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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two good looks at life after the Apocalypse...
NB: As usual, Amazon have bundled all the reviews for various editions of the Last Man On Earth together. This review refers to MGM/UA's Region 1 NTSC DVD that double-bills it with Panic in the Year Zero.

Despite the author's well-known dislike of it, The Last Man On Earth is surprisingly good version of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, and makes a fascinating...
Published on 14 Dec. 2007 by Trevor Willsmer

versus
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable
For the love of God, DO NOT BY ANY DVDS THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ELSTREE HILL ENTERTAINMENT!!! The film prints are obviously from the cheapest source possible and are fit for nothing other than the bin. No attempt has been made to restore the picture or sound quaity or even to correct the aspect ratio.
As for the film itself, I would love to be able to review it...
Published on 12 Dec. 2011 by RGP


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable, 12 Dec. 2011
By 
RGP (Maldon, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
For the love of God, DO NOT BY ANY DVDS THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ELSTREE HILL ENTERTAINMENT!!! The film prints are obviously from the cheapest source possible and are fit for nothing other than the bin. No attempt has been made to restore the picture or sound quaity or even to correct the aspect ratio.
As for the film itself, I would love to be able to review it but I couldn't even stand 10 minutes of a film of this quality, its like torture!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two good looks at life after the Apocalypse..., 14 Dec. 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
NB: As usual, Amazon have bundled all the reviews for various editions of the Last Man On Earth together. This review refers to MGM/UA's Region 1 NTSC DVD that double-bills it with Panic in the Year Zero.

Despite the author's well-known dislike of it, The Last Man On Earth is surprisingly good version of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, and makes a fascinating comparison with Chuck's insanely enjoyable version The Omega Man. It may have less action, a much lower budget, a score considerably less funky than Ron Grainer's, and what looks like the suburbs around Rome's Cinecitta Studios standing in for the USA, but it offers a much more disturbing account of civilisation gradually breaking down around its powerless hero (a restrained and very convincing Vincent Price). And for anyone familiar with the remake, the even bleaker ending here is a real surprise. Recommended - it's not an all-time great, but it's well worth a look.

MGM/UA's Region 1 NTSC DVD's 2.35:1 widescreen black and white transfer is superb - easily the best on the market of this much-issued title - with a six-minute interview with Richard Matheson as the only extra.

So too is Ray Milland's forgotten post-Apocalyptic directorial effort Panic in Year Zero!, which takes a surprisingly sober and convincing look at the possible effects of an unexpected nuclear attack on the survivors. Confusion and denial gradually give way to a determination to survive at any price, as Milland's family everyman, so busy looking for the darkness in others he doesn't see it in himself, takes charge with a coldly logical determination to put his family first that naturally leads to cold-blooded murder. Yet he's not a maniacal stereotype: he genuinely thinks he's helping society survive by separating himself from it and keeping any other survivors at gunpoint, insisting "The law will be back. I just want us to survive until it does" as he moves further from it and what's left of civilization.

Being a low-budget AIP movie, the action is confined to the hills and mountain roads, but it's an effective and fairly unsensationalized look at the All-American post-nuclear family. Curiously the film's original trailer shows it may have been darker still, with deleted footage of one of the film's female victims all too eager to kill her tormentors, one of whom is seen sniffing her clothing while impassively watching an attack - the film itself is rather more subtle! The only extra on MGM/UA's Region 1 NTSC DVD is the trailer, but once again the 2.35:1 widescreen black and white transfer is superb.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars vincent price,deserved more than this, 21 Oct. 2012
By 
D. barnett (NORFOLK,ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
Sadly i was dissapointed with the quality of this dvd,as other people have written also,i thought at first it was my dvd player,but sadly it was not..they could have at least cleaned up the picture as it can be done & should have been done,the film is a little lack lustre & although i appreciate that it only cost me a few pounds i will be giving this to a charity shop because i will not watch this one again,so sad as vincent price is/was a legend in my mind to be put straight to a dvd in such poor quality like they have,shame on you.He deserves better than this release.YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible quality, 29 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
For god's sake don't buy the "Elstree Hill Entertainment" edition of the film. The picture quality on this disc is absolutely horrible. I've been wanting to see this film for so long, but I couldn't bear to spoil the fun by watching it the way presented here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible quality, 4 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
Never ever buy any movies from elstree hill studios , its the worst quality picture and sound you will experience (ever) totally unwatchable and fit for one thing and thats the bin , ive made that mistake and bought a few dvds from elstree studios which went in the bin not fit for any thing else (trust me)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked classic, 1 Jan. 2008
It is a constant source of amazement to me that Last Man On Earth has not enjoyed a renaissance amongst the horror community, as one is greatly over due!
This film, pure and simple, is a classic! Now you won't get many reviewers, either professional or amataur, putting their name to such a claim. This, possibly, is because people don't want to look unknowledgable: to go against the status quo in either direction (eg, to claim 2001 was cack [no I don't think it is, incidentally], or to say LMOE is great) ivites derision from a staid and unyielding mind set.
It may be said that the lack of budget shows through, or other similar trifles may be focussed on, but in the end LMOE is a pioneering example of the genre, from it's european style of filming, which lends to the film a refreshing 'otherness' and not a little grace, to the lack of any romantic counterpart for the title character, to the unrelenting emotional rawness and downbeat finale.
A few years later another film came out, one that was eventually hailed as a classic despite its minor faults. Upon viewing that film and LMOE one could easily draw the conclusion that LMOE pre-empted most of the points that granted the later flick classic status. The newer film was Night Of The Living Dead. Go watch them side by side and you'll see what I mean.
Perhaps with the Will Smith version of this tale doing well at the box office LMOE will finally recieve the attention it so richly deserves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Am Legend, 28 May 2010
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This review is from: The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
A good story of a worldwide epidemic that wipes out the poulation leaving one man to defend himself from the undead. Remade years later as the Omega Man starring Charlton Heston, and then more years later it was once again remade as I Am Legend which was the original name for the book it is based on. The print quality is not the best and there are no amazing special effects. However if you are a fan of sci-fi or Vincent Price, it is a good one to have in your collection
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 11 Nov. 2009
By 
Ms. A. Winfield "Fishboy" (england) - See all my reviews
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im not usually a giant fan of colorised films - but they have done a really good job here
this has been remastered and looks good
the quality is nice and the colors look authentic for the time and the atmosphere of the film
i have seen several versions of this film and this is way the best - not just for the general colorisation but of overall quality
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knight of the Living Dead : MGM Midnight Movies 'Last Man on Earth' DVD review, 17 Aug. 2013
By 
Stephen E. Andrews "Writer" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is of the MGM 'Midnight Movies' double bill US Region 1 DVD version of 'The Last Man on Earth'/'Panic in Year Zero' and not any of the other versions which are out there on DVD which all sound best avoided. The MGM version is absolutely fine in all technical respects (though of course it could do with a remaster and blu-ray reissue). I'm not going to review 'Panic in Year Zero' here, as its a minor film - though worth seeing for fun - I'm instead going to comment upon how important and influential a film 'The Last Man on Earth' is, both for enthusiasts of written SF/Horror and for anyone interested in fantastic cinema, paritcularly fans of what are erroneously (these days) called 'zombies'. This will involve some digression, but will also enlighten viewers on the evolution of the 'zombie' in SF/Horror cinema.

No serious fan of the fantastic can do without 'The Last Man on Earth' , the original film version of Richard Matheson's novel 'I Am Legend'. Adaptations can only really be judged in relation to the pioneering source work and as such, 'The Last Man on Earth' is the most faithful, influential, best-made film version of Matheson's novel. Until comparatively recently, it has too often been dismissed by critics while the 70s version ('The Omega Man') has been overpraised. As for the recent Will Smith vehicle, a large budget and state-of-the-art effects do not guarantee a good film, let alone a good adaptation. In fact it's an enormous shame that Smith has become associated with SF films because of his appearance in 'Indpendence Day', a film which had one good idea (the enormous starship hovering over the city) and that was stolen from Arthur Clarke's 'Childhood's End'. He's just too much of a vanilla everyman (who habitually sports silly jug-earred, vacant expressions) to make a credible SF hero/anti-hero in my opinion. After all, he used to be the fresh prince of Bel Air. Words fail me!

'I Am Legend' has been an acknowledged SF classic since its first publication in the 1950s. Recently it was awarded the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Twentieth Century (up against the likes of Anne Rice, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Stephen King, Kim Newman, George R R Martin and Charles L Grant) and it is gradually becoming recognised that the book pretty much created modern cinema's take on the 'zombie'. 'A lone survivor fighting against a plague of undead whose revenant status is due to a virus,' stands as a one-sentence summation of 'I Am Legend'. Watch George Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead'(1968) and you'll find all of this except for the virus concept, which is hinted at in the same director's sequels and almost every 'zombie' movie since 1980. But watch 'The Last Man on Earth' and Romero's debt to Matheson and the makes of this first adaptation is revealed as both monumental and undeniable.

Both films are in black and white, both are stark and 'downbeat' and both (as I've said) draw on Matheson's novel enormously. When viewing both, you'll be struck by how the undead in Matheson/'Last Man' shamble around - although they are "vampires", they are a clear precursor of Romero's ghouls (note I don't use the term 'zombies' here, for reasons I'll make clear). In 'Night of the Living Dead', Romero replaces the 'virus' explanation for the undead plague with a brief media aside about radiation from a returning venus probe (which to my mind echoes slightly similar- albiet dreadful- films like 'Invisible Invaders' and 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'). Romero's undead eat human flesh rather than drink blood and while this is an important distinction, in terms of the other borrowings from Matheson and the mis-en-scene (or 'look and feel') of 'Last Man on Earth', the importance of Romero's masterpiece is somewhat blunted by the realisation that the film is not as original as it first appears. Pioneers deserve respect as it's harder to create fresh concepts rather than simply improve upon them. While Romero really hit the nail on the head by introducing the horror of flesh-eating to Matheson's ideas, this was a small jump compared to Matheson's incredibly clever re-crafting of the vampire legend as scientifically explicable even down to garlic and stakes through the heart.

One more thing : Romero's undead are ghouls, not zombies. Ghouls have been around in literature for around 4,000 years (they're in 'the Epic of Gilgamesh', the oldest book in the world) - undead revenants (literaly 'returners')who hang around graveyards and eat the flesh of the living (remember the guy in the cemetray in Romero's film?). Zombies are voodoo- entranced people who appear dead who then return from their graves in a stupor as slaves (such as the tin mine revenants in the tin mine of Hammer's 'Plague of the Zombies'). Romero referred to his undead as ghouls in interviews, script and other print media right up until 'Dawn of the Dead' (1978), in which one character erroneously refers to the ghouls as 'zombies' once. In Lucio Fulci's 'Zombi 2' (aka 'Zombie Flesh Eaters). which would be marketed as an unofficial sequel to Romero's 'Dawn', the traditional voodoo zombies of the caribbean suddenly start eating flesh to imitate the ghouls of Romero. The nomenclature goes wrong at this point - though it's worth pointing out that referring to anyone in a trance or seemingly undead as a 'zombie' in SF films was already established (see Hammer's 'The Damned' and 'Quatermass 2'). The trancelike state of the undead is common in world folklore, especially the vampire lore of Eastern Europe, so it is worth rememebring that the terms 'revenant' and 'undead' act as convenient catch-all terms for ghouls, zombies and vampires. Incidentally, they weren't called 'zombies' in Jorge Grau's 'The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue' (1974) either, the first colour flesh-eating 'zombie' film (with the arguable exception of 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things'.)

'The Last Man on Earth' can stand alone comfortably as a successful SF film in its own right, but inevitably it will mostly be viewed in its context as a precursor of 'zombie cinema'. Its Italian settings are fascinating, invoking the near-future the film is set in, Vincent Price is superb, bringing out the pathos in the story of the lone survivor and the closing sequences, when he encounters 'a revolutionary new society' (words Romero himself used to sum up his own first two undead movies in the 1970s) are chilling.

So if you want to see where the whole 'zombie' thing came from, you MUST read Matheson's book first, then watch this film, then 'Night of the Living Dead'. Throw in 'The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue' next and you're ready for the explosion of undead movies that started with 'Dawn of the Dead'...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Double Bill., 29 Sept. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964] (DVD)
The Last Man On Earth.

They are coming to get you Morgan.

Vincent Price stars as Dr. Robert Morgan, the apparent sole survivor on Earth after a lethal virus has wiped out mankind. His only company is a plague of vampire like zombies thirsting for his blood each and every night. Tiring of the constant fights and desperate in his loneliness, Morgan is at the end of his tether, until...

The source story from which this film is adapted, "I Am Legend" written by Richard Matheson, is rightly or wrongly considered to be something of a sci-fi classic. This explains why in three different decades the film has been adapted to the big screen. Following on from this first attempt we have been offered up The Omega Man in 1971 and I Am Legend in 2007, all three big screen outings are of differing quality and separated by their respective approaches to the subject.

The Last Man On Earth is to me the best of the three films to date. Having horror legend Vincent Price play the main character automatically lends people to think that this picture is primarily a horror film. Something that may explain why it's been largely ignored outside of those who have a penchant for Matheson and Price's respective work. Tho proudly containing {justly} horror elements {George Romero was clearly watching with interest} Ubaldo Ragona's film perfectly portrays the agony of Morgan's solitude, it's not merely about his battle with virally challenged zombies. Morgan's battle is chiefly with himself {wonderfully realised by an undervalued Price performance} he may have inherited the Earth, but his function has been reduced to being nothing more than an assassin of the night creatures. His existence is growing grim by the year, until he makes an amazing discovery, and it's one that swerves the film into its final quarter. Where to me at least, the film achieves what the other adaptations failed to do, namely no swagger involved, no cop outs and pandering to the norm, it's a highly fitting finale that is in keeping with the story's heart.

Tho based as if in an American city, it's actually shot on location in Rome, Italy. With the whole cast other than Price himself, being Italian. Low on budget, The Last Man On Earth is unable to break free of its B movie sheen, yet this aids the structure of the picture. Grainy black and white shots of derelict streets are boosting the apocalyptic essence, this is a depressing time, not only for Morgan, but for us the viewers as well. We are not meant to jump out of our seats with fright, or to whoop and holler as Morgan lays waste to another creature of the night. We are asked to imagine what it would be like to be the last human on Earth, and if indeed we could quite simply cope with the isolation and dreams of a life long since past.

Fine and intelligent picture 7.5/10

Panic in Year Zero!

Isn't there anyone we can trust?

Harry Baldwin (Ray Milland) and his family set off for a vacation, whilst on route they witness a blinding flash of light that forces them to stop. From their vantage point in the hills it becomes evident that Los Angeles has been the victim of a nuclear attack, what is also evident is that the enemy is not merely confined to those people who launched the bombs.

Panic In Year Zero! is now one of those films that looks dated because of the impasse nature of a nuclear threat in the world, but really when one goes into this smart piece then do it the courtesy of allowing it its time frame paranoia heart. The deconstruction of the human condition under duress is a subject that will forever be of interest to the arts and those who willingly observe it, but when a medium is tight in its portrayal then it's something to be cherished, such is the case here in Panic In Year Zero!

We have your standard family, Mom, Dad, Daughter and Son, all genuine and honest people, all of them about to witness the dark side of human nature, not only from the outside looking in, but from within themselves as well! A plot of this type can only work well as a watching experience if the cast have a bit of gravitas to impart, that they do is not only a relief, but also a reward for those investing in yet another B movie dealing with a well worn topic. Ray Milland is great as the father, a cool resilient dad of the 60s who instantly grasps the situation and adapts accordingly. Jean Hagen and Mary Mitchel play mother & daughter respectively, both fitting in perfectly to this family crisis, but it's Frankie Avalon as the son who really comes to the party armed, never one who was blessed with acting talent, his performance here is full of credibility and as the story unfolds, he is never found wanting in the entertainment stakes.

It's far from perfect, and some things are hard to ignore, I mean are we really meant to believe that Milland and Hagen have hatched Frankie Avalon from their union! But the minor quibbles are easily dismissed in favour of the astute and well acted nature of the picture, it's good intelligent sci-fi that always delivers upon revisits. 7/10
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The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964]
The Last Man On Earth [DVD] [1964] by Ubaldo Ragona (DVD - 2009)
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