Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vincent Price is 'The Last Man on Earth'

The Last Man on Earth (aka "The Night Creatures", "Wind of Death", and "Night People") (1964)
Starring: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Director: Sidney Salkow (or Ubaldo Ragona, depending on the source)
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Dr. Robert Morgan (Price) spends three lonely years battling undead monsters after a mysterious plague that kills most people while causing others to rise as vampires sweeps the world. He starts to uncover signs that someone else is battling the vampires, and soon afterwards he meets Ruth (Bettoia), a fellow survivor. But is Ruth what she seems, or are the vampires getting smarter and is she part of an elaborate trap?

"The Last Man on Earth" is a fantastic horror film. It is creepy up to the very last moment, and it creates its sense of horror, dread, and even sorrow without resorting to gory violence or even obscenity.

Price is excellent in a rare part as someone who is a thoroughly sympathetic character who does everything in the film with the very best of intentions. The supporting cast are okay, but they are really just there for Price to play off.

This is a movie that's well worth the time it'll take you to see it... and it's a movie that all those oh-so-clever filmmakers out there who are churning out horror and suspense films with lame (and even movie-destroying) twist endings need to see. "The Last Man on Earth" offers a twist and then a twist on that twist, and both make the movie a stronger story.

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