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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Last Man On Earth (1964)

(aka: Night Creatures)



Reviews and Comments

Vincent Price plays the title character, the sole survivor of a plague that's wiped out humanity and turned those not cremated into some kind of a cross between a vampire and a zombie. It's an unsettling but intriguing notion, to be alone in a world humankind has left, hence why the idea shows up again and again in horror and science fiction. The first half of the movie, where we see how Price's character has come to adapt to living in this kind of world, is the better half. It's not as detailed as many takes on this theme, but it captures the psychological element well enough to keep us involved in the story. In the second half, when the zombies take on more of a role, I reflected that a better movie might be made about the last man on Earth without any zombies at all. How does he eat, drink, sleep? How does he entertain himself? How does he make the best use of all the abandoned resources that have been left for him in all these vacant cities? I thought it most odd, for example, that the main character of this movie chose to keep his original home. Surely he could find a more defensible, not to mention luxurious, home elsewhere.

The final events of the movie defy reason, but I can't think of a way to describe why without giving out spoilers. Suffice it to say that the story seems to twist itself into unnatural contortions for the sake of an ironic ending. It's fairly unsatisfying, but, on the other hand, not so much so that it ruins an otherwise compelling film.

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