Last Man on Earth [Import]
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Vincent Price gives an atypically restrained performance as the sole survivor of a worldwide plague that revives its victims as bloodthirsty vampires. During the day, he canvasses his abandoned hometown, tracking down and stalking his former friends and neighbors, always making sure to return before nightfall, when the dead rise to assault his fortified house. Hope arrives in the form of an apparently normal young woman (Franca Bettoia), but her agenda proves to be even more sinister than that of the vampires.
Based on the 1954 novel by coscripter Matheson (whose displeasure with the final product spurred the use of a pseudonym), this Italian-made production is best known for its influence on George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. The similarities between the two films go beyond the presence of shuffling zombies and housebound heroes; both feature taboo-breaking scenes of interfamilial murder, and both end on bleak, dystopian notes. While The Last Man on Earth lacks the political and darkly satirical shadings (and graphic gore) that make Night of the Living Dead a more memorable experience, the combination of Bava-esque Gothic atmosphere and bleak, documentary-style camerawork by directors Ragona and Salkow (the brother of Price's agent Lester Salkow) lend themselves to moments of pure frisson that compare laudably to Romero's film. Matheson's novel also provided the source material for the awkward 1971 Charlton Heston vehicle The Omega Man. A planned third version, helmed by Ridley Scott and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was shut down in its earliest stages due to skyrocketing budget costs. --Paul Gaita --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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DVD Features Include:
Disc #1, Side A -- Panic in Year Zero
Disc #1, Side B -- The Last Man on Earth
"Richard Matheson Storyteller: The Last Man on Earth" featurette
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).Read more ›
Price plays Dr. Robert Morgan; who as you'd guess by the title becomes the last man on Earth after the remainder of the World's population is wiped out by a virus he helped create. Wait, did I say last man? I actually mean last NORMAL man, because Morgan is hiding in isolation with "vampires" outside pining for his blood, because Morgan's own blood contains a special antibody that makes him immune to the virus. To keep from going mad; Morgan lives the past through his home movies and lives with the guilt that among the victims claimed by the virus were his wife and daughter.
This low budget US/Italian co-production predates George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD by four years, but doesn't get the full respect it deserves. In fact; I think LAST MAN ON EARTH is far superior, more intelligent and scarier than NOTLD. Bet you won't guess the twist in the tale.
This was later remade as THE OMEGA MAN with Charlton Heston (which I haven't seen yet) and several years back Arnie Schwarzenegger was to have starred in a remake which never saw the light of day. Despite being made four decades ago, LAST MAN ON EARTH can stand alongside other SF/horror classics like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL as one of the best genre movies of its era.
The film is a Digitally Remastered Widescreen version of the film, letting you see the film in it's original Aspect Ratio. Madacy did a great job remastering this film. The picture is excellent, with not a flaw to be seen anywhere. The audio, in Dolby Digital, was very good too, but there is no Closed Captioning in English available, which would have been nice. Vincent Price gives a good performance as the title character and most of the cast is good, although I found the performances by the actors playing the vampires somewhat "lifeless" (no pun intended). One thing I didn't care for was the montage scenes of Vincent killing the vampires -- they had a rushed feeling. Had the film been longer, it would have allowed the director to film more graphic scenes, which would have increased the impact. Also, Price seems awkward in the film's action scenes, especially the vampire attack scenes.
The menu of the DVD is very simple and straightforward, offering easy access to the movie and all it's features. These include a biography of Vincent Price, the original lobby poster for the film, direct access to individual scenes, an interactive trivia quiz, and finally, original horror movie trailers from the 1950's.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The best of the 2 films here is Panic in the Year Zero. Frankie Avalon and Ray Milland were just great and the plot was good too.Published 6 months ago by Mark Feuer
Did order and received a false tracking number, the website of the sellers is not existing, tried to contact them many times, never responses. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2013 by roger luc chayer
This is another in the series of Midnite Madness DVDs put out by MGM some years ago.This set contains,on a dreaded double sided disc,Panic in Year Zero(released July/62)and The... Read morePublished on June 16 2012 by Robert Badgley
Legend Films presents "THE LAST MAN ON EARTH" (8 March 1964) (86 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White --- This is a great... Read morePublished on Dec 7 2008 by J. Lovins
this is the 1st filmed version of Richard Matheson's novel entitled I
am legend.the 2nd film version(which i have yet to see)is called The
Omega men,starring Charlton... Read more
The movie "The Last Man on Earth" is one of those movies that at this point in time people may laugh at or leave the theater. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Missy
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