20 April 2012

The last man on earth 1964 (review)

Well, somehow caught a cold earlier this week so I'm once again completely knocked out and unable to do any painting or gaming. Instead I've been catching up on my horror movie pile - so the next couple of days will be movie reviews, as a change of pace on the blog.

The first adaptation of the book “I am legend” is called “The Last man on earth” and stars Vincent Price (the guy with the very distinct voice) playing the character dr Robert Morgan. Morgan is seemingly the last normal human left on earth – at least he thinks so and is portrayed as such. Holed up during nights, and scavenging stores for food and supplies during the day.

He may be the last man on earth, but he is not alone – the city population has been infected with some sort of bacteria turning them into something of a vampire/zombie hybrid. These mutants are extremely intolerable to sunlight, garlic and mirrors like vampires and shamble about in a weakened state resolving to horde mentality trying to overwhelm dr Morgan whenever he is caught outside of his house during the night.

The movie is from the 60’s and is rather campy early on when it shows dr Morgan killing the mutants during daytime in a somehwat unconvincing manner. It does get better as the movie progresses and the plague leading to extinction of man is explained. It gives a fair amount of back-story regarding the character of Morgan, his work and his family. It does have a decent portrayal of stress caused form being the last truly living person constantly under siege each night and has some very moody sequences that really convey the post apocalyptic sense of a dead city.

The flaws in this movie cannot be disregarded though. First of all one has to wonder about the location Morgan uses as his hideout – his old house. I understand that he may have wanted to remain there for sentimental reasons but it does make little sense as it is extremely exposed. The makeup and effects of the mutants is also very cheap – basically a bit of eye shadow applied to the extras portraying the shambling living dead.

The ending also feels rushed and sloppy compared to the rest of the story.

Overall a 5/10 movie.

5 comments:

  1. Yeah, not a that good of a flick.

    Brian

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  2. I just recently started writing a mini campaign for Strange Aeons based upon the story of I am Legend. Even though none of the 3 movie adaptations can be described as "good" each provided me with some ideas for the campaign.

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  3. I think it is a beautiful film, better than other adaptations. Do you know that it was filmed in Rome, Italy, around the EUR neighbourhood? Everyday I pass in the zone to go at my job...

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  4. In comparison to other films of the time, its special effects are about average.

    For its flaws I still rate it as perhaps the best adaptation. The idea was to question what it is to be human... as it turned out Morgan was the only 'Monster', something which wasn't brought out in either "Omega Man" or "I am legend".

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  5. Well the family in Omega Man kinda see him as a monster, a barbaric remnant of what once was. I liked that aspect of this first adaptation, it kinda makes sense.

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