Don't be the last man to see this incredible horror film
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Last Man on Earth is based on Richard Matheson's incredible novel I Am Legend, in my opinion the second best vampire novel ever written. Vincent Price does not really fit the image I had in mind from the novel, but there can be no doubt that he gives a remarkable performance here and makes the role his own. It's a rather somber tale. Price plays Morgan, a man left completely alone in the world by a plague that wiped out the rest of the population, including his wife and young daughter, three years earlier. The virus behind the plague was a vampiric bacillus, so all of the people who died and were not destroyed by fire have come back as vampires. Luckily for Morgan, the vampires are quite weak and simple-minded, for they attack his fortified home every night in an effort to get in and kill him. By day, Morgan goes out hunting the walking nightmares and driving stakes through their hearts, but there are so many that the project seems almost futile. Midway through the movie, we are treated to a pretty extended set of flashbacks to the early days of the virus and the deaths of Morgan's wife and daughter. Toward the end, Morgan is shocked to find a woman wandering outside during the day, the first human being he has seen in three years. He takes her home with him and thus sets the stage for the movie's memorable climax.Obviously, Vincent Price carries this movie on his own back, given the fact that the vast majority of the action takes place around him and no one else. He plays things rather subtly for the most part, which I found quite effective. His memories make him laugh sometimes, but Price's signature laugh evolves quite effectively into sobs of anger and frustration. The most poignant moments of the film, in my opinion, come when Morgan finds a dog outside his house, the first living creature he has seen in three years. The dog initially runs away from him in fear, but the suffering creature eventually comes back. Morgan cleans him and fixes up his wounds, but the new friendship he exults over soon becomes just another tragedy. The movie doesn't dwell on the dog episode nearly so much as Matheson does in his novel, and for this I am grateful because I find it rather heartbreaking. The little dog gives an incredible performance, but as is so often the case the canine actor does not even merit a mention in the credits. The Last Man on Earth really is a remarkably good movie and really showcases the immense acting abilities of Vincent Price. I wish it would have delved into the science of the virus much more intensely than it did; the scientific aspects of Matheson's story are what make it such a phenomenally good vampire novel. The inner turmoil and chaotic nature of Morgan's thoughts cannot really be presented effectively on film, nor can the actions and motives of some of the other players in the drama be thoroughly understood. The script writers did take some liberties with the concluding scenes, but it is really for the best because the novel's conclusion would not have worked in this medium without the audience being given a much more penetrating look into the minds and motives of the characters involved. Some might find the movie creepy, but there is really nothing here that will disturb the timid viewer-the camera never actually shows any of the gruesome acts that tend to be committed by human beings against vampires and vice versa. Somber and depressing as it can be, The Last Man on Earth is the type of distinguished horror movie that appeals in some way to just about everyone."
You're all freaks!
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 04/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was once watching the Sci Fi Channel and there is was, The Last Man On Earth, with Vincent Price. It had just started and the scenes, so quiet it was almost like watching a silent movie, with him getting gas for his car, hunting for garlic and collecting mirrors were very powerful. I realized it was a vampire movie but not just any vampire movie. So I was trapped, sitting in my chair, watching it all the way to the end. Based on the story, I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson (one of the greatest authors ever) it really uses the empty settings and natural background noises to pull you into the reality of a world that has died. It seems longer than the 87 minutes length than it really is and being in black and white adds to the feeling that the movie is nothing but a great story with great actors. No special effects, no flashy gun fights, no chase scenes...well, OK, a few chase scenes. The film really shows a man doing anything to survive. The canned goods, the need to keep track of time, the gas generator, the house turned into a fortress. And the need to fight back anger, the need to find hope and the need to stay human. If you are a vampire fan you NEED this movie or your collection is flawed."
NOT THE VERSION TO BUY IF YOU ONLY WANT THE B/W MOVIE
stryper | Canada | 11/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you're looking for the best B/W version of this film on DVD, then either of the two MGM DVD's, is the way to go, but if you want it in colour, then the Legend Films disc is sufficiently colorized for your viewing pleasure.
I have both of the MGM DVD's, and just got in the Legend Film one to do a comparison, seeing as no one else had done one, and I was stupidly enticed by the, "includes restored original black & white version" that was written on the top of the rather badly done DVD cover (the MGM, The Last Man on Earth movie only edition, has a better cover, still not the greatest, but better than this cover),
Here's the lowdown, it looks like the exact same print was used for all three DVD's, with the exception that the Legend Films picture has a couple of incidental dirt specs removed at the very beginning of the film (like 3 or 4 in a 5 minute span) but in return, the picture is just a touch softer then the MGM image (where as the MGM image quality is very crisp over all) and a slightly tighter frame around the widescreen.
Yes, and erroneously, the DVD cover states the film is full screen, but it's actually the widescreen version in both the B/W and colour versions.
Another problem with the Legend version, is that even though they seem to make a big stink on the cover about the B/W version, in actuality, the B/W movie has a play only option, with no chapter stop menu (although you can skip forward using your remote, at what looks to be around 5 minute increments) and I was unable to use the, "goto" feature on my remote to jump to a specific time point in the B/W film (the scene select in the DVD menu, only allow you to jump to scenes in the colorized version).
As for the colorized version, the colours are dark pastels, as per most colorized drivel, kind of reminding me of the early 2 strip Technicolor process, used before the 3 strip process was invented, which gave skin tones a tanned, orange/brown look, and muted all of the other colours.
So, the MGM DVD is the way to go for serious lovers of this film, but for novices who might want the novelty of the colorized version, then the Legend DVD is an okay second choice.
Hope this helps :)"
A moody film and a tour de force for Vincent Price
Benjamin Winfield | Connecticut, USA | 03/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Vincent Price has to practically carry the entire movie by himself, and he succeeds wonderfully. There are not any really frightening moments, but the film's slow, haunting, melancholic atmosphere more than makes up for that. The dubbing and acting are sometimes awkward, and the direction is, at best, uninspired. However, we plunge far deeper into the psychological elements of being the last man on earth than 'The Omega Man' ever did. In that film, the tragedy of the protaginist losing his wife and daughter to the plague was completely omitted, a big mistake which did not help a movie that was already tacky and ill-conceived. The premise of man being alone against the new race of humans is also preserved in 'Last Man', whilst in 'Omega Man' we had an insane cult of hippie mutants. Overall, 'Last Man' is a flawed but fascinating flick, worth seeing for Vincent Price's one-man performance and it's disturbing final scene."
Best Available Version-Restored maginficently
W Miller | Somewhere!! | 03/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review is not on the film itself, because other reviews clearly tell you the synopsis of the film. This review is on the quality of the film itself, The Last man on Earth, starring horror legend Vincent Price. The version I have is a DVD with the title Last Man on Earth at the top in white capitals and Price carrying a body at the bottom, coloured light brown and the top an odd blue. The picture is as good as new, the audio is listenable and very sharp and in all my years of seeing different versions of this film, this is by far the best. It could as well be a collector's edition. Every copy I'vce seen, Price mouths something and half a second later words start being projected, not with this one though.
So, in quality and value for money, get this version of the last man on earth, no other cheap, unrestored or value double or triple pack. This is the one to have. Released by MGM Video/DVD entertainment."