Runtime: 1h 54m
‘The Last Man on Earth’ is a methodical study of the titular character, and it is done slow and with increasing intensity throughout. The role seems a bit unfitting for the unsympathetic, rather snide face of Vincent Price, but he does his best regardless, scurrying around like a character in the twilight zone.
There are two main conflicts involved in the film: The first is Dr. Robert Morgans’ (Vincent Price) battle with his will to live and the second his physically exhaustive battle of remaining alive, which entails barricading windows and setting up snares for the vampires that seep in from the darkness, from which he gathers supplies for from vacant grocery stores on his daily errands. The combat with will is displayed through flash-back, revealing his unfittingly beautiful wife, and his obsessive studies as a scientist, which is strangely haunting. He is occupied with curing the disease that ravishes the race, but is so confident and in control with himself that he lacks emotional composition with his ill-ridden daughter. A sort of reflexive behavioral-mode of disbelief or lack of acceptance.
The film’s structure lacks pace, yet I found in it that strange subtlety notion of film that makes some, even intellectually awful movies, bearable. If you are given little to study, you will study that little thoroughly. The melancholy mood is spare and encompassing, a drunk-mans looking glass.
In the end, The Last Man on Earth is a well-made character and conditional study, with the grace of an unusually good, not grotesque, company of veteran actor Vincent Price.