Last Man On Earth (1964)

Directed by: Sidney Salkow and Ubaldo Ragona

Written by: William Leicester & Furio M. Menotti
Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend (as Logan Swanson)


Vincet Price ... Dr. Robert Morgan
Franca Bettoia ... Ruth Collins
Emma Danieli ... Virginia Morgan
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart ... Ben Cortman

Release Date: Theatrical: March 8, 1964



Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the living in an extinct town and the only survivor of a devastating world-wide plague due to a mysterious immunity he acquired to the bacterium while working in Central America years ago.
He is all alone for now and trying to live his life every day and protecting himself from anything dangerous that might happen as he tries to get rid of the dead bodies as well as killing others that were plagued with it.
He then protects his home with garlic and mirrors around his home before night falls as the plague victims try to invade his home to kill him for his blood as he can't leave his house almost at all.
He eventually runs into another survivor and both have to battle this hellish nightmare.


We spot a narration by the leading character Dr. Robert Collins when he explains as to what had happened as well as good shots on the deserted town along with dead corpses lying there adding nice formula to the horror story.
Also we spot him trying to lead his everyday life along with attention grabbers on what he does like sharpening wooden stakes as well as getting stuff at a deserted grocery story which adds some mystery into what he will be up to later on.
We also spot him driving a stake through someone alive as well as showing him placing garlic on his door step in which this leaves clues this this may very well be a vampire flick so this draws your attention as well. Good shots on him throwing dead bodies on a firey hillside as this leaves a clue on what we plan to see later on.
Also we have some nice moments on him near an abandoned church as well as a creepy looking graveyard along with him realising that dusk has settled with people that seem like zombies are slowly trying to attack him as this makes the film interestingly spooky since the story was already starting to be a bore from what we've already been watching.
Interesting moment on him watching a film projector on his daughters birthday with him laughing and then him crying as it makes the scene effective for a depressing horror story.
Then we get into a flashback session on his family life as this works in greatly since it explains as to how the apocalypse happened. The beginning looked well done with a little girl enjoying her birthday and everyone seeming quite happy.
Then we have other scene when their little girl is sick in bed and have stuff covered around her so she won't catch anything along with the wife Virginia feeling tired as it leaves a clue she's catching the virus as well as later on showing crazed moments too as this didn't look too shabby.
We also spot some good stern moments between Robert and his in law Ben while working in a medical lab discussing on what's going on since this adds some good powerful dramatic moments into the story.
Great intense and nice dark shots on a troup of army people tossing dead bodies over the firey pit as well as Robert trying to stop them doing it to his dead daughter as this brings some nice intensity to everything.
Also good moments on Robert disgging a hole for his dead wife and making surte she's not burned. Also a good moment later on after he answers his door to his house and a perfect close up shot on his wofe returning from the dead and not the same adding a perfect creepy touch to the flick. This was my favourite scene of the film.
Then back to present day looked well done when he spots a dog running around and trying to search for it as well as him talking to this pet as things seem a bit uplifting while we watch this moment happen.
ANother nice situation is when he is outside and spots someone alive whom is Ruth Collins as well as him trying to talk to her when she runs away which leaves a feeling on someone desperate to talk to someone that is still alive than just themself.
Fair intense moments when he brings her to his home and tests garlic on her and gets aggressive which seems necessary after he finds out what she is. However it's dated by how the moments all went here.
Fair moment with Robert on a chase from the military trying to come after him and shooting him in which there's the odd effective moments but nothing to brag about either.
Before there was George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead there was this flick. It's very depressing but the film itself is in fair taste and an original zombie film. However, the story is too long and it nearly falls flat and is a bit of a bore. Also makes me wonder if Stephen King watched this and inspired him to write Pet Semetary as it seemed to borrow similar elements on burying the dead.

The acting is good as scream king Vincent Price (Dr. Robert Morgan) always does a terrific job as an actor as he portrays an ordinary man living an every day life but can't figure out why his town is extinct. He narrates the film too and has an expressionless voice sounding voice giving the film a good feel to it. He also showed nice emotions of loneliness after watching a home family film. Does well with his emotional weeping too. Plus is fair with his deseperate needs or aggressions when getting demanding especially. Shows good energy running away near the end of his performance or reacting painfully after being shot.
Franca Bettoia (Ruth Collins) knew her stuff as someone timid or shaken up by all that happened. Plus does a good job reacting spooked out of her head and being intense when she is nearly attacked. Also does a good job with her screaming and showing her hyped reactions naturally. She seemed to get into her role quite nicely.
Emma Danieli (Virginia Morgan) has a nice wholesome motherly type of look and appeal and studied this role well acting happy during the beginning of her performance. Also shows a good tired out behavior in other scene's acting like she's slwoly being infected by the virus. Shows a nice hyped attitude when acting emotional or upset in which she knew on how to act devastated.
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (Ben Cortman) was probably one of the best performers in the film acting full of life at the birthday party acting like a great uncle to his onscreen niece and then shows a perfect versatality later on with his firm and seriousness as to what is going on. Also shows a nice obnoxious behavior as well bringing stuff to the extreme. He brings on the aggressions superbly.

The music was composed by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter and do very well with the flute, trumpet and violin playing for the film which was useful for a film this decade. Also we hear the odd string plucking as well as harp performance as this catches your attetnion along with some sad violin music towartds the end of the film done in decent taste.