Last Man On Earth

DECEMBER 7, 2007


What with I Am Legend hitting theaters next week, I thought I’d give a look at Last Man On Earth, the first adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel. Also, like 90 readers suggested I watch it. I had always heard bad things about it, so I wasn’t exactly dying to see it, but as it turns out, it’s not all that bad.

However, it’s hard for me to buy Price as a hero. He just sounds too damn sinister. Later in the film, when he finds a fellow survivor, who can blame the poor broad for not wanting to trust him? He makes “I’m not going to hurt you!” sounds like the most threatening thing ever said. I wouldn’t trust him either. Maybe his grandson Jody, but not him.

The movie also offers a fake Peter Cushing.

Also, and it’s been a while since I’ve read the book so I can’t remember if it was the same, but I think it would work better if the flashbacks were separated and delivered in smaller chunks, Lost-style, rather than stopping the movie cold for a half an hour to explain away everything at once. This prevents any vampire action from occurring for far too long a time. Still, the flashback sequence does offer Price saying, quite matter of factly “Maybe it was because I was bitten by a bat...” (in response to his seeming immunity). Apparently, he was the only one ever bitten? But the way he says it is so hilarious (he might as well be saying “Maybe I should have roast for dinner.”), it buys the film another 10 minutes of momentum.

Also, the transfer is pretty ridic. Apparently it was taken from a TV airing. So the film’s 2.35:1 image is cropped, but the film is also windowboxed! And making things worse, the opening credits are either cropped out:

Or the image is stretched vertically so that they wouldn’t be cropped:

Christ. I might have to buy the regular DVD (there’s a new edition with a cover that ape the remake) just so I can watch the movie respectfully. They might as well have shot it with a camera during a screening.

I still haven’t seen Omega Man, though I understand it’s the least faithful of the three. Not that I really care. If you want the book, read the book.

What say you?


  1. i really like this movie! i watched it a few weeks ago, and i thought it was very enjoyable, though i agree that his "bitten by a bat" speech was pretty funny.

  2. This movie really scared me as a kid - I found the idea of monsters outside my house that KNEW MY NAME to be absolutely terrifying.

  3. It was on "ok" movie. I thought the silliest part was when he and his wife (especially her) talked about their dying daughter while she was literally only inches away, simply ignored (and dying).


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