The Last Man on Earth (1964 Italy)

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The Last Man on Earth (1964 Italy)

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:37 pm



Color Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drMczeQYIBg
In itself this movie is not great, but its importance in genre history is assured because of its marked affinities with The Omega Man and Night of the Living Dead. The same 1954 Matheson novel inspired both The Last Man and The Omega Man, but the approaches taken were almost opposite because this first movie remains calm and sad while the second one turns quickly towards action-adventure. Both heroes are lanky and tall, but Vincent Price here is sullen and slow while Charlton Heston in Omega Man is quick and virile. Some viewers find both approaches unsatisfactory. VideoHound writes: "Whereas Omega Man replaced the paranoia of the novel with Chuck Heston's machismo, this one fills in with poorly done repetitive violence and a hero who is pretty much too tired to go on."

I found Last Man engaging but lackluster. The somber pace is probably appropriate to the material, but many viewers will find their patience tested. The few action sequences are poorly shot; it's almost as if they were designed to minimize the excitement. And the Italian-made film suffers from obvious English dubbing. Even Price has trouble dubbing his own voice. I like Omega Man far better . Viewers might note the similarity in the openings of both films , and note that a small blooper can be sighted in each: in the supposedly-deserted city of Omega Man you can spot a car driving in the distance, and in the supposedly-deserted city of Last Man you can spot smoke from a chimney. Still, the virtues should be apparent to viewers who take it seriously. The nihilistic bleakness and zombie attacks precede Night of the Living Dead. Price performs well, especially in one standout scene when he watches some of his old family movies. He watches lethargically at first but then begins to laugh. Is it laughter at the clowns on the screen? Is it laughter at the absurdity of his current situation? Or is he laughing to keep from crying? Finally, it should be admitted, if sadly, that the "worldwide plague" theme has become increasingly relevant over the decades.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 43259-43272). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.

Last Man Trivia: AN ITALIAN SCI-FI FILM, BASED ON RICHARD MATHESON'S "I AM LEGEND" NOVEL,
REMADE AS THE OMEGA MAN IN 1971 & THE 2007 SCI-FI FILM STARRING WILL SMITH ...WRITER MATHESON WROTE PART OF THE SCRIPT BUT WAS DISSATISFIED, THEN CREDITED BY ANOTHER NAME; HE THOUGHT VINCENT PRICE WAS MISCAST. MANY, INCLUDING GEORGE A. ROMERO, LOOK UPON THIS FILM AS INFLUENTIAL ON NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

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