Vincent Price………Dr. Robert Morgan
Franca Bettoia………Ruth Collins
Emma Danieli………Virginia Morgan
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart………Ben Cortman
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007 Rating: Unrated Running Time: 87 Minutes
Dr. Robert Morgan wakes up, turns off his alarm, and gets the coffee pot percolating. He starts up the engine of his car so it can warm up as he tunes into the morning radio. Next is a trip to the gas station to fill up the old tank and then off to the grocery store to pick up a few necessary items. After bringing the stuff back home, it’s off to do a bit of exploring around the city to find what he can find. Sounds like the normal life of a retired old man doesn’t it? The only difference is that Dr. Morgan does this all alone. Not alone as in he isn’t married or doesn’t have any family, but as in literally all alone. He is the last man on Earth what he is searching for is any sign of life. That and any more of the vampires so he can drive a stake through their hearts.
A horrible virus has spread throughout the world and Dr. Morgan is the last human being alive. His days are spent trying to find vampires that are hiding out so he can kill them. The more he gets rid of, the less that will try to attack him at night. He gave up hope some time ago that anyone else may still be alive so it is simply a matter of survival for his own benefit. But is it worth it? Can he keep up the fight when they come for him each night? Can he keep up the fight in his own mind without going totally insane? These are just a few of the many questions he must answer everyday as the last man on Earth.
A better choice could not have been made for the role of Dr. Robert Morgan then Vincent Price. Not only does his voice do the narration total justice and make the film even creepier then the vampires do, but he knows how to act alone. Besides the lifeless vampires seen at night, Price goes almost the entire film being by himself. There are probably not even five actors one could name today that could go through a ninety minute feature film by themselves and keep it entertaining for audiences.
The story is classic as it doesn’t go down the direct route of vampires trying to recruit others into their broods and take over mankind. Mankind is already gone and it is the vampires themselves that run the world. Dr. Morgan has nothing to gain from staying alive because he has no-one to save and can’t possibly repopulate the Earth alone. He is fighting this fight for his own survival and maybe just to prove that he can. It shows a strong-willed man that aims to beat out insurmountable odds. Still he can’t help but break down at times and just laugh or cry at the entire situation. It really makes a person think what they would do if put in that type of situation.
The Last Man On Earth is a great film to watch if you are planning on checking out the new film I Am Legend with Will Smith. Both films are based on the same novel and surely tell it in very unique ways. I’m now anxious to see Smith’s take on this because if it is even half as good as the job Price did, then it will be a masterpiece. When I mentioned earlier that there were probably only a handful of actors working today that could probably pull off the same performance that Price did in The Last Man On Earth; Will Smith was included as one of them.
The film is shown in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and looks great in its original black and white. There are no grainy effects with the black and white that presents this film as it truly was meant to be seen.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and this is one of those films that it wasn’t really necessary on. The only things to ever be heard from the surround speakers are a couple moans and groans every once and again from the vampires. It sounds great, but would have in stereo sound too.
Richard Matheson Storyteller: The Last Man On Earth – Richard Matheson wrote the novel and the script for the film and really believes that a good vampire film hasn’t been done since. His thought process was that if one vampire named Dracula was as scary as he was then a world full of vampires would really be scary. This feature lasts only six and a half minutes but has a lot of information in it.
The Inside Pulse
I really wish there could have been some more special features included here but it appears it was a stretch even getting the one. Having to go to Richard Matheson in order to get a short interview with him tells me that there was nothing to even possibly include period. None the less, the film itself is simply awesome and needs to be checked out by anyone who has seen or is even considering seeing I Am Legend. I haven’t seen Will Smith’s film yet so I’m not saying one is better then the other, nor would I. But considering the popularity and coverage it is getting, I just think everyone needs to check out this rendition of the story as well. There are a few others out there, but I’m willing to bet they won’t have anyone nearly deliver the performance that Vincent Price did. The man can send chills down your spine with his laughter and he’s the good guy.
The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Last Man On Earth