather poor and relies too much on voiceover. And, Vincent Price's performance is a bit one-dimensional and overacted. Additionally, the nature of the creatures is confusing; they're referred to as vampires, but really they're more zombie-like. The Last Man on Earth is a little bland at times, but it presents some interesting ideas and is fairly entertaining.
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2007
Possibly the earliest adaptation of I Am Legend. A lot of the film is silent as Vincent Price goes about his lonely monotonous life as the last man. He does narrate his activities quite a bit and this gets old. At least the plot uses flashbacks to show his family life and how all humanity was infected and turned into zombie/vampires. This keeps the story from being impossibly dull. It appears that the world "ended" in 1965 and the movie starts in 1968. So the last man, who does what he can to survive and disposes of a few sun exposed corpses in a giant fire pit each day, has been going about this business for three whole years. Suddenly there is hope of other human life, but mob-mentality will not allow science to attempt to heal the disease.
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2011

Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) gets up every morning and marks each day on his current calendar with a little "X". I presume that means to symbolize each day he has successfully lived through. Then, he checks the garlic and mirrors that are placed on his door. If he needs more; then he makes a trip to town/city in his car. He goes for a ride; but not to sightsee. He has important business. Sometimes, he needs gas, sometimes he needs more garlic and another mirror (although he only "takes what he needs; he's an honest man), and occasionally, he stops at a ditch so that he can unload bodies and watch them burn, burn, burn.

He is the last man on earth. Or so he thinks. Everyone else around him - and there are plenty of seemingly human beings to spare - is a bloodthirsty vampire forever intent on killing him. Every night is the same old routine; the vamps try to break down Robert's barricades by first evading the traditional vampire phobias (the garlic, the mirrors, and oh, what's this; even the wooden stakes). Each night, they fail to succeed; and the hero lives another day. Luckily for him, it's in the day that he can get things done. And to Robert, there's always much to do about...something.

"The Last Man On Earth" is one of the three film adaptations of Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend"; and it's most likely the best you can get when it comes down to the trio. It's a competently-crafted, well-intentioned, low-budget science fiction horror movie that isn't necessarily faithful to the source material that inspired it, but nonetheless, it can build atmosphere and tension like a pro. The film keeps building-and-building tension, eventually hoping to lead up to something, and believe me; there's a conclusion that proves my claim that it DOES indeed end somewhere, and on a satisfying note. Some might disagree, and most will have problems with the film that are difficult to overlook, but as entertainment, "The Last Man on Earth" is a mighty success. But as a narrative, eh...not so much.

I have no problem with the apocalyptic story. I am respectful and very admiring of Matheson's original novel, which served and still serves to this day as an influential work of sci-fi horror fiction, but most of the emotional impact is taken away here through some distracting dubbing and a scenery-chewing performance from Price; who is always wonderful, and does not intend to change that here. There isn't much of a point in going in-depth about how much I liked Price in his role here, because really, if I've done it once, then I've done it more than enough times. One thing that's worth mentioning might be that Price wasn't the essential choice for the character of Robert Morgan (who was called Robert Neville in the source novel). Plenty of other, slightly inferior actors could have fit the role just fine. I'm glad that Price did take on the character, but there's always the sense that here, he lacks the same unforgettable and unique sense of style or wit that he has had in his various other projects (and roles).

It may sound like I wasn't too fond of "The Last Man on Earth", and indeed, I am giving a positive review to a movie that probably doesn't deserve the kind of praise that outweighs the "bad" by a long-shot, but in reality, I did like this film. It's an excellent piece of entertainment, the production isn't as bad as it was initially thought to be (really, I've seen much worse out of today's "entertainment"). In the end, through all its imperfections and unfaithfulness, it's a quality product and I was pleased with it. You might like it too if you are affectionate of "I Am Legend", the novel, but then again, maybe you'll find even more to complain about. As a critic, it would be wrong to direct you anywhere other than down your own path. My positive rating entails that I recommend the film, and believe me, I do, but I was *this* close to giving it a slightly lower rating, but a lot of thinking soon changed that. "The Last Man on Earth" doesn't necessarily delve deep into its thematic elements, but it does create a convincing and nightmarish landscape, and slow vampires scare me more than the fast ones any day (even if the fast ones were the creation of Matheson in the book, and their pace has been changed for the film). Whether this review makes you skeptical or not; this film is worth a good look, if only out of curiosity. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2011
Chilling and living up to the novella
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2007
"The Las Man on Earth" is actually much better than Heston's remake "The Omega Man" and the somewhat disappointing, long and boring "I Am Legend". The movie has a creepy music score and imaginative direction are this film's major assets. The opening to the film is good and sets the mood for the remainder of the movie. The black and white cinematography adds to the films eerie-ness.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2011
This fits squarely between Heston's "badass" version and Smith's "pussy" version of I Am Legend. This version is super low-budget (think Night of the Living Dead) and hasn't aged well, BUT Price is excellent in the lead, and of the three adaptations, this is closest to the original story. You have to see all three to be able to fully compare...and then read the book.
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2008
I must admit, I saw the Will Smith version first (shame on me), but at least I digged out this original version and read the book. Unfortunately and surprisingly as well I do prefer the newer version, although it does not do justice to the book. Vincent Price performance is very wooden and bad. Strange, because he is an actor I usually like. Obviously the whole Italian-low-budget-production business is a huge put-off, due to the abyssimal talents of the supporting cast. The cinematography however is good and reminds me of the fascination I felt when seeing the empty streets of London (in 28 Days later) or New York (I am Legend).

I would recommend this film to genre enthusiasts in general and to people how are into Matheson.
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