“Your new society sounds charming.”
The Last Man on Earth is based on the novel ‘I Am Legend‘ that originally was a film that Hammer Film Productions was due to make until British censors interfered.
This doesn’t happen in Britain anymore. Britain doesn’t make decent horror films worthy of notice.
The rights were sold to an American producer who moved production to Italy to save money.
I Am Legend was adapted twice more as The Omega Man (1971) starring Charlton Heston that I haven’t yet seen and I Am Legend (2007) starring Will Smith that is a slightly better than average, usual wide of goal, CGI, family friendly mess Hollywood spews up but still worth a watch if just once.
Vincent Price plays Dr. Robert Morgan a man who once was a scientist trying to find a cure for an extremely infectious virus that has spread across the world with no known cure.
Some films just aren’t relevant to modern audiences.
Surviving alone for 3 years after the virus finally infected not only the world’s human population but animal too, and still mourning the loss of his family, Robert spends his days struggling to survive against a zombie like population that are similar to, but more high functioning than, Bub from George A Romero‘s Day of the Dead (1985) than the traditional zombie.
Sandwiched between seeing his daily survival routine we see flashbacks to just before the virus hit America and how he loses his family and friends one by one.
Overall there isn’t much plotwise I can say without spoiling everything but Vincent gives a good turn as the hero for once even if he seems a bit too old for his wife.
The acting isn’t the best and the action a bit laboured but what you would expect for an early 60s film starring a man in his mid 50s trying to run after a woman in her 20s.
Not helped is the fact that apart from Vincent all the cast is Italian, so all the lines were dubbed well enough but mixed into the film poorly.
To me this all adds to the experience of watching this fun B-movie and the story is deep enough to build a good enough and believable world where you will be wanting Vincent to survive and win the day.
Classic 50s/60s fare but if you do watch then stick to the black & white version as the film has a bit of a Night of the Living Dead (1968) atmosphere about and the colourised has too much of an orange\brownish hue that works fine when inside a house with wooden walls and furniture like House on Haunted Hill, but here everyone looks like they are suffering from jaundice.
Another public domain film you can watch here.