The Last Man on Earth/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
What would happen if we were the last few people on earth? It sounds like a fun idea to be able to do anything you want, destroy anything you hate or kill an endangered species. But, in reality, there's ALWAYS a price to pay. In The Last Man on Earth's case, that price is actually sad and more depressing than you could imagine.
Dr. Robert Morgan (played by Vincent Price) is the only man who survives a huge epidemic that kills most of the world's population. He has to kill vampires, find food, fix his house and do anything to stay alive. One day, he sees something that will change his life forever. Actually, the story is told in a very interesting way. The film begins as Robert wakes up, drives a car to get supplies and hunt down vampires while he is narrating about the things that are going on. Then, the film slowly reveals his past by showing Robert crying whenever he sees his daughter's doll.
We learn Robert used to live with his wife and his daughter and everything was fine. Unfortunately, he read the news that there was a plague that killed lots of people in Europe, so he and his friend had to work in a laboratory to find the cure to the disease. To make things worse, the plague slowly killed citizens in his own town, including Robert's daughter and wife. When his daughter got infected, Robert tried to warn his wife that "nobody walks into my home!" because he had seen neighbors who were infected being sent (as corpses) to the disposal. After the death of his wife, she became a vampire so he knew that he had no other choice but to kill all of them.
Since, I found out that this film is in the Public Domain I expected it to be another low-budget action/adventure flick. But no, it's one of the most depressing sci-fi/vampire movies I've ever seen. It shows how desperate and lonely Robert is since he had to fight the vampires for 3 years alone. It explains how much he wanted to save his family and other people. The vampires in this film are very similar to the zombies in Night of the Living Dead. They are slow-moving, weak and there are several scenes that show a group of them trying to invade Robert's house. Doesn't that sound familiar? In fact, George A. Romero acknowledged Richard Matheson's I Am Legend (the novel that this film based on) was a main inspiration of his movie.
Another thing I'd like to point out is the setting and cinematography. I don't know how much the budget was, but the film looks stunning! It captures the feeling of a ghost town really well. From abandoned supermarkets to the desolate city, it presents a really good landscape and chilling atmosphere.
Overall, don't let the word "Public Domain" scare you! This story of a sad and lonely vampire hunter is really touching and memorable.
Nuttawut Permpithak hails from Thailand. He spends his free time watching exploitation films (or any films from the past) writing articles, taking photos and reviewing films for GCDb.