Sunday, July 9, 2006

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Vincent Price is a dude under siege by vampires. By day he seeks out their underground lairs, all the better to stake them to death. By night the shambling undead batter at the ramparts of his boarded-up home, seeking revenge: Prior to the viral apocalypse that turned 99.9% of the population into bloodsuckers, Price was a scientist working on a cure for the once-rare condition; now his blood contains the key to reversal. If only the vampires don't get him first... The first attempt at bringing Richard Matheson's seminal I Am Legend to the silver screen certainly inspired George Romero, but moments of chilly atmosphere are fleeting as the film drags on and on and on. And on. Matheson originally submitted this story to Hammer Studios, who passed because their films were being so thoroughly stomped by British censors at the time; the property then passed to an associate producer, who got the film made in Italy -- making this, in essence, the very first Italian zombie movie.

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