Streaming-Kino: The Last Man On Earth (1964) - Vincent Price

"Streaming-Kino" is a new series of articles: from time to time, and in no particular order, we will present recommendable and acclaimed movies, that are free to watch right here and now!

Many movies are freely available, for different reasons. In some cases the copyright has expired, others were made available by the copyright holders, and some movies are made for the open public in the first place. We try to find the best ones, and dedicate an article with some critique and background information to it.

Our first movie is:
The Last Man On Earth (1964) with Vincent Price


The Last Man On Earth (1964)

"L'ultimo uomo della Terra", USA/Italy, directed by Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow

A couple of years before "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) there was a movie that depicts the apocalypse with striking resemblance: "The Last Man on Earth" with Vincent Price is about vampires, but doesn't look at all like spiderwebs, dungeons, or the black cape from 1897. The collapse of society is happening right here, right now, and everywhere. The enemy is inside your head, and the struggle is to the bitter end.

"The Last Man..." is based on Richard Matheson's novel "I am Legend" from 1954, and George A. Romero did take a peek or two at Matheson's work for "Night...". The similarities are undeniable, "The Last Man..." being the prior almost feels like a template for "Night...".

Nontheless the films are quite different. Vincent Price and the vampires are still connected to the romantisicm associated with Dracula and Hammer movies, personal tragedy plays a big role in "The Last Man...", science still has an ace up it's sleeve. In "Night...", on the other hand, it's the naked horror of society failing gradually, and increasingly, devoid of any romanticisation, on all levels.

In 1971 Matheson's novel has been (re)made into a movie called "The Omega-Man" with Charlton Heston, again in 2007 as "I am Legend" with Will Smith and "I Am Ωmega" featuring Mark Dacascos - but "The Last Man on Earth" from 1964 is still and by far the most gripping and touching version.



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